Ashley Judd was one of the 470,000 people at the women’s march in Washington on Saturday. She was one of countless celebrities to not just attend, but speak. Judd stole the show, however, with her performance of 19-year-old, Nina Donovan’s poem “Nasty Woman”.
While there are some political undertones and references the Trump, the poem speaks to the injustice women have faced for centuries, in all facets of society. From LGBT to black and hispanic women, to the tax on tampons, it hits at the core of the pains every woman feels. At one point, Judd name-checked Scarlett Johansson who also spoke at the march. “Scarlett Johansson, why were the female actors paid less than half of what the male actors earned?” Below is the full transcript of the Judd’s speech along with the poem.
My name is Ashley Judd and I am a feminist. And I want to say hello to Independence Avenue in the back, all the way down to 17th Street, and I bring you words from Nina Donovan, a 19-year-old in Middle, Tennessee. She has given me the privilege of telling you what she has to say:
I am a nasty woman. I’m as nasty as a man who looks like he bathes in Cheetos dust. A man whose words are a distract to America. Electoral college-sanctioned, hate-speech contaminating this national anthem. I’m not as nasty as Confederate flags being tattooed across my city. Maybe the South actually is going to rise again. Maybe for some it never really fell. Blacks are still in shackles and graves, just for being black. Slavery has been reinterpreted as the prison system in front of people who see melanin as animal skin. I am not as nasty as a swastika painted on a pride flag, and I didn’t know devils could be resurrected but I feel Hitler in these streets. A mustache traded for a toupee. Nazis renamed the Cabinet Electoral Conversion Therapy, the new gas chambers shaming the gay out of America, turning rainbows into suicide. I am not as nasty as racism, fraud, conflict of interest, homophobia, sexual assault, transphobia, white supremacy, misogyny, ignorance, white privilege … your daughter being your favorite sex symbol, like your wet dreams infused with your own genes. Yeah, I’m a nasty woman — a loud, vulgar, proud woman.
I am not nasty like the combo of Trump and Pence being served up to me in my voting booths. I’m nasty like the battles my grandmothers fought to get me into that voting booth. I’m nasty like the fight for wage equality. Scarlett Johansson, why were the female actors paid less than half of what the male actors earned last year. See, even when we do go into higher paying jobs our wages are still cut with blades sharpened by testosterone. Why is the work of a black woman and a hispanic woman worth only 63 and 54 cents of a white man’s privileged daughter? This is not a feminist myth. This is inequality. So we are not here to be debunked. We are here to be respected. We are here to be nasty.
I am nasty like my bloodstains on my bed sheets. We don’t actually choose if and when to have our periods. Believe me if we could some of us would. We do not like throwing away our favorite pairs of underpants. Tell me, why are pads and tampons still taxed when Viagra and Rogaine are not? Is your erection really more than protecting the sacred messy part of my womanhood? Is the bloodstain on my jeans more embarrassing than the thinning of your hair?
I know it is hard to look at your own entitlement and privilege. You may be afraid of the truth. I am unafraid to be honest. It may sound petty bringing up a few extra cents. It adds up to the pile of change I have yet to see in my country. I can’t see. My eyes are too busy praying to my feet hoping you don’t mistake eye contact for wanting physical contact. Half my life I have been zipping up my smile hoping you don’t think I want to unzip your jeans. I am unafraid to be nasty because I am nasty like Susan, Elizabeth, Eleanor, Amelia, Rosa, Gloria, Condoleezza, Sonia, Malala, Michelle, Hillary!
And our pussies ain’t for grabbing. There for reminding you that our walls are stronger than America’s ever will be. Our pussies are for our pleasure. They are for birthing new generations of filthy, vulgar, nasty, proud, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, you name it, for new generations of nasty women. So if you a nasty woman, or you love one who is, let me hear you say, hell yeah.
Photo via Variety