There was a collective gasp across the internet. The candidate had said minutes earlier that “no one has more respect for women” than he does. Soon, the hashtag #nastywoman was trending.
But unlike other viral moments of the debate — like #badhombres, #bigly, and #yourethepuppet — this one struck a chord with women across the US. They quickly adopted "nasty woman" as their own to show that yes, they are nasty women and that’s a good thing.
First, people came out on Twitter to express solidarity with Clinton as a “Nasty Woman” and to rally others to head to the polls.
From one #NastyWoman to another, you were an inspiration last night, @HillaryClinton. -NP— Team Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) October 20, 2016
Are you a bad hombre or a nasty woman? #Debate— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) October 20, 2016
Then, people started sharing how they are also “nasty women” with the hashtag #IAmANastyWomanBecause
#IAmANastyWomanBecause I have self-worth, integrity, compassion & I believe in justice. And I'm raising a daughter to be nasty just like me.— Michelle Monaghan (@realmonaghan) October 20, 2016
#IAmANastyWomanBecause I think we should care about women not just because they are wives, sisters, daughters but because they are humans.— Lindsay Paige (@LinPaige) October 20, 2016
The movement then took on a life off the internet.
Janet Jackson’s song, “Nasty” started spiking on Spotify as people revisited the classic. Streams were up 250% since the debate.
Or you can really troll Trump with this “Make America Nasty Again” red cap being sold on Easy.
It doesn’t stop there. Because it’s October, there are the inevitable Halloween costumes. Bustle made a list of potential “Nasty Women” outfits for women to don this season. No surprise, RBG features high on the list.
While it’s not that surprising that a phrase like this would go viral, or would be reclaimed by women as something to be proud of, it is notable just how quickly all of this transpired.
In the 2012 election, there was Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” comment, which he used when referencing how many female job candidates he considered when he was governor of Massachusetts. The phrase similarly took on a life of its own and became a rallying cry for women everywhere. It spawned countless memes, t-shirts, and even social media networks which still exist today.
There may be no greater creation from this meme so far than this: a spoof fragrance ad — produced by Vox’s Liz Plank, and published by 8 a.m. the morning after the debate — for the scent “Nasty.”
Nasty Woman: the latest fragrance coming to a debate near you pic.twitter.com/1MWQ5D1Imn— Vox (@voxdotcom) October 20, 2016