I'm A Confident Woman, Not A Carnival Barker

I'm A Confident Woman, Not A Carnival Barker

Happy International Women's Day!

Since 2015 I have been selling my luscious goat milk soap. I spent a year prior experimenting with recipes, building a website, and forming a rudimentary business plan. What kicked off my desire to make and sell goat milk soap was my small herd of critically endangered San Clemente Island goats. Being able to showcase this heritage breed on a soap label, and proudly state that each bar contains their milk, was and is appealing to me.

Being a woman farmer and business owner is complex. It's complex in how I'm treated, how people respond to me, and the struggle to be taken seriously.

I have been through many life experiences in my 43 years of life, with many ups and downs, like most people have experienced. Though, some experiences are strikingly ones that are almost exclusively burdens that women bear. I won't go into great detail here, but things from being physically assaulted, with the assaulter facing no consequences. To generally being constantly questioned and belittled. The predictability of these hurdles becomes intolerable some days.

Confidence has morphed and matured over the years. I don't need to put on a show, to make a big scene or put on an act when it comes to running my farm and business. I'm not going to heckle you at a market to get you to "try the world's greatest soap!". Furthermore, I don't make claims that my soap will cure your skin problems or get you a hot date. I have confidence in my skills, my farm goals, and my products.

I see those carnival barkers and snake skin oil salespeople, and it's exhausting. And it makes me wonder if perhaps because of lack of confidence and skill, they are over compensating by putting on a big glitzy show. A show that distracts you from poor quality and misleading information.

Which makes me happy that I am grounded and confident.

To me, confidence isn't necessarily being self-assured. Confidence means being humble, knowing when to self-reflect, admit to mistakes and seek resolution and change. Being comfortable engaging with things outside my comfort zone. And sometimes, being a confident woman seems like a threat to people. Being a confident woman means being ready for a dogpile of criticisms confident men would never be accused of. Derogatory terms come to mind.

Thankfully, I have seen a lot of change over the course of my life. A change toward more human equality, even though we still have a long ways to go.


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