Nasty woman

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"Nasty woman"
Demonstrator holding "nasty woman" sign at Women's March, Chicago, January 2017
DateOctober 19, 2016[1]
LocationUnited States
Cause2016 United States presidential debates

"Nasty woman" was a phrase used by 2016 US presidential candidate Donald Trump to refer to opponent Hillary Clinton during the third presidential debate.[1][2] The phrase made worldwide news, became a viral call for some women voters, and has also launched a feminist movement by the same name.[3]

The phrase influenced memes,[4] popular culture,[5] books and magazines,[6] art exhibits,[7] and theater and concert productions,[8] and came to be known as a women's rights rallying cry by some in the media.[9][10][11]


On October 19, 2016, during the final presidential debate, Hillary Clinton said she hoped to improve the Social Security program by increasing taxes on the wealthy, commenting that her own Social Security contributions would accordingly go up along with those of her opponent, Donald Trump, "assuming he can't figure out how to get out of it." Trump immediately retorted, "Such a nasty woman." His comment sparked an immediate reaction on various social media platforms, having the biggest response from Twitter. Women, and some men, embraced Trump's insult and turned it into a hashtag. Some users even referenced Janet Jackson's 1986 single "Nasty". Considered the female equivalent of Trump's "bad hombres", "nasty woman" became an international rallying cry for feminist women in defiance of Trump.[12]


Women's March Topeka, KS 2017
Women's March in Topeka, Kansas, 2017

The Nasty Woman Movement is a movement that launched in 2016 as a result of a comment made by then-Presidential nominee Donald Trump. The phrase has been used by many feminists that describe themselves as being "just as nasty – maybe even more nasty – than the woman [Hillary Clinton] Trump had attempted to denigrate, via a weaponized mutter."[13] The term is associated with the goals of the Women's Movement through a poem, "I Am a Nasty Woman", which was recited at the Women's March on Washington.[14] Its intent is to reclaim the pejorative term 'nasty'.[15] "The phrase [nasty woman] became a rallying cry for women everywhere",[16] and it has generated merchandise that bears the term 'nasty woman'.[17] Also, projects and exhibitions have used the term for their efforts to fundraise for Planned Parenthood.[18] Some celebrities favor the phrase, wearing 'nasty woman' T-shirts and expressing their support.[19] The support was most notable on Twitter, where the phrase was, approvingly, tweeted about.[20]


Various offshoot independent projects from the Nasty Women Movement have raised funds for the organization Planned Parenthood. The fundraising is in direct response to President Donald Trump's conservative anti-abortion agenda to cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood due to their abortion services.[21]

Nasty Women Project: Voices from the Resistance[edit]

Nasty Women Project: Voices from the Resistance is a book compiling a collection of empowering stories from "Nasty Women" around the nation that were affected emotionally or in other ways by the 2016 election that resulted in Donald Trump getting the nomination.[22] The book was published "to fight the threat of misogyny and oppression overtaking our nation" with 100% of the proceeds going directly to funding Planned Parenthood.[23] The book is "not a project to shed the limelight or give the glory to any one person. It is to chronicle and be a reminder of where we have been, where we will go, what we are capable of doing and what we will do, as women, mothers, daughters, sisters, friends."[24] Writers Margaret Atwood, Louise O'Neill, and Nikesh Shukla have voiced their appreciation for The Nasty Women Project.[25]

"Nasty Woman" Apparel[edit]

Sales from the viral "Nasty Woman" T-shirt, created by Amanda Brinkman[26] and worn by various celebrities and many others involved in the movement, have thus far raised over $130,000 for Planned Parenthood.[27] Google Ghost has since rebranded as Shrill Society[28] and created other products revolving around the Nasty Women Movement, continuing to donate a percentage of all their merchandise sales to charitable organizations. Some of their new merchandise includes a "Year of the Nasty Woman" planner, also known as the "Fuck Trump Action Planner," that features inspiring quotes from other female leaders along with ideas of various ways to take action during Trump's presidency.[29] Other independent designers have also created merchandise with portions of the proceeds going to Planned Parenthood.[30]

Nasty Women Exhibition[edit]

