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The Cinderella Complex: Women's Hidden Fear of Independence
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The Cinderella Complex: Women's Hidden Fear of Independence

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  379 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
"The Cinderella Complex" offers women a real opportunity to achieve the emotional independence that means so much more than a new job or a new love. It can help you no matter what your age or your goals. You cannot read it without changing the way you think - and maybe the way you live.
Paperback, 291 pages
Published October 1st 1990 by Pocket Books (first published January 1st 1981)
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Jun 28, 2010 Mallory rated it it was ok
I thought Dowling made some very great points and from my race and class position, I could definitely apply some of these principles to my life. However, the suggestion to middle class women that they should hire housekeepers in order that they would have more time to pursue their own dreams and goals was outright offensive to me. It created this hierarchy that positioned middle class women above poorer women (likely women of color) who would be those housekeepers. The message is that these midd ...more
Nov 01, 2012 Sheri rated it really liked it
I read this book in my early 20s. I can say that it did change my life (or got me started down the right path since my life wasn't much of anything at the time apart from being a student). I was subconsciously waiting for a man "to save me" and probably making some choices that reflected that. Because of this booked I ended up changing my direction in college/university and became more career focused. As another reviewer has said, this is likely written from the perspective of the earlier wave o ...more
Feb 13, 2016 melis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kitaplığım, 2016
Anekdotlarla ilerleyen bir kitap ama ben daha teorik bir kitap olduğunu düşünerek okumaya başlamıştım o yüzden hayal kırıklığı yaşadım. Bir süredir elimde döndürüyorum, ilerledikçe sıkıldım aslında. Yazarın kimi yersizliklerini "Böyle bir şeyi nasıl söyleyebilir," şaşkınlığıyla okudum (bir yerde "kadınlar çalışıp kendi paralarını kazanmalı böylece evlerini temizlemeleri için başka kadınlar tutup kendilerine daha fazla vakit ayırabilirler," minvalinde bir şeyler demiş örneğin). Bilmiyorum, yine b ...more
Pro: Feminist self-help book about harmful emotional dependence - still relevant today
This is a feminist self-help book which helps women become more conscious about the 'Cinderella Complex': The way societal constructs and patriarchal gender roles make women experiment both problematic emotional (and financial) dependence and a deep fear of independence. I think these issues are really important and not discussed often often enough, because emotional (and also financial) dependence still affe
Kate H
Oct 18, 2015 Kate H rated it it was ok
Lean in, Cinderella…

In 1981, Colette Dowling came to speak at our school. I was 16 at the time and her son went to school with me. She was a formidable figure, and her talk about her forthcoming book, “The Cinderella Complex” was delivered to us (I have a vague feeling it was just to the girls at our school) in what I remember as “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” style.

She stressed the importance of financial independence, achievement at work, and spoke about an inner self who, if we were n
Aini Akmalia
Mar 07, 2015 Aini Akmalia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buku ini sebenarnya saya pilih untuk dibaca pada hari ini bersempena Hari Wanita Sedunia. Buku ini sangat menarik, malangnya saya tidak berkesempatan menghabiskan pembacaan pada hari ini. Cukup setengah buku sahaja.

Ringkasnya, buku ini mengetengahkan bagaimana kisah dongeng Cinderella sebenarnya telah menyerap menjadi impian setiap gadis. Ya, hakikatnya sindrom yang dinamakan oleh penulis sebagai Cinderella Complex ini menjelaskan bahawa kebanyakan perempuan bermimpi agar senasib sepertimana Ci
Jan 16, 2008 Angela rated it liked it
As much as I'd hate to admit that I feel somewhat reliant on what a man thinks of me (and reliant on wanting to be "taken care of"), I am that way. This book explores what is known as the "Cinderella Complex", that little something that tends to keep women from seeking what they want, because they feel they don't deserve it.

