Once upon a time, a woman worked really hard at work. Her skills and achievements were recognised by her colleagues and her seniors. She was promoted and eventually made it to the Management Board. Her colleagues on the Management Board were men and women in equal number and of all different colours and backgrounds.
Once upon a time, a woman never got married, but had many fulfilling relationships, a job that was fun and interesting and bought a flat that she could decorate just the way she liked it. She lived happily ever after.
Once upon a time, a woman was walking home in the dark after a party. There were a group of drunk men on the pavement ahead, she looked at them a little nervously. They apologised, explained that they had been on a stag do involving a rowing boat, they had all fallen in…with their phones in their pockets. They asked if she could call them a taxi so they could get back to their hotel. She did. They were very grateful and they said their pleasant goodbyes.
Once upon a time, a woman was able to confidently express her views without being called ‘nasty’, ‘feisty’, ‘shrill’, ‘bossy’ or ‘prissy’. She was seen as confident, knowledgeable and authoritative.
Once upon a time, a single mother didn’t feel the weight of society’s stereotype of single motherhood bearing down upon her. Prospective dates did not see her children as ‘baggage’. No-one assumed that she was desperate to find a father for her children. No-one assumed that she was on benefits just because she was a single mother. No-one assumed that she resented happy couples or indeed wanted to sleep with someone else’s husband. No-one assumed that she and her children were unhappy. There was no hierarchy of single mothers. The single mother and her son were just contented in their community.
Once upon a time, a woman was reading a book and drinking a glass of wine in a bar whilst waiting for her friend. A man came up to her and asked if he could join her. She politely declined, explaining that she would just like some quiet time to read her book. It has been a busy day. The man nodded graciously and wished her a nice evening.
Once upon a time, a couple got married and no-one asked them when they were going to start a family.