This past year the world heard over and over again the now infamous phrase "Nasty Woman". A phrase coined by a "man" who meant it to be an insult, who wanted to degrade his competitor. A phrase that was meant to indicate that his competitor was not the docile housewife who only speaks when spoken to. In reality, his competitor was a woman who despite obstacles and people telling her she couldn't at every turn, clawed tooth and nail to the top. She was a woman who did not take his shit. In my life I am honoured to be surrounded by "Nasty Women". It is nasty women who have shaped me into who I am today.
I am shaped by the women who are making the term #GirlBoss a reality and inspiring the next generation of female entrepreneurs. For years the media has portrayed women as "catty" or "crazy", it is the "Nasty" women who are shattering that stereotype by supporting each other and valuing collaboration over competition. Companies with women on their board statistically do better than those without. Businesses ran by women are more likely to weather economic downturn. Only 35.6% of all self employed persons are women, let's make that number grow!
It is "Nasty Women" who speak up when they see injustice happening. At a local St. John's restaurant, a prominent St. John's business man was loudly making racial slurs and gestures. His waitress asked him to quiet down, asked her manager to assist her in quieting the customer who then proceeded to harass her. Finally, at the end of her wits she called him for what he was being, a racist arse hole. She was fired and the racist arse hole still gets to enjoy wing night. Thank you for speaking up. When a police officer took advantage of an intoxicated young woman, women of St. John's banded together to send the young woman cards and let her know she was not alone. When a Halifax taxi driver was found not guilty of sexually assaulting his very intoxicated female passenger, Halifax women banded together to give each other safe rides home. Despite the injustices life throws at us, we are resilient & powerful when we work together.
I admire the women who are somehow managing to raise a family while being in the workforce or running a business, I don't know how you do it. Nasty Women raise another generation of nasty women who believe in themselves and their ability to achieve anything they dream of. It is Nasty Women let their daughters know that if a boy pulls their hair it isn't because that boy likes them, it's because he is a little asshole (but in kinder words).
It is nasty women who have smashed the idea that a woman needs to be wifed up with a house full of children to be fulfilled. They have forged the way for women to have the option to fulfill themselves before settling down, or given women the option to not settle down at all. Because of them, I can live out of a backpack exploring foreign countries on my own.
Nasty Women are Strong Women. May we know strong women, may we raise strong women, may we be strong women.
Acknowledging Some of the Strong Women in My Life
(Left to Right Top to Bottom)
1. Krystal Hobbs (Reflective Marketing) - Thank you for giving me the opportunity to grow in my field of social media marketing and helping me to learn with every project. Your guidance is appreciated.
2. Elyse Blarg (Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship) - Thank you for being the glue that holds MCE together, you support our dreams, help MCE to grow and are always an ear to bounce things off of.
3. Anna Smith (FreeForm Events / Common Ground Coworking) - As a leader you encourage me and my work everyday, your contribution to the community is outstanding and I love that you constantly put your activism into your work. You inspire those around you to do more.
4. Jennifer Trask (Jennifer Trask Coaching) - Our session was the final push I needed to believe in myself enough to start my business. By living your dream you have made me believe mine is possible. You radiate positivity and encouragement and I have no doubt that you will reach your goal of helping a million people.
5. Meranda Hallihan - Thank you for believing in me more than I believe in myself. You will accomplish so much in the field of social work.
6. My Mom & Grandmother - Thank you for teaching me the definition of hard work and for giving me the toolbox to shape me into the woman I am today. Thank you for listening as I bounce all my crazy ideas off of you. Thank you for never making me think I couldn't do something or wasn't good enough.
7. Vanessa Mcevoy (Third Eye Nutrition & Wellness / The Yoga Block) - Thank you for helping me get my business off the ground, for helping me build my first portfolio and for being so encouraging. I can't wait to see what the future holds for your new venture!
8. Tessa Clancy (The Sweet Soaperie) - Thank you for keeping me smelling nice. But also, thank you for your encouraging words and the amazing customer service. Your fortitude in growing the Sweet Soaperie from a hobby to what it is today is an inspiration to many young women entrepreneurs.
9. Beth Saunders - Since I began my business I have learned so much from you and from the feed back you give me. Thank you for connecting me with your network who have also helped me to grow. You are the epitome of collaboration!