“Why are we reading Ovid’s handbook on rape?”

Jan 09 2013

there once was a little girl who had no mother but her daddy loved her dearly. he was a nobleman but you would have thought she was a princess by the way he treated her, but she had an inherently good nature and would never be spoiled. however her new stepmother was jealous of his love and when he died her bitterness turned the little girl into a servant for herself and her two daughters from a previous marriage. deprived of any real bed or warm coverings the little girl was made to sleep next to the fireplace and for this the name Cinderella was given to her. the name Cinderella was not actually intended to dehumanise her but only to take away her identity. but the effect of this identity theft was dehumanisation as the thing that really distinguishes each of us as an individual human being is our identity. for this reason perhaps her only friend was a big ugly rat that lived in a hole in the wall and with which she would share any crumbs she could spare.

the girl’s stepmother wanted either of her own daughters to marry the young prince of the realm and she was getting them both ready for a ball at the palace where they would be presented as eligible choices. Cinderella was supposed to remain at home and weep, but a fairy godmother appeared out of nowhere and made her rags into a beautiful gown, and made a carriage out of a pumpkin, and turned two little birds into shimmering white horses to pull it, and even transformed her friend the rat into a coachman to drive her to the party.

Cinderella felt warm and comfortable as she waved goodbye to her fairy godmother. the inside of the coach was padded with pink velvet and there were little lights in there that looked like butterflies or maybe they were actually butterflies that looked like lights. she did not know what the point of her going to the party was but she was prepared to be grateful for everything good in life.

but before long she realised she had been daydreaming and had lost track of where she was. she had a good idea of where the palace was and this did not seem like the right road. and it seemed to be the wrong road, a road that she especially did not want to be on. everything was dark as though she were in deep forest. there was no light anywhere, there was no way of knowing her way out of here.

she flipped open a little window by which she could talk to her chauffeur the rat. “where are we going?” she asked. she realised that the phrasing of her query had not been very polite but the clarity of her thoughts was at this time compromised by a mild state of alarm or inexplicable sense of unease.

“to the palace, your highness,” mumbled the rat.

“i think we should turn back,” said Cinderella.

“shut up slut,” he growled. for all of the hard work she had done in her life, she was remarkably sheltered as to the ways of the world, and did not understand what was meant by his response. but there was something heavy and rough in the way he spoke to her that made her feel afraid.

No responses yet

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.