I've had the coffee house almost a full year now, and, though I will undoubtedly continue learning every day, I've noticed and learned some striking things, things I didn't necessarily expect, some of which I'll share in a separate blog post. For now, I want to talk about some of the realities of being a woman business owner in, let's be real, a mainly male dominated area. It's 2019 and I feel as though we've come quite far with gender equality. However, that being said, we have a heck of a long way to go still. And that reality isn't always easy to face.
You see, I've noticed things, here and there, some small, others not so much. It's sometimes subtle, but there is definitely a difference in the treatment of women business owners as opposed to that of male business owners. Why? I have no fucking clue. But I'll tell ya, it is completely ridiculous that this still goes on in 2019. But who am I kidding, we live in a world where Donald Trump and Doug Ford are elected and where it becomes law in a US state that a woman can be prosecuted for a miscarriage. I swear, it feels like we're going backwards sometimes.
I've spoken with other female business owners and they've not only noticed the same things I have, but they're just as frustrated as I am. Disrespect, comments of a sexual nature, derogatory comments, and so on and so forth. Plain and obvious disrespect. It's unfortunate but it's a reality women face currently. Big surprise, but I don't like being called 'babe' or 'baby'. I have a name and I'd like you to use it. I don't want you telling me that I'm too emotional or that I should consult my husband. Believe me, if I consulted my husband about these people, he'd be telling me to tell these people where they can shove it. I'm not only a feminist myself, but I'm married to one. I'm definitely not interested in sexual advances and I absolutely HATE when my valid points are dismissed with a sexual inuendo. It's completely disgusting and makes my blood boil.
Gender equality is a BIG issue and despite many efforts that women and some men make, a lot of organizations, groups, committees, etc. are still mostly male dominated. And that's ridiculous too! Women have something to say, and they should be given a voice in these areas. But when I tried to speak up, most of what I got was brush offs and ignorance.
I didn't get into business to be bullied or degraded. And no, those aren't stretches. I may only be 31, I may be a woman, but I have a lot to say and, even if some disagree, I know what I'm doing. And a man's attempt at a casual dismissal of my opinion with a sexual comment will do nothing except make me speak louder and in a more public content (duh, like a blog).
I'm more than willing to action change, but not at the expense of my self worth and self respect. And, I've noticed, it's even harder with small town mentality. Small town politics are not easy to navigate. But anyway, the point I want to make is that I'm a woman who will not be silenced, who will not be disrespected, who will not be ignored, who will not be intimidated and who will continue to push for change. Also, I don't take shit, but it's probably obvious by now.