Victoria's Reviews > Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump's America

Nasty Women by Samhita Mukhopadhyay
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This was an unfocused, uneven collection of essays, loosely organized around women sharing their experiences—their fears, their disappointments, their sadnesses—under Trump’s presidency. Some of the essays really conveyed that experience; I found these to be revelatory, thought-provoking, and often challenging. Nichole Chung’s “All-American” was the standout essay for me, conveying the complexity of her experience and the various tensions she feels in her different roles in relation to others. How do we speak to family members, to whom we often feel obligated, when they support this man? When we know him to be not just generally vile and dangerous, but specifically vile and dangerous to disenfranchised people to whom we are directly and intimately connected, people to whom these same relatives are directly and intimately connected? Chung was vulnerable and honest in sharing her own struggles in this vein. I also found Sady Doyle’s “The Pathology of Donald Trump” to be a thoughtful meditation on the dangers of armchair-diagnosing Trump with mental illness.

Some of the essays in Nasty Women seemed to be shoehorned into the compilation, however. It is obviously a challenge to achieve consistency in a collection of essays by disparate voices. Nasty Women reflected the tension between the often less challenging and more palatable feminism of cis heterosexual White women and the feminism of other women. The essays by women I’d place in the former category suffered, for me, in trying to establish and defend their bonafides. Essays by women on the fringe, fighting to be accepted, fighting to be heard, were more powerful for me (Meredith Talusan’s “We’ve Always Been Nasty: Why the Feminist Movement Needs Trans Women and Gender Non-Conforming Femmes” being one of these). These women—feminists do not fit the cis, straight White woman package—argue both for a place at the table, or to flip the table and pave their own way. They make a really, really good case.
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Reading Progress

May 24, 2018 – Started Reading
May 24, 2018 – Shelved
May 27, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Joe (new)

Joe Silber Amazing review, Vic!

Victoria Thanks, ☠️! The benefit of low expectations... 🤓

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