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Girls & Women

Women Reclaim ‘Nasty Woman’ as Their Own Rallying Cry

As Hillary Clinton was explaining her entitlement package during the final presidential debate on Tuesday, Donald Trump leaned into his microphone and muttered, “Such a nasty woman.”

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. 

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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.

Then, people started sharing how they are also “nasty women” with the hashtag #IAmANastyWomanBecause

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.

T-shirts and hats also popped up for sale. This one by Google Ghost donates 50% of its profits to Planned Parenthood. This one is giving 100% profits to Planned Parenthood. 

Or you can really troll Trump with this “Make America Nasty Again” red cap being sold on Easy.

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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.”