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Gender and racial politics were at the center of the 2016 US presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The election was “historic” because Clinton was the first woman nominated by a major political party for the presidency. Yet the election was also historic in that it generated sustained reflection on the past. Clinton's campaign linked her with suffragist struggles--represented perhaps most poignantly by the parade of visitors to Susan B. Anthony's grave on Election Day--while Trump harnessed nostalgia through his promise to Make America Great Again. This collection of essays looks at the often vitriolic rhetoric that characterized the election: “nasty women” vs. “deplorables”; “bad hombres” and “Crooked Hillary”; analyzing the struggle and its result through the lenses of gender, race, and their intersections, and with particular attention to the roles of memory, performance, narrative, and social media.

Contributors to the volume examine the ways that gender and racial hierarchies intersected and reinforced one another throughout the campaign season. Trump's association of Mexican immigrants with crime, and specifically with rape, for example, drew upon a long history of fearmongering that stereotypes Mexican men--and men of other immigrant and minority groups--as sexual aggressors against white women. At the same time, in response to both Trump's misogynistic rhetoric and the iconic power of Clinton's candidacy, feminist consciousness grew steadily across the nation. This became manifest in a record number of visits on Election Day to Susan B. Anthony's grave in Rochester, NY. Analyzing these phenomena, the volume's contributors--both journalists and academics--engage with prominent debates in their diverse fields, while an epilogue by the editors considers recent ongoing developments like the #metoo movement.


“Christine A. Kray, Tamar W. Carroll, and Hinda Mandell have assembled a superb, interdisciplinary group of authors to analyze a recent political history in which the politics of identity played a large, as yet barely analyzed role. A must-read for organizers, scholars, politicians and students of politics who are trying to reverse the effects of Trumpism on our national political culture.”
--Claire Potter, The New School

“Nasty Women and Bad Hombres does it right. In this volume, an interdisciplinary group of scholars and writers comes together to think through how Donald Trump, a reality-TV star with no political experience, could pull off an electoral upset against Hillary Clinton, an intelligent, highly qualified candidate with years of experience in public service. Among other things, contributors illuminate the functionings of widespread internalized antifeminism among women, hashtag feminism, and slut-shaming; recognize African American women as torchbearers; and consider the use of misogynist and feminist popular cultural artifacts then and now. Simultaneously broad-based and focused, Nasty Women and Bad Hombres does an excellent job of laying out how we got here and pondering what to do next.”
--Micaela di Leonardo, Northwestern University

“Accessible and timely, this collection demonstrates the strength of interdisciplinary collaboration, with strong contributions from historians to political scientists, philosophers to communications scholars, with the added perspective of contemporary feminist activists. The focus on the gendered and racialized rhetoric of the 2016 campaign, and how it mobilized voters, both women and men, makes the collection a valuable contribution to intersectional scholarship of the American presidency.”
--Aidan Smith, Tulane University

Related Material

Upcoming Events

Related Conference: The Uses and Abuses of History in the Trump Era
Rochester Institute of Technology March 28-29, 2019

Table of Contents


The Historical Imagination and Fault Lines of the Electorate - Christine A. Kray and Tamar W. Carroll and Hinda Mandell


From (Castrating) Bitch to (Big) Nuts: Genital Politics in 2016 Election Campaign Paraphernalia - Jane Caputi

Trump in the Land of Oz: Pathologizing Hillary Clinton and the Feminine Body - Roy Schwartzman and Jenni M. Simon

The Border, Bad Hombres, and the Billionaire: Hyper-Masculinity and Anti-Mexican Stereotypes in Trump's 2016 Presidential Campaign - Joshua D. Martin

The Myth of Immigrant Criminality: Early Twentieth-Century Sociological Theory and Trump's Campaign - O. Nicholas Robertson

America, Meet Your New Dad: Tim Kaine and Subordinate Masculinity - Beth L. Boser and R. Brandon Anderson


Please Put Stickers on Shirley Chisholm's Grave: Assessing the Legacy of a Black Feminist Pioneer - Barbara Winslow

Commemoration and Contestation: Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama - Michael J. Brown

Dressing Up for a Campaign: Hillary Clinton, Suffragists, and the Politics of Fashion - Einav Rabinovitch-Fox

100 Years of Campaign Imagery: From Woman Suffrage Postcards to Hillary Clinton - Ana Stevenson

The Impossibilities of Hillary Clinton as a Self-Made Woman - Joanna Weiss


The Woman They Love to Hate: Hillary Clinton and the Evangelicals - Mark Ward Sr.

"Locker Room Talk" as "Small Potatoes": Media, Women of the GOP, and the 2016 Presidential Election - Jiyoung Lee and Carol M. Liebler and Neal J. Powless

"I'm Not Voting for Her": Internalized Misogyny, Feminism, and Gender Consciousness in the 2016 Election - Pamela Aronson

Confronting "Bimbo Eruptions" and the Legacy of Bill Clinton's Scandal: Slut-Shaming and the 2016 Presidential Campaigns - Leora Tanenbaum

How to Turn a Bernie Bro into a Russian Bot - Steve Almond


#WomenCanStopTrump: Intimate Publics in the Twitterverse - Gina Masullo Chen and Kelsey N. Whipple

A Renaissance of Feminist Ritual: Susan B. Anthony's Gravesite on Election Day - Christine A. Kray

Birthing Family Narrative and Baby on Election Day - Hinda Mandell

Left Behind - Rachel Parsons

This is Vienna: Parents of Transgender Children from Pride to Survival in the Aftermath of the 2016 Election - Sally Campbell Galman

Triumph of the Constitution: American Muslims and Religious Liberty - Asma Uddin


"When they go low, we go high": African American Women Torchbearers for Democracy and the 2016 Democratic National Convention - De Anna J. Reese and Delia C. Gillis

Amnesia and Politics in the Mount Hope Cemetery: Toward a Critical History of Race and Gender - Katie Terezakis

Beware! Benevolent Patriarchy: Election 2016 and Why No One Can Save Us but Ourselves - Jamia Wilson

Epilogue: Public Memory, White Supremacy, and Reproductive Justice in the Trump Era - Tamar W. Carroll and Hinda Mandell and Christine A. Kray