Once upon a time: Fairy tales for modern women

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

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.

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy: Why Parents Should Teach Feminism and Every Woman Has a Story.

DIY Daddy


  1. January 26, 2018 / 10:48 am

    LOVE this! The “story” about the woman sharing her views is especially poignant considering the recent trial in America. Was the judge mean? Maybe. Did that dreadful man deserve it? Abso-blooming-lutely! Thanks for sharing. #ThatFridayLinky
    Misa recently posted…#PassOnPlastic and AbleismMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      January 26, 2018 / 10:52 am

      Thank you Misa. Pen x

  2. Hoon
    January 26, 2018 / 1:58 pm

    Agree 100%.

    • thesingleswan
      January 26, 2018 / 10:28 pm

      Thanks. Pen x

  3. January 27, 2018 / 10:04 am

    This brought tears to my eyes. You’ve perfectly described the world I want my daughters to grow up in x

    • thesingleswan
      January 27, 2018 / 11:24 pm

      Thank you Louise

      Pen x

  4. January 27, 2018 / 1:42 pm

    what a great blog – am sharing #thesatsesh

    • thesingleswan
      January 27, 2018 / 11:24 pm

      thank you Berni. Pen x

  5. January 27, 2018 / 8:17 pm

    I got married at 45. Took me forever to find him. I spent the time working on myself as a person. A whole person. Good for you for writing this. #Thesatsesh

    • thesingleswan
      January 27, 2018 / 11:24 pm

      thank you Tracy. Pen x

  6. January 28, 2018 / 2:00 am

    F*** Yeah! If only! I just wrote a post about rape, and I can not tell you how much I appreciate a women like you! Strong, and telling the world how it should be, what us women should experience, but we don’t, the truth is as women we are constantly preyed upon, if we don’t want to talk to a man we are a prude, or a stuck up bitch! If we do flirt back we are often a slut. If we voice our opinions we are too loud, or in need of a good F***. If we stay quiet we are weak! If only men really understood, if only they actually stopped acting like privileged dick heads. OK so not all men are bad guys, but a lot of guys think sexist jokes, or inappropriate groping in a pub just because the’ve had a beer is somehow just funny, or boys being boys. Great post!! Will be sharing with everyone I know!

    • thesingleswan
      January 28, 2018 / 10:22 pm

      Thank you Ren, I really appreciate your comment. I couldn’t agree with you more. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      January 28, 2018 / 10:21 pm

      Thanks Nige. Pen x

  7. January 28, 2018 / 5:12 pm

    Great post. Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

    • thesingleswan
      January 28, 2018 / 10:20 pm

      Thanks Emily.

  8. January 29, 2018 / 9:52 pm

    Pen – this is you at your best – strong, powerful and poignant writing. This post is dynamite. I really hope we get to where we want society to be asap. The section on the stag do made me have a wry smile… #thesatsesh
    Hayley @ Mission: Mindfulness recently posted…The Saturday Sesh #20My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      January 31, 2018 / 8:55 pm

      Hayley, that is such a lovely comment to read. Thank you so much for your kind words. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      February 1, 2018 / 10:43 pm

      What a lovely comment! Thank you Suzy. Pen x

  9. February 1, 2018 / 8:55 pm

    The irony in this is almost too much to bear – such simple tales that could so easily be true in a different time, a different place. Let’s hope we see that time and place in our lifetime, for our children’s sake.

    Thanks so much for linking to #coolmumclub
    MMT recently posted…#CoolMumClub on Instagram January 2018 RoundupMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      February 1, 2018 / 10:42 pm

      thank you. Pen x

  10. February 6, 2018 / 2:12 am

    One of the best posts of yours I have read!!!! If only! Let’s keep working hard to make this fantasy a reality, long way to go I fear! Really, really fantastic read! #BigPinkLink
    mac recently posted…if a flower can bloom in the desert, so can I #mgMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      February 8, 2018 / 9:50 pm

      Thank you Mac. That’s very kind of you, Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      February 8, 2018 / 9:49 pm

      Thanks Pen x

  11. February 7, 2018 / 2:02 pm

    Love this post! If only hey? I think that this is certainly the future we should hope for for our children. If we just instil in them modern day values and equality is something we all expect instead of being something we have to fight for hopefully they will have a better future. Thanks for coming back to the #bigpinklink

    • thesingleswan
      February 8, 2018 / 9:47 pm

      Thank you. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      February 8, 2018 / 9:45 pm

      Thank you Helena

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