Cinderella and the Glass Ceiling

And Other Feminist Fairy Tales


By Laura Lane

By Ellen Haun

Read by Laura Lane

Read by Ellen Haun

Read by Amber Reauchean Williams

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  1. Audiobook Download (Unabridged)
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  3. Hardcover $24.00 $30.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around March 10, 2020. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

This wickedly wise (and wisecracking) parody of classic fairy tales redefines happily ever after for the modern feminist era.

You know what? It’s super creepy to kiss a woman who is unconscious. And you know what else? The way out of poverty isn’t by marrying a rich dude — or by wearing fragile footwear, for that matter. And while we’re at it, why is the only woman who lives with seven men expected to do the cooking, cleaning, and laundry?

Fairytales need a reboot, and comedy queens Laura Lane and Ellen Haun are the women to do it. In Cinderella and the Glass Ceiling, they offer a rollicking parody of classic (read: patriarchal) tales that turns sweet, submissive princesses into women who are perfectly capable of being the heroes of their own stories. Mulan climbs the ranks in the army but wages a different war when she finds out she’s getting paid less than her fellow male captains, Wendy learns never to trust a man-boy stalking her window, Sleeping Beauty’s prince gets a lesson in consent, and more.

Busting with laugh-out-loud, razor-sharp twists to these outdated tales, Cinderella and the Glass Ceiling is fun, magical, necessary, and totally woke.


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Fairy tales were patriarchal horror stories masked as children’s tales. A woman had to cook and clean for her seven male roommates. A wolf stalked a young girl and then committed a home invasion and double homicide. A woman fell in love with her hairy captor. A mermaid gave up her voice, friends, and family for a stranger with a sailboat. A snobby girl broke into and entered a family’s home and ate their breakfast. A man-child who refused to grow up sat in a window creeping on children. Multiple men kissed sleeping women without their consent. Oh, and nearly everyone was depicted as white.

These stories were full of beasts, villains, and judgy mirrors. But the worst enemy of all? Other women. Nothing was scarier than a woman over thirty out to get you!

Stepmothers, stepsisters, witches, fairies, and sea monsters—they were always portrayed as evil. They were all unhappily single. And a lot of them had widows’ peaks. They either wanted to steal your inheritance and make you sleep in a fireplace or murder you for being too hot.

Women were never nuanced in these stories. There were only two types: evil (too much purple eye shadow) and good (over-plucked brows). Every once in a while you got a mouse thrown in there who happened to be female, but all she really did was sew.

In these stories, women were taught they should do anything to marry a rich dude, preferably a prince. All they needed to do to land the guy was have really good hair and a need to get rescued. Once they got the guy and defeated the Evil Other Woman out to get them, their story was over. They didn’t have much agency. They weren’t empowered. And they never had a female friend to vent to!

Terrifying, no?

But just as we don’t wear neck ruffs anymore, times have changed, and so should these stories. (Seriously though, we hope wearing a fan around your neck never makes a comeback.)

In our fairy tales, women get the last word on their own terms. They know the only thing cooler than a mermaid tail is a vagina. They know they have to work a lot harder to break the glass ceiling than a glass slipper. And they know that happily ever after is a myth created by the patriarchy.



There lived a bold and curious young mermaid with her father and many mermaid sisters in a palace deep under the sea and far away from the damage of oil spills, plastic straws, and humans who pee in the ocean. She had everything she needed, but the Mermaid yearned for something more. She wanted to explore, but mostly she wanted to hang out with hot sailors.

Despite the warnings of her overbearing father not to go to the surface, where she could potentially get harpooned by fishermen, she would swim up and gawk at the humans on boats. (She would later in life realize her father was completely reasonable and doing his best to deal with a rebellious teenager.) She became particularly taken with one sailor, who was predictably a prince.

After following the Prince’s boat around for a few nights and acting like a total groupie, she made the choice: she wanted to go on land permanently. She wanted to become a human and make out with the hot sailor Prince.

The Mermaid set out to find the Sea Witch, who supported her expensive micro-scale-abrasion habit by securing realistic-looking fake IDs and casting magical spells for desperate mermen.

“I want to become a human,” the Mermaid said to the Sea Witch. “I want legs. I want platform sandals. I want that hot sailor ass.”