Another large contributor is the global art and activism movement Nasty Women, which has held various art exhibits internationally featuring artists from around the world with 100% of the proceeds going directly to Planned Parenthood.[31] One of the projects creators, Roxanne Jackson, explained that the exhibits have an open submission process that accepts "all submitted artwork for this show, regardless of content, as we are focusing on the solidarity of women coming together to object the Trump regime, rather than curating a more typical exhibition."[32] The other co-director of the movement Jessamyn Fiore sees the art exhibit as a demonstration of "the power of our collective strength and determination and creativity and compassion. We will not tolerate any move backwards in time in terms of the policies that affect my body, my health, my quality of life, my freedom."[31] The creators asked artists to price their pieces at $100 or less so anyone can afford them. Fiore explained, "I want audience members who have never bought a work of art before to come to the exhibition and be moved by the experience and fall in love with a piece and think '$30, yeah I can afford that, and I'm helping Planned Parenthood!'"[32] Thus far, the Nasty Women exhibitions have raised over $180,000 for Planned Parenthood.[33]

Popular culture and reception[edit]

T-shirts, apparel and products[edit]

Women's March protest

The Nasty Woman t-shirt designed by Shrill Society was created during the 2016 debate and made available for purchase online, with half of the proceeds pledged to fund Planned Parenthood.[34] The t-shirt went viral and attracted national media attention overnight,[35] with celebrities such as Will Ferrell, Katy Perry, Kristen Bell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus all wearing them publicly and posting their support on social media outlets. The t-shirt quickly became a symbol for the movement.[36]

In July 2017, Samantha Bee's "Nasty Woman Shirt" campaign raised over $1 million (~$1.1 million in 2021) for Planned Parenthood.[37] In addition to apparel, other women-owned businesses and brands launched products with philanthropic components. Founded by Meg Hursh Murray in 2016, Nasty Woman Wines produces "unapologetically feminist wines on a mission" donating 20% of net profits to organizations that help drive equality and representation for all.[38] Nasty Woman Lip Gloss produces cruelty-free, vegan cosmetics with a mission of gender quality and proceeds of sales supporting organizations that value of empowerment and equality.[39] Shrill Society created a Nasty Woman Card Game to get players talking about politics, feminism and current events.[29] Published by Penguin Random House, it was released in August 2018.

In the media[edit]

The media has supplied support to the nasty women project with the types of articles written about the subject. BuzzFeed has written several articles about the Nasty Women Project, giving the topic more air in the social media sense.[40][41] Various media outlets such as NPR, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, and many more, all covered aspects of Nasty Women.[42] Saturday Night Live also performed a skit featuring Nasty Woman and Bad Hombres.[43] The reclaiming of the title "nasty woman" has been viewed in a mostly favorable way by the political left, with Senator Elizabeth Warren using the "nasty woman" quote as a call for women to vote against Trump on election day.[44] However, some right wing sources and groups take issue with the Women's March and "nasty women", viewing the movement as crude, aggressive, and/or misinformed.[45][46][47]

Nina Mariah Donovan, a teenage poetry slam artist, created a poem in response entitled "Nasty Woman" that actress Ashley Judd performed at the 2017 Women's March following Donald Trump's inauguration as President of the United States.[48][49][50][51]

The 2018 science-fiction film Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom contained an allusion to the quote, the villainous character Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine) describing Dr. Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda) as a "nasty woman".[52][53][54][55]

Rodes Rollins, a singer-songwriter, released "Nasty Woman" in April 2018, "a song centered on the themes of female empowerment and pride".[56]

In the ABC series Scandal, main character Olivia Pope tells future president Melody Grant that anytime a woman is in defiance of a man she will be perceived as a "nasty woman", referencing Donald Trump's comments.

