Elevating the Voices of Women in the Oyster Industry on #IWD
In the spirit of International Women’s Day, I would like thank all the women who have contributed to Lady Oyster and inspired me through their stories. To honor their voices and their invaluable place in the oyster industry across aquaculture, art, research, and hospitality, here are a few quotes I have had the pleasure of collecting.
Let’s continue to celebrate women and push the needle forward in gender equality.
“I was very young and new starting out, a foreigner, and a woman in an overwhelmingly male-dominated industry, and there was an element of proving myself within that environment… Although I was concerned about all those factors, I quickly established a reputation of having strong values of being honest, loyal, and reliable, which worked in my favor. I really enjoy building relationships with people and delivering results.” – Marie-Aude Danguy, Triskell Seafood, Ireland
“I think my farm, business model, and husbandry practices are a great example of how small-scale aquaculture can be highly successful for women in particular.” – Emily Selinger, Emily’s Oysters
“So there. Equipment isn’t a MAN thing. It’s a FARMER thing!” Deborah Keller of Oyster Mom Oysters, after describing her workboats, Ginny and the Beaut, in great length!
“A lot of people consider this industry a little ‘rough and tumble,’ but they’re a very open and accepting group. You connect by caring about oysters as much as they do.” – Isabella Macbeth, Holy City Oyster Maven
“We can talk about ‘aphrodisiacs’ without oversexualizing oysters or women. Let’s discuss the science of why they make you happy.” – Aluxa Lalicker, The Oyster Girls
“I landed the position and later asked them why they chose me over other candidates. My boss said, ‘you were the only person who knew what a FLUPSY was!’” – Nicolette Mariano, Treasure Coast Shellfish
“Art is emotional. I’ve had to yell to be heard my whole life. These little oysters are a lot like me. They’re bold and have been trying to have a voice. There’s a defiance in my paintings across social, gender, or political themes. It’s always about the little guy.” – Nadine Robbins, Nadine Robbins Art
“By 1997…I jumped at the opportunity to formally pursue visual arts by attending Holland College. It was a daily 3 hour round trip. My husband didn’t think I’d be able to handle accepting the lower standard of housekeeping he’d keep. He soon learned that I was willing to step past our teenagers to promptly leave for class each morning and do homework every evening and weekend.” – Debbie Brady, Debbie Brady Photo Art
“After I graduated college though I didn’t really think I could ‘make it’ in the art world…Finally, when I got into my 30s, I realized that I didn’t have to conform my creativity to any art world, and I could make a new kind of space for my own work and passions out there.” – Molly Reeder, Molly Reeder Art
“I love how oysters encourage us to look inside ourselves. As a society, we focus heavily on what we look like and ignore our internal characteristics. We sometimes take our inner gifts for granted. This little creature is soft and delicate but has a strong shell to protect itself. It lives in a turbulent environment of ocean currents but yet it is peaceful and adaptable. It takes all the irritants in its life and turns it into a pearl. Within the space of darkness and shadow lives something light and precious. How can you not be inspired to be more like them.” – Rachel Cobbs, Old Line Oysters
“I was drawn to oyster aquaculture because it is one of the most sustainable fishery practices, it allows me to work outside, it helps to create a resilient coastal community, and cultivates conversation and education around marine environment health.” – Abby Barrows, Long Cove Sea Farm