With intolerance and inequality increasingly normalised by the day, it’s more important than ever for women to share their experiences. We must hold the truth to account in the midst of sensationalism and international political turmoil. Nasty Women is a collection of essays, interviews and accounts on what it is to be a woman in the 21st century.

People, politics, pressure, punk – From working class experience to racial divides in Trump’s America, being a child of immigrants, to sexual assault, Brexit, pregnancy, contraception, identity, family, finding a voice online, role models and more, Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!, Zeba Talkhani, Chitra Ramaswamy are just a few of the incredible women who share their experience here.

Keep telling your stories, and tell them loud. (via Goodreads)

I received an eARC from Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, 404 Ink, in exchange for an honest review.

I reviewed the Radical Hope Anthology written by US authors of all walks of life in response to November 8’s results. The Nasty Women collection is the un-related UK response to the same events, and it was good.

Content notes for suicide and sexual assault were included in the title header for the applicable stories, which I thought was a great way to do it. I know there’s been some discussion about the best way to do this, but I liked the way this was laid out. You couldn’t read the title of the piece without seeing that there was a content warning.

“Names” by Nadine Aisha Jassat spoke incredibly clearly to me. I have had four people in my life pronounce my name correctly outside of my immediate family. Even some of my aunts and uncles cannot pronounce my name, or spell it correctly. I’ve turned it into a conversation point and a bit of a joke, but I definitely judge whether people are worth hanging out with by how long it takes them to learn my name.

I loved the footnotes that went into this collection. If one of these concepts was confusing, or you wanted to learn more about it, you could easily find out where to get more of it. I’m not sure how accessible the sources are, because a lot of them are UK academic sources, but they are clearly labelled.

However, some of these articles got incredibly academic, which kind of dragged the collection down for me, personally. I found myself skimming some of the heavier essays, which wasn’t great, considering I’m pretty much the intended audience for this collection.

That being said, I loved a lot of the essays in this collection, and would definitely recommend it to people who loved Radical Hope. Nasty Women was a three star read for me, though some of the individual essays were five if they were on their own. You can pick up a copy on Amazon!

three stars

“I know there will be many bumps in the road ahead. I know that I may not have gone through the worst that will be thrown at me, and I know I have many choices ahead of me. Choosing to tell my story was just one of them.”  – Rowan C. Clarke in “Choices”

Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of it.

2 thoughts on “Review:: Nasty Women Anthology”

  1. The problem with Nadine Aisha Jassat’s essay is that never once did she say how her name ought to be pronounced! How are we supposed to know if no one ever tells us?!

    (I notice you don’t tell us how yours is to be pronounced either – not even in the ‘about’ section!)

    The impression I was left with was that the problem was only with her first name being inexplicably heard (or seen) as Nadia instead of Nadine, which is bad enough, I agree, but after reading her essay, I felt like she was reducing herself to her name – like without that, she was nothing at all, and I honestly cannot believe that.

    I have problems with my name (it’s ee-an, not eye-an, and ‘Wood’, not ‘Woods’), but I don’t let that define me.

    But i liked your review. I thought it was spot on.

    1. Both Nadine and Aisha are very common names, and honestly very easy to pronounce if you take the time to look at them. However, most people don’t take the time to do it, or to say “I’m not sure how to pronounce this can you help me?”
      Names are so incredibly important. I’ve had four people *in my 24 years of life* who are not immediately related to me get my name right on the first try. I’ve had people willfully refuse to call me by the right name for years on end. It’s incredibly dehumanizing, and really shows that the person does not care that that isn’t actually your name. Names are so much a part of who we are, that I have to disagree with you there.

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