“My dear, sweet teenybopper mermaid, that’s what I do,” said the Sea Witch. “I live to help impulsive, unfortunate, hormonal merfolk. In exchange for my services, I’ll need something in return. Don’t worry, I don’t want your allowance. What I want is just a trifle… your voice. Also, you can never come back.”

The Mermaid didn’t use her voice much under the sea anyway, since most sea creatures were highly evolved and communicated by jamming on shell drums. Plus, she could always write the Prince a note if she needed to tell him something. Leaving her family, on the other fin, was a big deal. But sometimes when you’re crushing hard, you don’t think too straight and you do stupid shit.

“I’m in!” said the Mermaid.

And with that, she signed the contract. It immediately turned into a soggy inky mess since paper doesn’t do well under water.

The Mermaid closed her eyes and waited nervously for the transformation to begin. She waited. And she waited. But nothing happened. She peeked out of one eye.

“How long does this legs thing take?” she asked the Sea Witch.

The Sea Witch took a deep breath. “Actually, we need to discuss something first.”

“Is it about my legs?” asked the Mermaid.

“Kinda. I have to give you ‘the talk.’ You see, along with the legs, you also get… a vagina.”

The Mermaid was confused.

“A vagina-ma-bob?”

“It’s just called a vagina.”

The Mermaid didn’t want any extra stuff with this deal. She had only requested the legs, after all.

“I only want legs, thanks,” said the Mermaid, swimming over to the Sea Witch so she would hopefully get a move on with this legs spell already.

“There’s no work-around. I’ve tried before. Peeing out of the mouth was very gross.”

“Let’s just get to the legs. I’m sure I can figure out my vagina on my own,” she said, rather impatiently.

“Listen, sweetie, vaginas are complicated. I’m not going to let you walk away with a pussy you don’t know how to use.”

The Mermaid looked at the Sea Witch. Was this some sort of trick? Sure, she pretty much trusted the Sea Witch or else she wouldn’t have come to her in the first place. But she had heard a rumor about a time the Sea Witch turned a merman requesting hair plugs into a catfish.

“Why are you being nice to me? Aren’t you evil?” asked the Mermaid.

“Here’s the thing, I’m a Sea Witch who looks out for myself. But we’re both still fighting the mermantriarchy, right? So as they say on land: Girl Code.”

The Sea Witch patted a rock nearby, gesturing for the Mermaid to sit down for the talk.

“First things first: periods,” said the Sea Witch, holding up a red piece of sea anemone as a prop. “Once a month your vagina will bleed for about a week.”

“Is it injured?” asked the Mermaid.

“Nope, that’s normal and perfectly healthy. It will be extremely painful and it will happen until you’re about fifty.”

The Sea Witch quietly snickered to herself.

The Mermaid began to have second thoughts. “If I had known the vagina was part of the deal I would have thought this through a little harder.”

“But remember, with legs you can walk and run and do squats,” said the Sea Witch.

Ooo squats! So fun. The Mermaid got up from the rock and tried to do a squat, only to discover you can’t do squats with a tail.

“I want to squat more than anything!” said the Mermaid. “I can deal with periods. Thank you for having the talk. I’m ready for the legs.”

“Oh dear, sweet Mermaid, we’re just getting started,” said the Sea Witch, pointing to the rock and motioning to sit the fuck back down. “Vaginas are also used for sex. If you’re having sex with a man, which the Prince is, you’re basically shoving his penis repeatedly into your vagina for like ten minutes, give or take.”

The Sea Witch mimed a thrusting penis using a loose piece of coral and a conch shell. The Mermaid was horrified.

“Does that feel good?” asked the Mermaid.

“Sometimes. But you’ll need to take this.”

The Sea Witch pulled out a pack of birth control pills from her bosom and handed it to the Mermaid. The Mermaid opened the small plastic compact with tiny pills inside, took one out, and studied it. She believed she was very skilled when it came to figuring out how to use human inventions. She had years of practice from collecting other shipwrecked treasures under the sea.

“A human nose plug gadget!” the Mermaid exclaimed as she stuck a pill in her nose.

The Sea Witch shook her head. “This is why they give women sugar pills for a week,” she mumbled to herself.

“That’s a type of birth control. It will fix your face acne,” explained the Sea Witch. “But it will make you bloated and depressed.”

