During a press conference about the United States’ increase in coronavirus testing on Tuesday, Donald Trump walked out after being asked some “nasty” questions. “Nasty” seems to be the descriptor of choice for Trump when it comes to talking about women. In 2016, Trump famously called Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman” during their final presidential debate.
Four years later, he’s still calling women “nasty” as a way to degrade women publicly. The use of this word, rather than an offensive expletive, I would argue, means that others will believe that it’s the woman who is in the wrong. She is being rude or mean for no reason, and it’s Trump who is the innocent victim of the abusive tirade of “nasty women”.
Trump’s Temper Tantrum
During the press conference, Trump called on journalist, Weijia Jiang, who asked why the President was seeing coronavirus testing as a global competition that the US had to win. The US already has the highest number of active cases and deaths in comparison to other countries around the world.
In response to Jiang’s question, Trump said “maybe that’s a question you should ask China”. Jiang is of Asian descent, and attempted to question the President why he would say that specifically to her. “I’m not saying it specifically to anybody. I’m saying it to anybody that would ask a nasty question like that”, he replied.
In an attempt to cut Jiang off, Trump moved onto fellow journalist, Kaitlan Collins, who allowed Jiang to continue her questioning. Collins then attempted to ask her own questions, but Trump refused her, saying “you didn’t respond, and now I’m calling on the young lady in the back”. Collins tried to defend her decision to let Jiang continue, at which point Trump abruptly ended the press conference.
Nasty Women, To The Front
The President’s unprofessionalism is always revealed most clearly when he is interacting with female reporters—@kaitlancollins, @weijia, and @Yamiche specifically come to mind—who conduct themselves calmly and professionally in response.
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) May 11, 2020
Perhaps he was telling the truth when he said that he was “saying it to anybody”, but I believe that his actions towards Jiang and Collins further highlight his sexist attitudes towards women. We can see these attitudes demonstrated in the ways in which he talks about women, especially in his infamous “grab them by the p***y” quote. The whole conversation from that day is super disgusting, really. He has no respect for women as anything other than objects to be ogled or “moved on like a bitch” (legit an actual quote from DT).
Trump also labelled the Mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, “nasty” in 2017 after she criticised his administration for its lack of response to the Hurricane Maria disaster. Then, in 2019, he called a number of women “nasty”, including Californian Senator, Kamala Harris, Meghan Markle, and House speaker, Nancy Pelosi.
“Nasty woman” has become a viral call out for women around the world to dismantle patriarchal systems and put a stop to misogyny. I remember in one of my very first gender studies lectures in 2017 at uni, my lecturer wore a t-shirt with the phrase “nasty woman” across the front, and I thought that she was amazing. As weird as it sounds, seeing Trump continue to call women “nasty” for actions that, if said or done by men would grant them respect, gives me hope that women are doing the right thing in dismantling patriarchal systems. I hope to see more “nasty women” rise up in the future.
Image Source: Instagram, Trump Meets The Internet (@trumpmeetstheinternet)