In the late hours of October 8, 2017, wildfires broke out across the Sonoma, Mendocino, and Napa counties in Northern California. Authorities are still trying to determine what caused these fires, and are speculating that power lines and high winds are to blame. The most destructive of these fires is the Tubbs Fire, which scorched more than 36,000 acres, destroying thousands of homes and businesses in Santa Rosa. Whole neighborhoods have been reduced to ash and rubble, such as the Coffey Park neighborhood. These series of fires have been the most devastating the state has seen in modern history, claiming 43 lives as of October 31, the day the fire was full contained. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials have said that overall, these Northern California fires had collectively scorched 90,000 acres, a collective area nearly the size of New York City.
Nasty Women Unite
On November 8, 2016, the world witnessed real estate television personality and political outsider, Donald Trump, win the presidential election over Hillary Clinton, a seasoned politician, by 77 electoral college votes in one of the most volatile elections the United States has ever experienced. Since November 9, the country has seen an unrelenting response in the form of hundreds of thousands converging on the streets in protest. Worldwide, there have been marches, demonstrations, and riots targeted against the Trump presidency and his policies that he has enacted in his first four months of office.
In the months leading up to the election, Trump repeatedly made misogynistic comments about women, and every week saw a new story about his egregious behaviors toward women. His sexist rhetoric, coupled with allegations of sexual assault, led him to be an unfavorable candidate by many American women. According to the National Election Pool, a collection of American news organizations that provides collected data about the results of election night, 54% of women voted for Hilary Clinton as opposed to the 42% who voted for Donald Trump. Trump’s win in November has left many women, especially those of color and of the LGBTQ community, worried about their futures. In the PerryUndem Gender Equality Report published in January of 2017, 42% of women believe that American women will feel more unsafe under Trump’s presidential rule. Women have channelled their anger, fear, and disappointment into positive activities, by attending protests and making their voices heard.
Protesting promotes an important opportunity for women to not only collectively voice their concerns about what they perceive as a threat to women’s rights, but to the rights of all human beings. Women are fighting for the rights of immigrants, the disabled, people of color, those in the LGBTQ community, and veterans. They care about the impact of climate change on the earth, foreign relations, and establishing a fair living wage. Nasty Women Unite: How Women Today Are Resisting Trump’s America is a visual documentation of the women who feel angry, disheartened, and trepidation over the current political uncertainty in the US. Through photographs, this project gives a female face to the defiance and resistance that is recorded in the news on a daily basis.
Though many women feel vulnerable and uncertain about the future of democracy during these times, these images demonstrate that through despair, women are stronger than ever, and are joined together in a common purpose to stand up for what they believe. These images bear witness to the determination and unrelenting pursuit of women nationwide, who have heard the siren call to rise up and join together in the fight for liberty and justice for all.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
- Maya Angelou, excerpt from Still I Rise, 1978
A woman marches towards the San Francisco ferry building holding her sign, depicting the symbol for feminism, during the Tax March on April 15, 2017. People took to the streets nationwide to demand the release of President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
An estimated 60,000 protestors attended the Women’s March in Oakland on January 21, 2017. This march was just one of hundreds that took place worldwide, where women, men, and children took to the streets to show support for women everywhere, as well as a variety of issues that they feel are threatened by the Trump administration.
Signs lay stacked on the ground at a Human Billboard event outside Rockridge Bart station in Oakland, CA on April 1, 2017. Protestors stood to honor the lives of eight African-American and POC trans women who were murdered in the U.S. in the first 3 months of 2017. Their names are: Jaquarrius Holland, Chyna Gibson, Taja de Jesus, Ciara McElveen, Mesha Caldwell, Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, Keke Collier, Jojo Striker and Alphonza Watson.
A woman poses for a picture, holding her sign high, at the Women’s March in Oakland, California on January 21, 2017.
As the rain pours in San Francisco, a woman marches with thousands of others during the Women’s March on January 21, 2017. For many, the Women’s March helped people feel less alone and more unified after the aftermath of the presidential election. This march, and others, have inspired women to become more politically involved, whether it involves contacting members of Congress or running for political office.
An umbrella in one hand and holding her sign in another, a woman marches with an estimated 100,000 people on the the streets of San Francisco for the Women’s March on January 21, 2017. About a month before the election in November 2016, a 2005 recording of Trump making lewd comments about women was leaked. He brags that because he is a celebrity, he can “grab [women] by the pussy”, which is what the women’s sign references.
A young woman marches with other demonstrators at the People's Climate March in Oakland, CA on April 29, 2017, the 100th day of Trump's presidency. Thousands gathered to stand up for the protection of our environment, our health, and worker's rights. During his campaign and his presidency, Trump has called climate change a hoax, has pulled back restrictions for greenhouse gas emissions at power plants, and even signed an executive order that would expand oil drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.
A young woman stands in the crowd, her backpack adorned with a "Nasty Woman" patch, at the People's Climate March on April 29, 2017 in Oakland, CA. During the third presidential debate, Donald Trump referred to Hillary Clinton as "such a nasty woman". The phrase went viral, with women across the nation reclaiming it as a rallying cry for women's rights.
In downtown San Francisco, CA on April 1, 2017, a woman attends the People's Filibuster, holding up her sign. Put on by the People's Defense, a grassroots organization that encourages Americans to use their voices to take a stand against the corruption occurring in the Trump administration, the People's Filibuster protested the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court.
A group of men and women, dressed in Ghosbuster’s costumes and donning “pussyhats”, take part in the April 15, 2017 Tax March in San Francisco, holding a sign supporting Planned Parenthood. Throughout his political career and before becoming vice president, Mike Pence has supported multiple bills that aim to defund Planned Parenthood. In March 2017, he broke a tie on a legislative bill that allows states to withhold federal funding to health care providers that provide abortion services, like Planned Parenthood. Despite this setback, Planned Parenthood has seen a huge spike in donations and volunteers since Trump won the presidency in November.
A woman holds her rain drenched sign, watching people head towards the Capitol during the March for Science in Washington DC on April 22, 2017. The March for Science took place in more than 600 cities worldwide, and was organized in order to call attention to the important role of science in our everyday lives, and to address Trump and his administrations views on climate change and science.
A woman carries her son on her shoulders as they march towards to Capitol during the March for Science in Washington DC on April 22, 2017.
A young woman stands outside the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), holding up a sign, during the March for Science in Washington DC on April 22, 2017. Scott Pruitt, Trump's appointed Administrator of the EPA, has publicly denied climate change and earlier this year stated that funds for the EPA would be cut by 31%. However, Congress’ recent budget compromise in early May 2017 showed only a minor impact on the EPA budget.
“Still I Rise” has become a popular slogan for protests that have been taking place since Trump’s election in November 2016. Used here at the Women’s March in Oakland, California on January 21, 2017, the slogan is taken from a poem in Maya Angelou’s 1978 Still I Rise book of poetry. It is about determination to rise above difficult times, to persevere in times of hardship and never give up hope. “Still I Rise” has become a battlecry for those in opposition to President Trump’s views and policies on things like women’s rights, the climate and environment, and foreign affairs.
Outside the Capitol lawn in Washington DC, a little girl stands in the rain during the March for Science on April 22, 2017. There is a gender gap in the amount of women participating in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) career fields, which researchers believe is partially because of gender stereotypes that are established during childhood. Because of this, there has been a development in special programs that allow young girls and women to pursue their interest in STEM related fields.