"Nasty Woman" on Twitter[edit]

The #NastyWoman hashtag became popular on social media outlets almost immediately after Donald Trump made the offhanded comment of Hillary Clinton being "such a nasty woman".[57] The hashtag is largely responsible for the immense amount of support and coverage that the movement has gotten. Elizabeth Banks, Jessica Chastain, Chloë Grace Moretz, Denis Leary, Aidy Bryant, Seth Meyers, Yvette Nicole Brown, Patton Oswalt, W. Kamau Bell, and Chelsea Handler have all taken to Twitter to criticize Donald Trump's comments and behavior during the presidential debates, particularly in regard to his "nasty woman" comment.[58]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Woolf, Nicky (October 20, 2016). "'Nasty woman': Trump attacks Clinton during final debate". The Guardian.
  2. ^ WITW Staff (January 23, 2017). "'Nasty Woman' poem performed by Ashley Judd at Women's March written by 19-year-old Nina Donovan". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 26, 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  3. ^ Gray, Emma (October 20, 2016). "How 'Nasty Woman' Became A Viral Call For Solidarity". The Huffington Post.
  4. ^ Sanders, Sam (October 20, 2016). "#MemeOfTheWeek: Nasty Woman, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton And Janet Jackson". NPR.
  5. ^ Fretts, Bruce (November 20, 2016). "Jessica Chastain's 'Miss Sloan' Echoes Campaign Rhetoric". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Murray, Georgia (March 13, 2017). "Nasty Women, this new book is for you". Evening Standard. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  7. ^ Furman, Anna (January 13, 2017). "Nasty Women art exhibit aims at taking power back from Trump". The Guardian.
  8. ^ Wren, Celia (March 21, 2017). "'Nasty Women Rep' grapples with sexuality, society". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  9. ^ Garber, Megan (October 12, 2016). "'Nasty': A Feminist History". The Atlantic.
  10. ^ Jones, Ann (November 1, 2016). "Nasty Women". The Huffington Post.
  11. ^ Siddiqui, Sabrina; Gambino, Lauren; Redden, Molly; Walters, Joanna (January 22, 2017). "'This is just the beginning': women who marched against Trump vow to fight on". The Guardian.
  12. ^ Thorpe, JR. "The Origins Of "Nasty" As A Word & Insult To Women". Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  13. ^ Garber, Megan (October 20, 2016). "'Nasty': A Feminist History". The Atlantic. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  14. ^ Kelley, Seth (January 21, 2017). "Ashley Judd Recites 'I am a Nasty Woman' Poem at Women's March on Washington". Variety. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  15. ^ Reinstein, Julia. "Women Are Reclaiming Their 'Nastiness' After Trump Called Clinton 'Nasty' During The Debate". BuzzFeed. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  16. ^ Carothers, Cassie. "Women Reclaim 'Nasty Woman' as Their own Rallying Cry". Global Citizen. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  17. ^ Hatch, Jenavieve (October 20, 2016). "18 Perfect Pieces Of Merch For The Nasty Woman In All Of Us". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  18. ^ Pearson, Catherine (January 6, 2017). "A Guide to Feminist Swag That Gives Back to Planned Parenthood". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  19. ^ Wolfgang, Ben. "Clinton Seizes Upon 'Nasty Woman' as Trump takes Verbal Self-Destruction to New Heights". The Washington Times. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  20. ^ Weaver, Hilary (October 20, 2016). "Celebrities React to Trump Calling Clinton 'Such a Nasty Woman'". Vanity Fair. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  21. ^ Gillin, Joshua. "Updated - Trump-O-Meter: Defund Planned Parenthood". PolitiFact. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  22. ^ Passons, Erin (April 17, 2017). "Mission Statement | Nasty Women Book Project". Nasty Women Project.