The Mermaid blew the birth control out of her nose.

“No, thank you,” said the Mermaid. “No birth control, no legs for me.”

But the Sea Witch was convincing.

“Imagine being able to jump and skip and ride a stationary bike that doesn’t go anywhere!”

“That sounds so fun!” said the Mermaid. “Okay, fine. I’ll use birth control-whose-it and I’ll deal with the water weight.”

“Great. You’ll also want to make sure the Prince puts this on,” said the Sea Witch as she pulled out a condom and handed it to the Mermaid.

The Mermaid studied the plastic square the size of a small seashell and ripped it open.

“I am really good at knowing what to do with land objects,” bragged the Mermaid. “This is clearly that sticky stuff humans chew and then throw on the ground for someone else to step on.”

She promptly stuffed the condom into her mouth.

“Thith ith thomething for my collethion,” said the Mermaid with her mouth full. “I’ll call ith a whatz-it-gum-lore!”

The Sea Witch stared at her, letting time pass longer than it needed to.

“You put that on his dick,” said the Sea Witch, finally.

The Mermaid spat it out, but tried to play it cool.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that,” said the Mermaid as she wiped some of the slimy lubricant off her mouth.

“You’ll wanna make sure he uses that,” explained the Sea Witch. “The Prince is a sailor, so he definitely has syphilis and genital warts. He won’t talk about it, so it’s been untreated for years. STI-shaming is a big problem on land.”

That was all the Mermaid needed to hear to change her mind once again.

“Come to think of it, I barely know him,” she said, realizing that maybe the Prince wasn’t as cute as she remembered. “So I’m not sure I need the legs anymore.”


  • "Why did we let dudes write stories about women for so long? They put us in towers, made us clean houses, and made us very sleepy! Ellen and Laura are finally making it right!"—Lauren Adams, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • "For any little girl obsessed with princesses and/or fairy tales who grew up to realize how creepy and backwards they actually were--this book is for YOU. Can't. Stop. Laughing."—Sarah Merrill, host of the Big Kid Problems podcast
  • "FINALLY, a hilarious, refreshing, and modern retelling of our favorite fairy tales featuring realistic and relatable female characters that, blessedly, wasn't written by a couple of old white dudes. Because the Brothers Grimm were for sure a couple of old white dudes."—Laura Wilcox, author of I Am Bride
  • "A witty and much-needed fairy tale reboot. Makes you think about what we've been teaching our children!"—Jo Firestone, comedian
  • "The Brothers Grimm have nothing on Laura Lane and Ellen Haun. From a woke Sleeping Beauty to a Red Riding Hood fighting wolf-calls, here's a book of fairy tales not for your children but for your hilarious girlfriends. It's perfect reading for every feminist who longs for a happy ending."—Jennifer Wright, author of It Ended Badly
  • "Laura Lane and Ellen Haun nail it with this witty and remarkable book that smartly reminds women to be the heroes of their own stories rather than wait around for saving."
    Jenny Mollen, New York Times bestselling author of I Like You Just The Way I Am
  • "A mix of modern-day commentary and clever subversions of the originals, Cinderella and the Glass Ceiling reclaims the storytelling from the guys and gives the heroes (not just the Little Mermaid!) back their voices."—Caitlin Kunkel, co-author of New Erotica for Feminists
  • "A dynamite read. The subject matter is serious, but the delivery is an express train to Laugh City."—Joel McHale, actor, comedian, and author of Thanks for the Money

On Sale
Mar 10, 2020
Hachette Audio

Laura Lane

About the Author

Laura Lane is a comedy writer, performer, journalist, and author. She’s written for People, McSweeney’s, the New Yorker’s Daily Shouts, ESPN, Esquire, Vanity Fair, and Cosmopolitan. Her book This Is Why You’re Single was optioned for TV and has been covered by the New York Times, the L.A. Times, The Washington Post, and Bustle. She co-hosts the This Is Why You’re Single podcast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Ellen Haun

About the Author

Ellen Haun is a writer, actor and comedian. She plays the hapless law student Ms. Chapin on ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder. Ellen wrote, produced and starred in the web series OMGHI and the short film No Limes. She has performed at the Sydney Opera House, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. She is a contributor to the humor website the Belladonna. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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