Last month, I heard a young woman say, “You cannot become what you cannot see.”
I thought of the well-known fairytale Cinderella after recently reading Rebecca Solnit’s updated take on the old classic. Solnit is a brilliant writer, philosopher, feminist and author of a number of books, including Men Explain Things to Me.
She wanted her niece to grow up with the charm and transformation of the Cinderella story while working out a more palatable exit for Cinderella’s plight than the one we all know—boy saves girl.
So Solnit wrote: Cinderella Liberator!
In this re-imagined version, Cinderella goes to the ball, meets the Prince, loses her shoe, but when he finds her, instead of asking her to marry him he says, “What are your dreams?”
She tells him, “I’m not ready to get married right now. I’ve just gotten my freedom, and I’ve become a pretty good baker over the years, so I’d rather use my baking skills to open my own bakery. Plus, I really like talking to people.”
And then she says, “What are your dreams?”
Turns out the Prince doesn’t really like people staring at him all the time and all that Princely stuff he has to do. He likes to make things grow and has aspirations to be a farmer, well maybe a farmer-prince.
I’m sending this book to my five-year-old great niece because…
You cannot become what you cannot see.