Donald Trump may have intended to insult Hillary Clinton by calling her a “nasty woman” at Wednesday night’s third presidential debate, but—in typical clueless Trump fashion—all he really did was create (another) feminist rallying cry. Almost immediately, Twitter began doing what it does best, as women lined up to proclaim themselves “nasty” and proud of it. Now, less than 48 hours later, you can buy “Nasty Woman” T-shirts, “Nasty Woman” coffee mugs, and all manner of nasty merchandise. There’s even a “Nasty Woman” perfume on the market, with proceeds from its sales going to Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List.
But, despite all this blatant commercialism, no one is benefitting more from Trump’s muttered taunt than Janet Jackson. Because, you see, if Donald Trump had been paying attention top pop culture instead of blowing his dad’s fortune in the ’80s, he’d know that “nasty” isn’t a bad thing—it’s the second single from Janet Jackson’s Control. And streams of the song have gone up 250 percent since the last debate, according to Spotify.
Ironically enough, Jackson wrote “Nasty” as a response to being stalked and sexually harassed by men who would probably dismiss such behavior as inconsequential, like certain bags of spoiled polenta in foreign-made suits that we can think of. As Jackson told Rolling Stone in 1993:
The danger hit home when a couple of guys started stalking me on the street. They were emotionally abusive. Sexually threatening. Instead of running to Jimmy or Terry for protection, I took a stand. I backed them down. That’s how songs like ‘Nasty’ and ‘What Have You Done For Me Lately’ were born, out of a sense of self-defense.
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