Being called ‘nasty’ never felt so liberating as when I read Nasty Women, the new book that has everyone talking.

 

‘Such a nasty woman’, muttered Trump into his microphone, as Hillary calmly and politely continued to answer the question being asked of her during the final presidential debate.

Whilst Mrs Clinton managed to keep herself grounded, the comment struck a chord with women all over the globe and sparked the trending hashtag ‘#IAmANastyWomanBecause’. Across twitter, women showed their support for Hillary, as well as tweeting positive comments about female education and bodily rights.

This month, on International Women’s Day, the phrase got another promotion. This time, it was on the cover of a book: Nasty Women, published by UK-based 404 Ink and released on March 8. The book was funded entirely by a Kickstarter campaign which achieved 369 per cent of its original goal. According to the editor’s note: ‘Nasty Women is a response to and a voice against the dangerous normalisation of right-leaning hatred that currently poisons media across the globe’.

The book comprises of essays written by women from primarily the UK and North America. They cover such topics as racism, punk, witchcraft, Brexit, drag, and of course, Trump. Each has a unique voice and a different story to tell, but all confirm that yes, they are proud to be what Trump would deem as ‘nasty women’.

Having just finished reading the book, I really cannot recommend it enough. I am a white, educated, young and working-class woman, yet I felt I could identify with every essay that was written on these pages. The power, anger, frustration and vitality that comes from each voice is inspiring. You really get a sense of what it means to be a young woman in the Western world today, amidst these turbulent times.

Publications like these are vital in today’s world. When the protests stop and causes forgotten, books like Nasty Women will remind us just how important it was to harness a voice against all the hatred. They will remind people of what was going on, the unhappiness women experienced and the ways in which they sought to make the world a fairer place using the written word.

By documenting our feelings, and more importantly reclaiming the term ‘nasty woman’, women worldwide have shown to those in higher circles that they do have a voice and that it will be heard. They have also shown how criticism and belittling comments are ultimately ineffective. The back pages of the book are dedicated to those that donated to the Kickstarter campaign (not all of them women), showcasing just how many people have been willing to support a cause which gives others a chance to write on their behalf.

The book really is inspiring. I won’t say too much about each essay and its contents, as I do hope that everyone reading this will go and purchase it for themselves. However, hard-hitting topics such as rape survival, fat-shaming, sexist violence and disabilities are all present. The essays show the importance of intersectionality, a relatively new term that looks at the interdependence of issues such as class, racism, gender, etc., to show that they cannot always be examined separately. According to this theory, different women can be united and can relate to every essay, just as I myself did.

People have asked me before what the point of a blog, comment section, or even opinion piece is? Just how many people really want to hear what I have to say about issues in which I am not an expert? Sometimes, I have doubted myself and wondered the same thing too. Reading Nasty Women reminded me of why I write, and why others do too. As the editors of the book said, ‘enough is enough’. Females (and males!) worldwide must recognise this and admit that we all have a right to be nasty if it means saying something that is important to us.