Donald Trump’s “nasty woman” comment in the final US presidential debate, although intended as an insult, accidentally sparked an entire movement within the feminist community. Women everywhere are using the term to “celebrate feminine ambition, intelligence, and hard work”, according to Forbes. Regardless of the results, we all know how monumental this election is for women. Because, really, where would we be without a little nastiness?
So, for each day leading up to the 2016 Election Day, here are only a few of the nastiest women in history. Let them act as reminders of how far we’ve come… and how far we’ve yet to go.
On Wednesday, April 19, 1967, Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, even after the race’s organizer tried to tackle her mid-race. Along with figures like Billie Jean King, Kathrine paved the way for female athletes, inspiring lasting interest in women’s sports.
On Thursday, July 20, 1989, Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest for speaking out against the Burmese socialist government. The house arrest lasted 15 nasty years, but it didn’t stop her from climbing the political ranks to become State Counsellor of Myanmar, the position she currently holds.
On Friday, Oct. 10, 2014, Malala Yousafzai, at the age of 17, became the youngest Nobel laureate for her work advocating all children’s right to an education. Malala is also coincidentally the youngest nasty lady on this list, which is almost as big of an honor.
On Saturday, Oct. 10, 1903, Emmeline Pankhurst, with the help of her three nasty daughters, founded the Women’s Social and Political Union, which quickly and notoriously prompted the suffragette movement in Great Britain. (P.S. Emmeline Pankhurst is portrayed by Meryl Streep in the 2015 film, “Suffragette”. I love it when nasty women play other nasty women in movies.)
On Sunday, Aug. 19, 1883, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was born. Raised as an orphan, Chanel would later revolutionize the fashion world, taking elements from men’s clothing to emphasize comfort over the strict constraints of then-popular women’s fashion. As a woman who wears pants almost every day, thanks Coco, ya nasty female.
On Monday, Sept. 8, 1986, The Oprah Winfrey show began broadcasting nationally. As one of the most successful media moguls in history and also one of those rare people you can refer to by only their first name, Oprah is definitely one nasty lady.
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, the original “nasty woman” gets the closest any woman has been to becoming President of the United States. Regardless of what you think of Hillary Clinton, there is a lot to be said about what she has accomplished for women everywhere.
Be sure to rock the ballets on November 8th.