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How to Vote for Women Every Time You Shop
“Women-owned” is becoming such a selling point that it is now stamped on products
My eyes start to glaze as they scan the toilet paper selection at my local Safeway, looking for something more sustainable than your average roll. Then I spy the small but powerful words on a brand I don’t recognize: “Women-Owned.” I haven’t seen this advertising claim before, even though I do read most labels. My heart skips a beat.
A smiling, bright green girl who could be the Jolly Green Giant’s niece holds her hand out like Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune. “Tree Free Green,” the package proclaims. Made from sugar cane and bamboo! Leave it to women to come up with an alternative that is both sustainable and soft. I’m sold!
As I put three packages of toilet paper in my cart, I let myself imagine a new and improved world — a Themyscira (the name of Wonder Woman’s home island) of strong warrior women who will rule justly. Fairly. Sustainably. Maybe while wearing white suits and bright silk scarves…
I scan the aisles and track down the other “women-owned” options — paper towels and napkins — in my local store.
“Votes for Women!” I say to myself, echoing the lively mantra of Mrs. Banks in the original Mary Poppins.
All around me — from the Grammy’s to my own neighborhood — I see women empowering other women. My neighbor, a successful website designer who’s also the cofounder of Awesome Women Entrepreneurs, is now marketing her business to women: “Logo and Website for Women Business Owners,” her email signature says. And she’s hired her niece.
Is this the female ground surge I’ve been hoping for?
Okay, buying toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins from women-owned companies may not seem like that bold a move, but we have to start somewhere. Why not with the most common household goods?
Back home, I’m elated to find there’s a whole site dedicated to women-owned businesses. I can choose low-sugar, whole grain cookies from Katy’s Goodness. Or buy organic, reef-safe sunscreen and facial products from Goddess Garden. Dazzle Dry offers me nontoxic and hypoallergenic nail products. And I remember a woman-owned fair trade tea company I read about, too.
Every dollar I spend can support creative, entrepreneurial women!
Voting with your dollars is a tried-and-true method of affecting change. And you get to vote with your wallet far more often than at your local polling place. With three college girlfriends, I just biked through gorgeous Prince Edward Island using — you guessed it — a woman-owned touring company.
I’ll be voting for women with my cash daily.