Bustle’s Rachel Simon wrote an article on the virtues of being a nasty woman, and it was brilliant.
Perhaps now that the present day political situation is such an uncertain crapshoot, it doesn’t seem so exhausting to revisit the presidential debates.
In a night full of insults and promises came a rather defining moment in our now President-Elect’s campaign. As Hillary Clinton defended her plans to raise taxes on the wealthy, Donald Trump interjected, “What a nasty woman.” This came, of course, from a very respectful place — because “no one” respects woman as much as he does.
Trump’s “What a nasty woman” comment was in response to Clinton talking about her plan to “replenish the Social Security Fund.” In doing so, she slighted her opponent, saying: “That’s part of my commitment to raise taxes on the wealthy. My social security payroll contribution will go up, as will Donald’s, assuming he can’t figure out how to get out of it.”
Given Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns and his far from scrupulous (or even well planned) “plans” to somehow disenfranchise himself despite the conflict of interest inherent in his real estate and financial ties, this wasn’t a low blow so much as it was a simple acknowledgment of facts. But don’t mention facts. Facts just don’t seem very American these days. Apparently, they aren’t very feminine either.
Jessica Chastain, known for playing several intelligent, moral and outspoken female protagonists in Zero Dark Thirty and The Martian, and more recently promoting Miss Sloane, can practically be credited with a pseudo feminist rebranding of sorts.
In her interview with Bustle’s Simon, Chastain proudly stated, “I’m a nasty woman. “It’s a strange thing to say, but I’m not going to let someone make me feel bad for succeeding and using my power.”
What could be more American than taking a negative term and turning it into a power statement?
While the article in Bustle explores the theoretical, as its author wonders “if things could’ve been different” had Clinton forfeited just a bit, been less argumentative, been sweeter, the bigger question is whether it’s more important to make fake progress or real progress. Maybe Hillary Clinton’s loss drives home the point that we are not as progressive, not as honest, not as ready for certain traits in certain people (with certain genitalia) as we thought we were.
We are officially a nation more comfortable with a man who contradicts himself within one presidential debate and brags about sexually predatory behavior than we are with a woman who openly supports abortion and speaks proudly about her accomplishments.
In fact, Chastain spoke about that point specifically, saying, “You hear of a woman showing that she cares and that she worked hard, having ambition, wanting to do her job well — it’s not something that typically we celebrate in our society.”
“Women like that are labeled as difficult or as ice queens or almost anti-women.”
Post debates, we are not only entering an era in history where we see deeper, wider divides between generational and political views on sex and race, but we see very definite differences of opinion of what roles any given group should have in society.
All those qualities that the actress highlights — “ambition” and “wanting to do [a] job well” — are traits that make strong leaders … and reliable soldiers.
If you’ve been following the news lately, you’ve likely seen a few headlines about women being included in the draft.
As of this Thursday, our current administration showed support for registering women in the Selective Service, just like our male citizens, as we move forward toward equality.
Personally, I have never been much for the Draft in any form, because I see it as a system that increases the likelihood of weak soldiers, an apathetic nation, and resentful families who fear what the government will do to their children in the name of national security. However, if we are to go by the theory that drafting and recruiting methods are also meant to sort and match individuals to the jobs best suited for them, then it makes no sense to be opposed to drafting women.
Why, after all, would we support equal rights without equal expectations? Not only that, but the citizens of our country who will lead us to victory in any capacity possess many of the same characteristics — completely independent of their gender identity.
This past year has officially brought us to an impending point of decision, where we have to decide if our ideals will collide, coexist, or connect. Perhaps we need more “nasty women” in places of power, and in places of protection.
Top photo of Jessica Chastain from YouTube trailer for Miss Sloan
Megan Wallin is a young writer with a background in the social sciences and an interest in seeking the extraordinary in the mundane. A Seattle native, she finds complaining about the constant drizzle and overabundance of Starbucks coffee therapeutic. With varied work experiences as a residential counselor, preprimary educator, musician, writing tutor and college newspaper reporter/editor, Megan is thrilled to offer a unique perspective through writing, research and open dialogue.