Elections

‘Nasty woman’ T-shirts a top seller for Boise-based Etsy shop

‘Nasty woman’ T-shirts top seller for Boise-based Etsy shop

Fourth Wave Apparel makes T-shirts, pins and other items based on moments in women's history. A T-shirt based on Donald Trump's comment in the 3rd presidential debate that Hillary Clinton is "such a nasty woman" is now the Boise business' biggest
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Fourth Wave Apparel makes T-shirts, pins and other items based on moments in women's history. A T-shirt based on Donald Trump's comment in the 3rd presidential debate that Hillary Clinton is "such a nasty woman" is now the Boise business' biggest

“Such a nasty woman.”

Donald Trump may have meant that as an insult to Hillary Clinton in the third presidential debate — but some entrepreneurs saw it as a gift.

“Thanks, Donald, I appreciate it,” said Noelle West, a Boise tech writer who co-owns Fourth Wave Apparel.

T-shirts featuring the words “nasty woman” are now Fourth Wave’s top seller. Other T-shirt makers have reported brisk sales of similar shirts, such as “nasty women vote.”

nasty tshirt 2

The word “nasty” has been embraced by women in much the same way that Trump supporters claimed the word “deplorable” as a badge of honor after Hillary Clinton called them a “basket of deplorables.” She later said she regretted calling half of Trump supporters deplorable.

West watched the third debate with her husband but was texting back and forth with her business partner, Anna Gamel. Trump’s “nasty” comment was an interjection when Clinton was talking about funding entitlements.

“It was clearly an attack on her as a woman,” West said. “I think that’s the way that women and the Internet heard it.”

When the #nastywoman hashtag started trending on social media, they decided to turn it into a T-shirt. They got a mockup online by the next day — and the orders started pouring in from all of the U.S. and beyond, including Canada, Israel, Turkey and Australia. The T-shirts are $22, and the tank tops are $18.

West and Gamel, who have been friends since they were both students at Lowell Scott Middle School, have sold T-shirts, buttons and other items that feature slogans and images from women’s history for five years. They’ve produced 25 shirts so far — the most popular one until now was “Votes for Women.”

The “Votes for Women” shirt has been misinterpreted by some who think it’s advocating that people vote for female candidates, West said. But it is actually a historical slogan from the women’s suffrage movement. The 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920.

West, 32, considers herself a feminist now, but she didn’t always. A six-part PBS series called “Makers” inspired her to learn more about women’s history, she said.

“When I had heard the term feminism before, I thought of people burning bras,” she said. “When I dug into it, it was humanity-affirming stuff that I had never known about.”

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller

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