Building on the great strength and cooperation we have shown, across the country and across the world, in support of women at this embattled time, a call went out to make yesterday A Day Without Women—a day when women did not go to work.
Since I work for myself and by myself, I was challenged to find a way to honor this vision. I found myself allied with the many women who can’t take a day off from work because they have no paid leave, like the young woman collecting dirty dishes in the coffee shop yesterday morning. At least I could wear a spot of red as a sign of support, my ACLU button, “Dissent is Patriotic.”
I’m honoring the day by writing about the businesses here in Santa Fe that are owned by women, said to be somewhere around forty percent, and especially to honor the difficulties, the hard, endless work, and the financial barriers in the form of mortgages or other loans these entrepreneurs have faced. Some of these women who are single may now find themselves without health insurance as the new sort-of Republican plan will drop or reduce coverage in that category. Since women outlive men, it seems likely this change will disproportionately affect us.
But that’s another story. My coffee shop is owned by a man—when I first went there, it was owned by a woman—and my favorite neighborhood bookstore is also owned by two men, former employees who, I hope, will now benefit from the principled individuals who respond to Amazon’s hike in rates by finally cutting their link to that repellant would-be monopoly. Amazon has nearly driven independent bookstores out of business by refusing to pay local taxes in order to charge their bewitched customers less. Go to your bookstore. If you can’t bring yourself to pay 2, 3, 4, or 5 dollars more for the book you want, go to the library. Stop feeding the monster.
Here in Santa Fe, our marvelous and marvelously successful bookstore, Collected Works, is owned by a woman, who has prevailed in spite of a few obnoxious people who come only in order to compare prices to Amazon’s. Dorothy Massey has made her bookstore a center for community events. There are a lot of them, presenting speakers, panels and readings, and they are free.
My favorite clothes store is also the child of another brilliant entrepreneur, who succeeds in a notoriously competitive field (big box retailers, on-line shopping) because of her vision. Bodhi Bazaar is the kind of store, and there are only a few of them, where I can’t afford to go often because every time I go, I find something irresistible. Long live the inspiration!
A newcomer, already beloved, to this list is Artful Tea, a charming storefront in the middle of town (and nearly all the shops owned by women are in the middle of town) where the variety of teas offered has dispelled my prejudice against what used to seem to me a tasteless substitute for that other drink. You can try out a tea while you’re there in order to decide on what you want. Again, the owner’s inspiration and hard work is what makes this shop succeed.
These are only a few of the women-owned shops that make Santa Fe special. No matter where you live, think of the difference it could make if you stop shopping online, avoid the big box stores (and here is where ICE is making its sweeps) and spend a couple of dollars more to help women entrepreneurs succeed.
An Article in The Interval, a website devoted to women in theater, on Under-Appreciated Lady Heroes.
From NewMexicoWomen.org, here are some upcoming women’s events in Santa Fe this month:
- Southwest Women’s Law Center for “Celebrating Women’s Stories” on March 30, 6-9 pm in Albuquerque.
- The Center for Gender Equity at Western New Mexico University in Silver City is hosting F-Week, five days of guest speakers and events focusing on gender equity this week. “Repairing the Root of Life with Lyla June: Affirming the Sacredness of Women” is today, March 9, at the Center for Gender Equity from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- Northern New Mexico College’s Office of Equity and Diversity in Española has several upcoming free events that are open to the public, including a screening and discussion of the film Daughters of the Dust on March 16th and a women-of-color led writing workshop on March 23rd.
- Albuquerque’s National Hispanic Cultural Center celebrates women with programming that honors their contributions to dance, music, theatre, art, poetry, films, novels, and much more. Check out their schedule for the month of March.