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

Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump's America
Edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding, 2017

Read Harder 2018 - an essay anthology

Premise: Twenty-three powerful, intersectional perspectives on feminism and women in America today.

Last year I tried reading a few books of reactions and essays on the current political situation, and I kept getting bogged down in things I already knew or perspectives I didn't appreciate. This is the book I was waiting for.

I don't agree immediately with every point that every author has to say, and some of them contradict each other. On some level, that is the point.

This is a book that personalizes a broad cross-section of women's experience, including women of every color and creed. Women who are afraid for their healthcare and women who are afraid for their children. Women who work in global health or reproductive rights. Women who face racism, misogyny, or transphobia personally, or try to dismantle it on behalf of others. Women who don't trust any party in the American political system and women who worked wholeheartedly on Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Some personal highlights: Nicole Chung on dealing with her conservative, adoptive family. Kera Bolonik writes about being a Jewish lesbian raising a black son. Sady Doyle on how muddying the lines between mental health and immorality protects abusers. Kate Harding writes a powerful and nuanced piece about racism, sexism, and understanding the complicated relationship between the early women's suffrage movement and abolitionists/early civil rights movement. Cheryl Strayed pours out political heartbreak onto the page like no one else.

For me, the strength of the book was that while I clutched as if to a life-preserver some authors' words that crystallized and spoke to so much of what I have felt, I was also invited to sit with other perspectives. It's intended to make you face what it means to be intersectional, and the last few essays make that crystal clear.

The authors are asking you to see them, to see their individual pains and worries and struggles, and then to stand for a progressive, inclusive future. And if you don't understand every point, every perspective yet, don't blame yourself, but don't give up on being compassionate and able to grow.

5 Stars - An Awesome Book


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