Donald trump infamously called Hillary Clinton a “nasty, nasty woman” in the final presidential debate. I have done a lot of soul searching recently, especially following his presidential win, to understand the true meaning of this phrase for those like Trump, and for me.
I have concluded that being a nasty woman comes down to a single defining characteristic: complete lack of interest in validation from men.
There are many powerful and inspirational women in this country that will never have the title of “nasty woman.” We have feminist icons like Gloria Steinem and Betty Freidan who would most certainly fit the nasty woman bill but what about their younger counterparts? Do they even have younger counterparts?
When I think about our current feminist rhetoric I think of Michelle Obama and Sheryl Sandburg (though both icons in their own right), but they are not nasty women. Nasty women do not have their outfits featured in People magazine. Nasty women are probably not the best mothers. Nasty women are certainly not the best wives, in the traditional sense of the word. Nasty women do not have time.
Hillary Clinton epitomizes the phrase nasty woman by living her life for her own personal achievement and making TREMENDOUS personal sacrifice to further her goals. Hillary stayed with her cheating scoundrel of a husband because she wanted to be president.
Being a nasty woman requires an utter disregard for traditional gender roles and the ability to look the patriarchy in the face with a smile, not just hoping you are better than them, but knowing it. If you want to see the nastiest of nasty, watch Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony. She enraged millions of people by maintaining composure during this grueling process while her accusers were loosening their ties and screaming over their desks, Hillary was calmer than I ever seen her.
Nasty women don’t bend. Nasty women don’t care. Nasty women will stand in a room with a husband and all of his accusers and smile and wave. Nasty women are enough for themselves. Nasty women don’t need completion.