Nasty Women 
is a collection of 23 essays responding to the Great Betrayal that was the 2016 election. Edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding, this collection unites the voices of women with all kinds of identities in contemplation of the world we woke up to on November 9th.

For some reason, the media is far more interested in the belligerent whining of white men and white women whose feelings were hurt by black hands on the steering wheel of state and who were damn sure they didn’t want no woman’s hands driving next. We are supposed to have compassion for all the suffering they endure in their victory.

Meanwhile, the media has no interest in what it feels like to work for and support the candidate who won the most votes, who was the most qualified, only to see a constitutional defect to protect slavery hand the country over to an ignorant, unqualified, thuggish grifter. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a more interesting story. After all, we won the most votes and they got the White House anyway – in large part due to structural failings that should disturb us. After all, two of the last three guys handed the keys to the national car lost the popular vote. That’s no democracy. Why isn’t the media interested in what it feels like to be robbed of America’s promise again?

Thankfully, the editors of Nasty Women are interested. With essays by women who are White, Black, Asian, Latino, Native American, straight, lesbian, transgender, citizens, immigrants, urban, rural, blue state and red state, this is a cross-section of Hillary voting women who have every right to be angry and who have something to say about it. These are voices we are not hearing from enough. These are the real stories of this election.

Nasty Women is as good as anthology like this can be. Not every essay spoke to me and a few of them made me roll my eyes when they fell into the familiar “flawed candidate” rut that prefaced every statement of support for Hillary before the election. She’s not running for anything now, so must we still follow that script? The majority of essays though were affirming, empowering, and challenging pieces that dissected the misogyny than demands we enumerate her flaws before saying anything positive. Sarah Jaffe’s essay was particularly discordant, echoing many of the familiar denunciations of Clinton, even bringing up her very short service on the Wal-Mart board and repeating Sanders’ smears on her character. But that is just one of twenty-three and many are excellent.

I was particularly moved by editor Samhita Mukhopadhyay’s defense of identity politics. It’s appalling that post-election analysis is so shoddy as to suggest abandoning the voters we have in pursuit of voters presumed more worthy because they are white and male. This is not giving up a bird in hand for two in the bush. It’s giving up a bird in hand for a myth in the bush. Rebecca Solnit’s essay was perhaps my favorite. She called out the “flawed candidate” trope in particular and took on the pathology of “progressive” men who hated Clinton. How many of us were floored during the primary by the atavistic hatred of her voiced by men we had always thought of us a liberal, smart, and feminist? Sady Doyle’s essay is important, too, in pointing out how calling Trump crazy is excusing his evil and the evil of those who voted to give him power. Carino Chocano’s essay was another that spoke to me because, to be honest, I am far more angry with those on the left who helped elect Trump by hating Clinton than with those on the right from whom I did not expect better.

Rebecca Solnit’s essay was perhaps my favorite. She called out the “flawed candidate” trope in particular and took on the pathology of “progressive” men who hated Clinton. How many of us were floored during the primary by the atavistic hatred of her voiced by men we had always thought of us a liberal, smart, and feminist? Sady Doyle’s essay is important, too, in pointing out how calling Trump crazy is excusing his evil and the evil of those who voted to give him power. Carino Chocano’s essay was another that spoke to me because, to be honest, I am far more angry with those on the left who helped elect Trump by hating Clinton than with those on the right from whom I did not expect better. Though, on the other hand, Nicole Chung’s essay makes me ask if I should have challenged the Trump voters in my family more. They voted for Trump in spite of Black and Native American family members who will be hurt by Trump’s bigotry. They voted for Trump despite gay, lesbian, and trans children and siblings. What can someone say in the face of that indifference to the human cost of their votes? Their identity as white and rural was more powerful than their identity as sister or brother, mother or father. What can anyone say in the face of that and still be family?

Nasty Women is not comforting unless the notion that other people are just as mad as you are is comforting. What it does is challenge us to not give in, not give up and to pick up the struggle and persist. If you were broken-hearted on November 9th, this won’t mend your heart, but it will pick up and set you in the direction of fixing what breaks us.

I received an e-galley of Nasty Women from Picador through NetGalley.

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