After Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman” at the final presidential debate, the internet quickly turned the phrase into a feminist rallying cry. A Hillary Clinton supporter bought the domain name NastyWomenGetShitDone.com and had it redirect to Clinton’s campaign website.
“Nasty woman” became a badass badge of honor and a middle finger to sexism, and yet another entry on the long list of things Trump has said about women that he really shouldn’t have.
Which makes this sexist remark from Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) seem even more stunning: “Sometimes a lady needs to be told when she's being nasty,” Babin said Thursday on The Alan Colmes Show, when Colmes asked him about Trump’s remark toward Clinton.
CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski first reported on and posted the audio clip from the show on Friday. The whole thing is pretty painful to listen to.
Colmes asked Babin if he thought it was appropriate that Trump called Clinton a “nasty woman.”
“You know what, she’s saying some nasty things,” Babin said.
“You think it’s appropriate to call her a nasty woman?” Colmes replied.
“Well, I'm a genteel Southerner, Alan.”
"So that means no?"
“No, I think sometimes a lady needs to be told when she's being nasty,” Babin said.
Colmes pressed Babin repeatedly on whether Clinton hadn’t just said or done “nasty things” but was a “nasty woman.”
Babin repeatedly dodged, again referring to Clinton’s actions and saying he thought “the American people” didn’t really care about this.
“Why are you ducking me?” Colmes said. “You either agree or disagree with Donald Trump.”
“Oh, I agree with him,” Babin said.
Insults like “nasty” are routinely used to try to cut down women in power. Research shows that many people are deeply uncomfortable with seeing women defy female stereotypes or take on more traditionally male-dominated roles.
Babin’s comments are a good reminder that “genteel” sexism is still sexism — and that, indeed, sometimes the worst kind of sexism is the kind that tries to be polite and convince women it’s for their own good.