Parts of the book were hard to follow, only because it was a copy published back in the 80's, so a lot of it seemed irrelevant. Yet, if you took away the decade differences,
Dec 23, 2015 Yeliz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hiçbirimiz zengin koca bulmak için veya kocalarımız bizim giderlerimizi karşılasın diye yetiştirilmedik. Her birimiz mesleğimiz olsun, kimseye eyvallahımız olmasın, önce kendimize sonra da topluma faydalı üretken bireyler olarak yetiştirildik. Peki neden kocasının maddi koruması altında olan kadınların cennette yaşadığını düşünüyor ve onlara imreniyoruz? Neden asgari konfor şartlarımızın karşılanacağından emin olduğumuz anda sahip olduklarımızı bırakma eğilimi gösteriyoruz?

Joy Airaudi
Jul 10, 2013 Joy Airaudi rated it it was amazing
This book made me a feminist!
Lerié Yell
Jul 17, 2012 Lerié Yell rated it it was amazing
a must read for all women
Pilar Erika
Yes, the hidden fear of independence internalized in women by patriarcal values :( :(
A book worth reading, which makes both women and men reflect.
No lo he terminado. Aunque tiene algunas ideas interesantes, creo que para el tiempo en el que vivimos algunas exposiciones se me quedan anticuadas y no me siento muy identificada. Aunque es curioso ver como la evolución hacia una sociedad más igualitaria es lenta y cansada y cómo las mujeres somos las que muchas veces perpetuamos esa desigualdad.
Lisa Harris
Apr 03, 2009 Lisa Harris rated it it was amazing
I read this book in my very early 20s and it was life-changing. I still did some dumb things based on silly assumptions, but today I am a better woman and a better mother because of reading that book.
Kidist G
An eye opener , even if it was written in the 80's .
A lot of the pieces are powerful and speak personally to me .
it helps me to question my beliefs on contemporary thoughts of being independent and wanting to be taken care of .
Lívia Santana
Apr 14, 2016 Lívia Santana rated it it was amazing
Esse livro mudou a minha vida.
Barbara Ab
Jan 19, 2014 Barbara Ab rated it did not like it
Badly structured, badly written, out of date, too much about American culture, writer's experience, interviews... After 120 pages I had to give up!!
Karen Kane
Aug 10, 2014 Karen Kane rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I was just 23 and it had a profound effect on me. I recommend it for every young woman.
Mar 08, 2009 Aljan rated it liked it
Having been written in 1981, I thought that this book might be 'outdated". I found though that it manages to be quite timeless and remains current and useful. Sad in some places in its accuracy.
Mar 08, 2017 Svd rated it really liked it
"The study shows at least tentative correlation between psychological independence and the ability to experience orgasm. Women who are psychologically dependent can find terrifying that moment of merger with the other, when the boundaries of personality and identity dissipate. Unsure of their identities to begin with, dependent, vulnerable, and helpless, they find the moment of passionate abandonment unbearable, and refuse to give themselves up to it. " :)
Christine Fay
May 20, 2016 Christine Fay rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
“The wish to be saved. We may not always recognize it as clearly as this woman did, but it exists within us all, emerging when we least expect it, permeating our dreams, dampening our ambitions. It’s possible that woman’s wish to be saved goes back to the days of cave living, when man’s greater physical strength was needed to protect mothers and children from the wild. But such a wish is no longer appropriate or constructive. We do not need to be saved” (Dowling 26).

“It was an issue I chose not
Carol Waters
Feb 03, 2017 Carol Waters rated it really liked it
I'm really sorry I read this book so close to the end of the recent election. I thought that things were getting better in our culture, but this book written at the end of the 80's, seemed to indicate that this just isn't so. Pay disparity is still an issue. Sexism is still an issue. Women are still talking about (asking for) rights that they were talking about (asking for) forty years ago. Women continue to want anyone male to look after them and make things ok, and simply will not risk confron ...more
Le Complexe de Cendrillon est un livre qui, même si certains de ses points ne sont plus réellement d'actualité, reste fondamentalement vrai. Il nous montre à quel point notre éducation est d'une importance majeure dans la manière dont nous allons percevoir la vie, dans la manière dont nous allons la vivre. Un livre extrêmement touchant qui a pour but de libérer la femme et surtout de lui montrer que c'est à elle de se délivrer, qu'elle en a les capacités.
"La femme qui croit en elle n'a pas à se
Halime   Yazıcı
Sep 05, 2016 Halime Yazıcı rated it liked it
After the long break.......Finally Psyhology book...Ok mybe topic can be a little bit challenging...

