We all know it, the story of the girl who married the prince.
But it's not a funny story, and it's bad news for women.
If we for a moment ignore the fact that the prince wasn't impressed with Cinderella since he didn't even remember what she looked like, and focus on the hair-raising implications that the story has for women, we wouldn't read it to our children.
The step daughters sliced their toes and heals off to make the shoe fit.
Cinderella needed magic to have the prince notice her; she wasn't good enough the ways she was.
What the story does is groom girls to compete for the "prince"; the one man every woman is told they should want, regardless of his character, or whether he will treat them well. And in this competition, who they are, and what they want, is of no interest.
If you don't measure up, cut your heal off (and your thoughts).
If you don't measure up, cut your toes off (and your aspirations).
If you don't measure up, change who you are (until no one recognizes you)
If you want the "prince," sit at home and wait for him to come and find you - after he's checked every other girl out.
Another terrible thing Cinderella teaches girls and young women is that they should expect other women to treat them poorly, and that they need a man to rescue them from their vicious sisters.
Competition + mean girls = no sisterhood.
A strong sisterhood is detrimental for patriarchy; hence, Cinderella.
If all girls can be convinced to mistrust other women and look for the solution in a man whose character they cannot assess, patriarchy can continue to rob them of their rights, while they keep on cutting off their heals (thoughts) and toes (aspirations) in order to get what they are told they cannot live without.
We need to stop reading Cinderella for our girls, for it's bad news for all women.