If you’ve read my Month in Books for March, you may have noticed that I didn’t enjoy ‘Cinder’ (Marissa Meyer) as much as I could have. Today I wanted to talk about one of the issues that kind of spoiled the story for me. (That’s not to say Cinder is the only culprit; only that it’s the example most fresh in my mind.)
We all love a good ‘Prince + Common Girl’ romance: it shows that class does not make you a good person, that two hearts can unite over social boundaries, and that you really can go from rags to riches.
The problem, however, arises when the Prince flirts, is refused, and then continues to flirt, creating an imbalance of power and effectively demonstrating a lack of respect for the girl’s wishes. Does he not realise that he literally has power over the entire country? His ‘Let’s go out’ is a royal command! How is the girl expected to say no?
We see in the story of Cinder a Prince so used to being adored by girls that he really can’t take no for an answer. There are times when he explicitly orders his love interest around. Where’s the balance in this? That’s not okay!
It worries me that we can read about, and even envy, relationships that are so one-sided, and – to quote my good friend Belle – ‘positively primeval’. Nobody – no, not even a prince – deserves to be liked back. A guy doesn’t have a right to a girl just because he likes her. (Let’s look again at Beauty and the Beast – no means no, Gaston!)
In the end, the young lady does fall for her prince (obviously), but does that really justify his actions before? Is there any point in phrasing your words as an interrogative when the reality is the other person only has one option?
I think relationships should be an equilibrium; a mutual exchange.
What do you think? Do you agree, or am I over-reacting? Share your thoughts!
Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!