Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday's Poetry: "I Am a Nasty Woman"

Shared by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

The crowds who came to Washington, D.C. this past weekend to witness the Trump inauguration were so surprisingly sparse that the media had little choice to report the low turnout.  And while the flagging numbers were newsworthy, what became even more of a story was the way The Donald and his loyal flack, Press Secretary Sean Spicer, felt obliged to inflate the numbers and then accuse the media of intentionally lying.

Someone was lying. alright - and it wasn't the media.

If the Trump team wanted to see what a real crowd looked like, a yuuuggge crowd, all they had to do was to check out the Capitol Mall the next day when the Women's March came to town.  It was a sea of pink crashing up onto the marble shores of government - thousands and thousands and thousands of women and their supporters carrying signs, singing, chanting, and reminding us all that America is more than just a cluster rich old white men sitting on their stock portfolios.  The numbers of people participating in the Women's March easily eclipsed those of the Trumpettes the day before.

And it wasn't just in the nation's capital.  Women marched through major cities - and more than a few minor ones - across the United States, as well as across every populated continent in the world.  It was an international event of epic proportions.

And no one needed to lie about their numbers.

The speakers at the Washington Women's March represented some of the best known and outspoken feminists in America, everyone from Gloria Steinem to Madonna.  Filmmaker Michael Moore was in the process of finishing his remarks to the group when Ashley Judd, the actress, walked out onto the stage and interrupted his closing with, "My name is Ashley Judd and I am a feminist!  And I want to say hello to Independence Avenue in the back, all the way down to 17th Street, and I bring you words from Nina Donovan, a 19-year-old in Middle, Tennessee.  She has given me the privilege of telling you what she has to say."

From there Ms. Judd launched into an impassioned recitation of a poem by Ms. Donovan, a manifesto entitled "I Am a Nasty Woman."  Ms. Judd's famous mother, country music legend Naomi Judd, has said that she hasn't watched some of her daughter's movies due to their containing "profanity, nudity, sex, or violence."  With that proviso in place, Naomi probably was not too pleased with Ashley's recitation of this poem in front of a national audience.  "I Am a Nasty Woman," which harkens back to Trump's accusatory description of Hillary during one of their debates, uses language that will offend many, but it also serves to highlight what the Trump people dismissively and light-heartedly labeled as "locker room talk."

"I Am a Nasty Woman" is a raucous rebuttal to the status quo regarding women as expressed by Donald Trump and people like him.  It is, at its very core, pussy grabbing back.

(This piece is hard to find in written form on the Internet.  The following was taking from a "transcript" of Judd's remarks.  The recitation may be viewed at

I Am a Nasty Woman
by Nina Donovan
(as interpreted by Ashley Judd)

I am a nasty woman.
I'm as nasty as a man who looks like he bathes in Cheetos dust.
A man whose words are a distract to America.
Electoral college-sanctioned,
     hate-speech contaminating this national anthem.
I'm not as nasty as Confederate flags being tattooed across my city.
Maybe the South actually is going to rise again.
Maybe for some it never really fell.
Blacks are still in shackles and graves, just for being black.
Slavery has been reinterpreted as the prison system 
     in front of people who see melanin as animal skin.
I am not as nasty as a swastika painted on a pride flag,
     and I didn't know devils could be resurrected,
     but I feel Hitler in these streets.
A mustache traded for a toupee.
Nazis renamed the Cabinet Electoral Conversion Therapy,
     the new gas chambers shaming the gay out of America,
     turning rainbows into suicide.
I am not as nasty as racism, fraud, conflict of interest, 
     homophobia, sexual assault, transphobia, white supremacy,
     misogyny, ignorance, white privilege - 
your daughter being your favorite sex symbol,
     like your wet dreams infused with your own genes.

Yeah, I'm a nasty woman - a loud, vulgar, proud woman.

I am not nasty like the combo of Trump and Pence
     being served up to me in my voting booths.
I am nasty like the battles my grandmothers fought
     to get me into that voting booth.
I'm nasty like the fight for wage equality.
Scarlett Johansson, why were the female actors paid 
     less than half of what the male actors earned last year?
See, even when we do go into higher paying jobs,
     our wages are still cut with blades sharpened by testosterone.
Why is the work of a Black woman and a Hispanic woman
     worth only 63 and 54 cents of a white man's privileged daughter?
This is not a feminist myth.  
This is inequality. 
So we are not here to be debunked.
We are here to be respected.
We are here to be nasty.

I am nasty like my bloodstains on my bed sheets.
We don't actually choose if and when to have our periods.
Believe me if we could some of us would.
We do not like throwing away our favorite pairs of underpants.
Tell me, why are pads and tampons still taxed 
     when Viagra and Rogaine are not?
Is your erection really more 
     than protecting the sacred messy part of my womanhood?
Is the bloodstain on my jeans more embarrassing
     than the thinning of your hair?

I know it is hard to look at your own entitlement and privilege.
You may be afraid of the truth.
I am unafraid to be honest.
It may sound petty bringing up a few extra cents.
It adds up to a pile of change I have yet to see in my country.
I can't see.
My eyes are too busy praying to my feet 
    hoping you don't mistake eye contact for wanting physical contact.
Half my life I have zipping up my smile 
     hoping you don think I want to unzip your jeans.
I am unafraid to be nasty because I am nasty
     like Susan, Elizabeth, Eleanor, Amelia, Rosa, Gloria,  
     Condoleezza, Sonia, Malala, Michelle, Hillary!

And our pussies ain't for grabbing.
They're for reminding you that our walls are stronger
     than America's ever will be.
Our pussies are for our pleasure.  
They are for birthing new generations of filthy, vulgar, nasty, proud, 
     Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, you name it,
     for new generations of nasty women.
So if you are a nasty woman, or you love someone who is,
     let me hear you say,
     "hell, yeah!"

 Hell, yeah!

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