  23. ^ "Learn About Our Purpose". Nasty Women Project. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  24. ^ Kelly, Chris (January 6, 2017). "Paul Ryan Is Underestimating Nasty Women". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  25. ^ Crum, Maddie (January 17, 2017). "'Nasty Women' Is The Intersectional Essay Collection Feminists Need". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  26. ^ Times-Picayune, Doug MacCash, NOLA com |. "New Orleans designer's 'Nasty Woman' T-shirt goes viral". Retrieved May 5, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  27. ^ "Sales of 'Nasty Woman' T-Shirts Raise More Than $100,000 for Planned Parenthood". People. December 21, 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  28. ^ Talati-Parikh, Sitanshi (March 30, 2018). "The enduring appeal of the slogan tee". Livemint. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  29. ^ a b Mercado, Mia. "This New "Nasty Woman" Card Game Will Have You & Your Friends Howling With Laughter". Bustle. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  30. ^ Pearson, Catherine (January 6, 2017). "A Guide To Feminist Swag That Gives Back To Planned Parenthood". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  31. ^ a b Furman, Anna (January 13, 2017). "Nasty Women art exhibit aims at taking power back from Trump". The Guardian. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  32. ^ a b "The Nasty Women Exhibition is Art's Answer to Trump's Nearing Presidency". Creators (Vice). Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  33. ^ "Nasty Women". Nasty Women. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  34. ^ Landsbaum, Claire. "'Nasty Woman' T-Shirt Raises More Than $100,000 for Planned Parenthood". The Cut. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  35. ^ Gupta, Prachi (October 20, 2016). "Donald Trump's Insult Inspires 'Nasty Woman' T-Shirt". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  36. ^ "This "Nasty Woman" T-Shirt Has Raised Over $100,000 for Planned Parenthood". Cosmopolitan. December 21, 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  37. ^ O'Connell, Michael (July 13, 2017). "'Nasty Woman' (and Emmy Nominee) Samantha Bee Hits $1 Million Goal for Planned Parenthood". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  38. ^ "Nasty Woman Wines". Nasty Woman Wines.
  39. ^ "Nasty Woman Cosmetics: Cruelty Free, Vegan Cosmetics and Apparel". Nasty Woman Cosmetics.
  40. ^ "36 Songs All Nasty Women Need". BuzzFeed. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  41. ^ "Women Are Reclaiming Their 'Nastiness' After Trump Called Clinton 'Nasty' During The Debate". BuzzFeed. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  42. ^ "PRESS". Nasty Women. December 15, 2016. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  43. ^ "See 'SNL' Mock Trump's 'Bad Hombres', 'Nasty Woman' in Debate Sketch". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  44. ^ Khalid, Asma. "Elizabeth Warren Rallies 'Nasty Women' To Vote For Clinton". NPR. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  45. ^ Miller, Stephen (January 24, 2017). "Our Children Are Watching: 'Nasty Women' Spout Anti-Trump Vulgarities at Women's March". Heat Street. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  46. ^ Moore, Steve (January 23, 2017). "Steve Moore: What I learned at the Women's March". Fox News. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  47. ^ Smith, Kyle (April 19, 2017). "Meet The Terrorist Behind The Next Women's March". Fox Nation. Archived from the original on February 26, 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  48. ^ Balakit, Melanie (January 21, 2017). "Tenn. teen wrote Ashley Judd's 'Nasty Woman' poem". USA Today.
  49. ^ Kelley, Seth (January 21, 2017). "Ashley Judd Recites 'I Am a Nasty Woman' Poem at Women's March on Washington". Variety.
  50. ^ Rosen, Christopher (January 23, 2017). "Ashley Judd recites powerful 'Nasty Woman' poem at Women's March". Entertainment Weekly.
  51. ^ Blay, Zeba (January 21, 2017). "Ashley Judd Fires Up Women's March With Stirring 'Nasty Woman' Performance". The Huffington Post.
  52. ^ Grebey, James. "'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Is Weirdly, Impotently Anti-Trump". Inverse.
  53. ^ "How A Nasty Woman Line Ended Up In Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom". CinemaBlend. June 27, 2018.
  54. ^ "There are some very subtle Donald Trump jokes in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom". Radio Times.
  55. ^ Bunch, Sonny (June 21, 2018). "'Jurassic World' and the decline of the quip". The Washington Post.
  56. ^ Scrudato, Ken (April 26, 2018). "BLACKBOOK PREMIERE: Rodes Rollins' Fearlessly Feminist New Single 'Nasty Woman'". BlackBook.
  57. ^ "Women On Social Media Respond To Trump Calling Clinton A 'Nasty Woman'". NPR. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  58. ^ Weaver, Hilary. "Celebrities React to Trump Calling Clinton 'Such a Nasty Woman'". Vanity Fair. Retrieved April 19, 2017.

External links[edit]