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There once lived a young wommon named Cinderella, whose natural birthmother had died when Cinderella was but a child. A few years after, her father married a widow with two older daughters. Cinderella's mother-of-step treated her very cruelly, and her sisters -of-step made her work very hard, as if she were their own personal unpaid labourer.

One day an invitation arrived at their house. The prince was celebrating his exploitation of the disposessed and marginalized peasantry by throwing a fancy dress ball. Cinderella's sisters-of-step were very excited to be invited to the palace. They began to plan expensive clothes they would use to alter and enslave their natural body images to emulate an unrealistic standard of feminine beauty. (It was especially unrealistic in their case, as they were differently visaged enough to stop a clock.) Her mother-of-step also planned to go to the ball, so Cinderella was working harder than a dog(an appropriate if unfortunately speiciest metaphor).

When the day of the ball arrived, Cinderella helped her mother-and sisters-of-step into their ball gowns. A formidable task: It was like trying to force a ten pounds of processed nonhuman animal carcasses into a five-pound skin. Next came immense cosmetic augmentation, which it would be best not to describe at all. As evening fell, her mother and sisters-of-step left Cinderella was sad, but she contended herself with her Holly Near records.

Suddenly there was a flash of light, and in front of Cinderella stood a man dressed in loose-fitting, all-cotton-clothes, and wearing a wide-brimmed hat. At first Cinderella thought he was a Southern-lawyer, or a band leader, but he soon put her straight. "Hello," "I'm your fairy god person, individual diety proxy, if u prefer. So, u want to go to the ball, eh? And bring yourself into the male concept of beauty? Squeeze into some tight fitting dress that will cut off ur circulation? Jam ur feet into high heel shoes that will ruin ur bone structure? Paint ur face with chemicals and make up that have been tested on non human animals?"

"Oh yes, definately," she said in an instant. Her fairy god person heaved a great sigh, and decided to put off her political education to another day. With his magic, he enveloped in a beautiful, brought light and whisked her away to the place.

Many carriages were lined outside the palace that night; apparently, no one had ever thought of carpooling. Soon in a heavy, gilded carriages painfully pulled by a team of horse slaves, Cinderella arrived. She was dressed in a clinging gown, woven of silk stolen from unsuspecting silk worms. Her hair was festooned with pearls rendered from hardworking defenceless oysters. And her feet, dangerous though it may seem, she wore slippers made of finely cut crystal.
Every head in the ball room turned as Cinderella entered. The men stared and they lusted after this wommon who had captured perfectly the Barbie doll idea of feminine desirability. The womyn, trained at an early age to despise their own bodies, looked at Cinderella with envy and spite. Cinderella's own mother- and sister-of-step, consumed with jealousy, failed to recognize her.

Cinderella soon caught the roving eye of the prince, who was busy discussing jousting and bear baiting with his cronies. Upon seeing her, the prince was struck with a fit of not being able to speak as well as the majority of the population.

"Here," he thought, "is a wommon that i could make my pricess and impregnate with the progeny of our perfect genes, and thus make myself the envy of every other prince for miles around. And she's blond too!"

The prince began to cross the ballroom toward his intended prey. HIs cronies also began to walk toward Cinderella. So did every other male in the ballroom who was younger than 70 and not serving drinks.

CInderella was proud of the commotion she was causing. She walked with head high and carried herself like a womon of eminent social standing. But soon it became clear that the commotion was turning into something ugly, or atleast socially dysfunctional.

The prince had made it clear to his friends that he was intent on "posessing" the young wommon. But the prince's resoluteness angered his pals, for they too lusted after her and wanted to own her. The men began to shout and push each other. The prince's best friend, who was a large if cerebrally constrained duke, stopped him halfway across the dance floor and insisted that he was going to have Cinderella. The prince's response was a swift kick to the groin, which left the duke temporarily inactive. But the price was quickly seized by other sex-crazed males, and he disappeared into a pile of human animals.

The womyn were apalled by this vicious display of testosterone, but try as they might, they were unable to seperatethe combatants. To the other womyn, it seemed that Cinderella was the cause of all the trouble, so they encircled her and began to display very unsisterly hostility. She tried to escape, but her impractical glass slippers made it nearly impossible. Fortunately for her, none of the other womyn were shod any better.

The noise grew so loud that no one heard the cloxk in the tower chinme midnight. When the bell rang the twelfth time, Cinderella's beautiful gown and slipers disappeared, and she was dressed once again in her peasant's rags. Her mother- and sisters-of-step recognized her now, but kept quiet to avoid embarassment.

The womyn grew silent at this magical transformation. Freed from the confinements of her gown and slippers, Cinderella sighed and stretched and scratched her ribs. She smiled, closed her eyes and said, "Kill me now if you want, sisters, but atleast I'll die in comfort."
The womyn around her again grew envious, but this time they took a different approach: Instead of exacting vegeance on her, they stripped off their bodices, corsets, shoes, and every other confining garment. They danced and jumped and screeched in sheer joy, comfortable at last in their shifts and bare feet.

Had the men looked up from their macho dance of destruction, they would have seen many desirable womyn dressed as if for the boudoir. But they never ceased pounding, punchin, kicking, and clawing each other until, to the last man, they were dead.

The womyn clucked their tongues but felt no remorse. The palace and realm were theirs now. Their first official act was to dress the men in their discarded dresses and tell the media that the fight arose when someone threatened to expose the crossdressing tendencies of the prince and his cronies. Their second was to set up a clothing co-op that produced only comfortable, practical clothes for womyn. Then they hung a sign on the castle advertising CinderWear (for that was what the new clothing was called), and through self-determination and clever marketing, they all-even the mother- and sisters-of-step-- lived happily ever after.

--> Garner, James Finn (1994)
N4- Macimillan


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