Within the closing weeks of the Clinton presidential campaign, staff members found themselves suddenly on edge. Dispatches from Midwestern outposts to the Brooklyn headquarters reported a continued lack of paid canvassers and even worse—voter apathy. No one seemed motivated to get out the vote. Cut to: Nasty Woman.
It’s the third and final debate. Amanda Brinkman is watching from New Orleans when Trump mumbles into his microphone and under his breathe: “such a nasty woman.” Whoa. Hold up. What?
Within an hour Brinkman reclaimatively slapped the now infamous phrase Nasty Woman on top of a bright red heart reminiscent of I Love Lucy on top of a bright white t-shirt and added the product to her side shop, Google Ghost. A few hours later, Twitter and Instagram exploded with the hashtag #nastywoman.
By morning, Brinkman’s ironic symbol of solidarity found itself splashed all over the papers, alongside her promise to donate half of all her proceeds to Planned Parenthood. As of February 2017, she’s donated over $125,000. Talk about renewed enthusiasm.
Brinkman, 32, the creative and operations director of Pelican Bomb, a nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing the visual arts community in New Orleans, is an ironically positioned foster of the Nasty Woman movement because she lacks explicit political affiliation.
Created in response to one of many sexist and discrediting comments from Trump, the Nasty Woman motto above all signifies the universal tenets of feminism and equality. It may not have carried Hillary Clinton into the White House, but it did succeed in bolstering a fresh movement. It’s evolved into a feminist rallying cry.
Three months after the election, Brinkman and her creative partner have not let up on the social activism. Daily action, vocality, and self-care are among the main tenants furthered by the site. In fact, the pair has even developed a feminist activism planner. As Brinkman writes:
"We wanted to highlight important women throughout history who paved the way despite oppression, who resisted, who never compromised. We wanted to create something you could use daily, record your to-dos, your goals, and how you are going to crush the system. The 237-page planner is full of important dates, quotes from inspiring women, actions you can take during Trump’s presidency, and, we hope, a sense of community.”
Nasty Woman/Google Ghost won’t tell you who to vote for, but if you’d like to get involved, it will encourage you to sign up for the Daily Action texts directing you to stay apprised of the latest legislation to affect your region and who to contact, should you like to take action.
In other words, the success of Nasty Woman lies in its empowerment of men and women everywhere to be their own spokesperson.
Social media belongs to us. It’s our realm where the most compelling content is representative of who we are and what we stand for. From celebrity product endorsements to kitschy political campaign tactics, we know when someone is asking us to further someone else’s agenda.
Nasty Woman is a tool for you to craft your agenda— and that’s why it took on a life of its own.
You can buy the “Nasty Woman” shirt on Google Ghost for $25 or you can just donate all $25 directly to Planned Parenthood. The Complicity Cleanse is another recommendation by Amanda and Cameron, as is Smith College’s free online course on the psychology of political activism. Again, Nasty Woman won’t tell you what to do but those resources are great place to start.