And She Lived Fortunately Ever After 


And She Lived Fortunately Ever After 

by Deb Durbin (


This was the query that prompted me to write down my newest guide, And She Lived Fortunately Ever After (O Books due out 31st March 2023). What started as a kind of ‘Lockdown Initiatives’ quickly turned a supply of investigating why, regardless of being within the 21st century, girls had been nonetheless struggling to search out their pleased ever after in most if not all areas of their lives. 

My seventies childhood confirmed to me that males had been those who referred to as all of the photographs in a lady’s life. I discover how misogynistic the ‘70’s dads had been – anticipating their wives to get their youngsters to high school, feed, bathtub and put them to mattress and have a home-cooked meal on the desk for when their husband bought in from work. If a lady did work, she was anticipated to suit her working day across the youngsters and her husband and the alternatives for girls within the office had been primarily assigned to hairdresser, retail, or workplace/reception work/school-dinner woman.

I bear in mind considering, even at tender age of 10, how unfair it was that the person of the family appeared to have rather more freedom than a lady did. Ladies hardly ever went to the pub and in the event that they did, they had been accompanied by their husbands. The one different social occasions comprised of going to a neighbour’s home for a Social gathering Plan night to purchase Tupperware, Avon cosmetics or Cabouchon jewelry, or going to the occasional native espresso morning.

My teenage years had been spent through the 1980’s, the place girls had barely extra empowering function fashions. Melanie Griffith in Working Woman and Dolly Parton in 9 – 5 informed us that we might attain the giddy top of CEO, if we adopted huge shoulder pads and even larger hair. Dame Anita Roddick confirmed different girls that they too might earn more money by promoting magnificence merchandise as a substitute of Tupperware. Madonna acknowledged that we might have the higher hand within the battle of the sexes if we had been ready to get into the groove, {photograph} our vaginas and put them in an arty black and white espresso desk guide. Nonetheless, there was nonetheless this stigma that if a lady was profitable, she have to be a bitch, a ball-breaker or each.

Throughout my twenties, younger girls had been impressed by the ‘Woman Energy’ philosophy of adopting the alpha male look of cargo pants and desert boots. And whereas there have been extra girls proudly owning their opinions and lives, it nonetheless smacked of, if a lady needed to be taken severely, she needed to act and behave like a person – and take the flack for it.

Historical past is awash with feminine leaders who’ve needed to work twice as exhausting as males to get their message throughout. And there’s nonetheless a silent murmur of disapproval if a lady chooses to talk up or stay her life otherwise to what’s anticipated of her. 

If a lady chooses to not have a baby, she remains to be judged and questioned. If a lady chooses to stay single and stay on her personal, she’s interrogated. If a lady chooses to have a number of companions, she shall be judged. 

Have you ever ever heard of a person being questioned as to why he doesn’t have youngsters? Have you ever ever heard of a person being judged as a result of he chooses to stay on his personal, or referred to as him a slag as a result of he has multiple accomplice? Or requested if he’s hormonal as a result of he’s answered again?

I’ve by no means heard whispers {that a} male sports activities presenter solely bought his job as a result of the producers wanted to be seen to have gender equality on their panel, however I’ve when a feminine presenter has been.

These are most of the explanation why I wrote, And She Lived Fortunately Ever After. I needed to deliver consideration to the truth that each lady deserves to have her voice heard. Each lady has precisely the identical rights as anybody else to be revered and each lady is entitled to have a cheerful ever after.

I’m not saying that males alone are guilty for girls feeling that they should work twice as exhausting at being accepted. Many ladies are additionally responsible of tearing down stronger and extra assured girls. A latest instance being the criticism from a preferred tabloid feminine journalist over the gown {that a} feminine Detective Superintendent wore to press convention for a lacking lady.

Why is it nonetheless exhausting for a girl to be successful and to have her voice and opinions listened to, quite than criticised for what she’s carrying, how outdated she is or what her hair seems like?  All of it comes right down to conditioning.  

Societal views and expectations of ladies are ingrained in us from a really early age. Childhood conditional studying makes us adhere to what society expects from women and girls. We’re informed from a younger age that women shouldn’t be loud and sweary as a result of it’s not ladylike, that assertive girls are troublesome and {that a} lady who says ‘no’ is smug.  The rationale so many ladies really feel unable to be their true selves is as a result of for generations, society has informed us how we should always behave with a view to be a ‘good woman’.

I imagine that to ensure that a lady to stay her pleased ever after, she must be robust sufficient to query the generational and societal guidelines that she’s been taught about how she ought to act and behave and begin standing up for herself. Whether or not that’s saying no to a good friend’s request to take care of her youngsters whereas she goes on vacation, or a accomplice’s calls for to see their household each weekend. Or asking why she has been missed for promotion at work. Or calling individuals out once they really feel they’re entitled to deal with her like badly.

The issue with standing up for your self nonetheless, is that it takes nice power and dedication to take action. You should be robust sufficient to just accept that many individuals are going to dislike you while you discover your true voice. It’s about being robust sufficient to disagree with different individuals and accepting that you will upset a number of individuals alongside the way in which. And sure, it may also be very lonely.

Whenever you’ve spent years being conditioned into believing that you simply mustn’t make a fuss and that to take action signifies that you’re not particular person, it’s very straightforward to simply put up and shut up and settle for what society has informed you about how you need to behave as a lady. That is when as a society we find yourself with girls being afraid to stay as much as their potential as a result of, due to conditioning, they really feel with a view to have their voice heard, they are going to be seen as being troublesome.

For those who proceed to be quiet for the sake of not upsetting anybody, you’ll by no means have your pleased ever after. Be robust sufficient to query the ability of conditioning and get up for your self, regardless of the implications and I promise you should have a cheerful ever after in the long run.

And She Lived Fortunately Ever After by Deb Durbin is accessible from and from wherever books are offered.



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