I remember well the shock I experienced the first time I read the story of Cinderella to one of our daughters; I later told my wife, Louise, that I felt like I'd just participated in a cultural experiment or brainwashing session.
Cinderella was the good girl and the pretty young woman. She was compliant, uncomplaining, hard-working (as a maid!) in the service of authority, and spent a lot of time in a dream world. Her stepsisters were women who knew what they wanted and were on a mission to get it. Thus, they were characterized as ugly and undesirable. The object of all this competition was the appropriate and inevitable goal of every woman, according to the Cinderella story, a man to submit herself to. But not just any man — this was a man of wealth and power, which allowed everybody to overlook the fact that he was so self-obsessed that after dancing with Cinderella for several hours, he still couldn't remember what her face looked like.