Nasty Women edited by Heather McDaid & Laura Jones
New independent UK publisher 404 Ink brings us Nasty Women, a collection of twenty-one essays on what it means to be a woman in the 21st century. This book was funded in just three days via the crowd funding website Kickstarter, after Donald Trump referred to Hilary Clinton as a ‘nasty woman’ during the 2016 presidential elections. These essays reclaim the term and cover issues from contraception, to skin colour and sexual orientation.
The last year has been a been one gut-wrenching shock after another when it comes to politics and human rights. I am continually disheartened and appalled that a man who has openly admitted to sexual assault has become the US president. Are generations of children meant to look up to this? Are they meant to be inspired by a racist, sexist man who’s signing away human rights for anyone who doesn’t fit his idea of the ideal American? This collection meets recent these emotive events head-on.
The book opens with Independence Day by Katie Murial, one of my favourite essay in the collection. Her personal account of Trump’s effect on her family is painfully honest and a terrifying insight into his impact on her world. Lament: Living with the Consequences of Contraception by Jen McGregor also makes for impactful reading, covering a topic that is barely covered in current media, even though it affects a huge percentage of our population. Her love/hate relationship with the contraceptive injection Depo-Provera (the drug that led to me being diagnosed as pre-cancerous in my early twenties) highlights just one of the choices women have to make and the consequences we often aren’t informed of.
Yes, this is a collection of feminist essays but please don’t think that means this is just for women. This collection is packed with important, beautifully written and vibrant accounts and opinions that make for great reading no matter who you are or where you come from. These women’s stories are often devastating but their voices are inspiring and their passion for change is contagious. Congratulations ladies, you’ve left me proud to be a Nasty Woman.
If you like this you’ll love I Call Myself a Feminist.