“Every woman I know has some creepy or uncomfortable story about a man harassing her. It happens all the time, it’s commonplace, almost like it is ok to do that. It’s not ok.” – Emily Boggs is a student in NYC.
I met Marvell in the L train subway station on First Avenue. She and her two daughters were selling bags of cookies. ” We are a start up,” she explained. “I started by just packaging other people’s products but now we are baking all kinds of things. Natural cookies, from plant-based ingredients.” she said. Marvell’s daughters are home schooled and after they finish schooling at three, they help her with the business. ” My mom wasn’t a business minded woman nor did she have any have inspirations of starting her own business, she was more of a home maker just taking care of the family. I want to instill in my young ladies ideas and ideals, I wasn’t privileged to have learned from my mom about creativity and innovation or how to make a living by doing the things you enjoy and love.” She says that sometimes you learn things too late in life. She wants her girls to be prepared, to learn when they are young. Marvell is glad she is a woman, she says it is special and she likes being feminine. “I don’t think that I have to walk or talk or act like a man to succeed, I can be feminine, I can be a woman.” What she doesn’t like about a being a woman is the way women treat one another. She clarified, “I don’t like social media because women use it to criticize and cut down one another. They will look you over head to toe and comment on social media and then won’t even say hello when they see you in person.”
Jing and her husband have owned Crystal Cleaners and Laundromat on East 20th Street for eight years. “Because I am a woman I am very luck to have babies. I have two happy and smart daughters,” said Jing. “I think maybe in the work world and at school it may be easier to be a woman, but at home it is harder. We have to take care of the home, the food, the children,” she said. For Jing it doesn’t matter that she didn’t have any sons. “In Chinese culture having boys is more celebrated. I am happy that I have two girls but maybe for my family, they would have been happier if I had a son,” she said.