Woman who is after freedom... or afraid of freedom......

Kadına ne öğretildi....Bağımsız olmak neden o kadar ürkütücüydü....

Bir erkeğin gölgesinde yaşamayı neden seçer bir kadın... Zor mudur aslında yaratılışında eşit olduğu ayakları üzerinde durabileceği gerçeğiyle yüzleşmek........

İlginç bir yaklaşımla ele alınmış farklı bir kitaptı....
Aline Prado
Jul 14, 2016 Aline Prado rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Colette tem excelentes pontos de vista em relação ao feminismo dos anos 70.

Ler o livro hoje observo que ele está desatualizado em muita coisa e também muito atual em outras. Também é importante lembrar que, por ser um pouco biografia e um pouco entrevistas, ela acaba focando na problemática feminista mulher-branca-classe-média/média-alta-norte-americana, esquecendo a situação de outras mulheres nos EUA.

É um livro que vale a pena ser lido com olhos atentos para continuarmos evoluindo na luta fe
Oct 08, 2011 Tortla rated it it was ok
Dowling presents a pretty self-centered version of a late-first-wave feminist manifesto under the auspices of psychological insight...I think.

I got really bored skimming this. Not only did I disagree with it, I think Gail Carson Levine effectively disproves the fundamental rhetoric of the "Cinderella Complex" in Ella Enchanted. Probably.
Apr 20, 2014 Karin rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help
This book explored the deep-rooted dependency exists in many female. Compared with female, males face greater developmental challenges during their childhood and hence is less susceptible to problems related to dependency. But eventually, everybody has responsible for himself or herself, regardless of gender.

Thought-provoking though poorly structured...
Sunder Strouse
Jun 11, 2008 Sunder Strouse rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
This is a good read due to the fact that it asks many questions that are not commonly covered. It takes you places that are still relevant and asks you to question the decisions you have made and the future decisions you will have to make as a women, wife and mother.
Nov 03, 2009 Guy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: multiple-reads
An astutely observed book. Very worth while read and re-read. It changed for the better my understanding of the opposite sex. And this was Jungian in its understanding and argument, even though I believe that Dowling is not a Jungian.
Jan 03, 2016 Kristina rated it liked it
I try not to complete all the books I read, but I started to loose interest when the author stopped telling her personal story and the other women were recanting their experience with the Cinderella complex. Maybe I'll pick the book back up in the future.
Jan 30, 2011 Holly rated it it was ok
I started this in the 1980s, and it sat in my "need to finish" pile forever. I think I liked it alot better when I started it (although maybe not, since I didn't finish it right away). In 2010, it seems a little dated.
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“Studies show that girls - especially smarter ones - have severe problems in the area of self-confidence.
They consistently underestimate their own ability. When asked how they think they'll do on different tasks - whether the tasks are untried or ones they've encountered before - they give lower estimates than boys do, and in general underestimate their actual performance as well. One study even showed that the brighter the girl, the less expectations she has of being successful at intellectual tasks. (...)
Low self-confidence is the plague of many girls, and it leads to a host of related problems. Girls are highly suggestible and tend to change their minds about perceptual judgments if someone disagrees with them. They set lower standards for themselves. While boys are challenged by difficult tasks, girls try to avoid them. (...) Given her felt incompetence, it's not surprising that the little girl would hotfoot it to the nearest Other and cling for dear life. (...) As we can see, the problems of excessive dependence follow female children right into adulthood.”
“Once established, the young girl's dependency is systematically supported as she proceeds through childhood. For being "nice" - nonchallenging, nonconfronting, noncomplaining - she's rewarded with good grades, the approval of her parents and teachers, and the affection of her peers. What reason is there for her to turn deviant or nonconformist? The going is good, so she conforms. Increasingly, she patterns herself after what's expected of her.” 2 likes
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