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  • Allie

Words Women Wield


Over Labor Day weekend my husband Mark and I did what we’ve done every weekend for the last few months: made use of our covid social bubble. Mark’s brother and his family live a short drive away, and while fastidiously following all other social distancing and safe practices, we agreed it would be appropriate to spend time together. 


Once Friday hits, we drive down for what’s become our traditional pizza night. Saturday afternoon we play the video game Just Dance until we’re soaked in sweat, and then jump into the pool to cool off.


Amid all the fun, I bring a book to read during lulls between group activities. This time I brought a book to complete the Reading Women Challenge category “anthology edited by a woman” entitled Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America. Not only are the editors women, but all the authors are, too. 


The essays collected in it both affirm my stance as a feminist and challenge me to think critically. For example, in “The Pathology of Donald Trump,” Sady Doyle lays out all the speculations people have made regarding Trump’s mental health ranging from dementia to sociopathy. Doyle argues against pathologizing Trump: he is both sane and evil. Diagnosing him only excuses the pain he inflicts on others. 


I had pegged Trump as a narcissist long ago, but Doyle’s writing compelled me to rethink my assessment. Perhaps Trump is just an enabled greedy monster. Thank goodness for “nasty women” willing to wield words against him. 


After all, it is Wordy Wednesday! Today’s words were especially fun to play with, and I invited Mark to join me for the creative part. Below you’ll find the new-to-me words from Nasty Women, the sentences in which I found them, the Oxford definitions of those words, and a sentence of mine and Mark’s using the words. Feel free to play along by using the word in a sentence yourself. Share it in the comments!


grimoire


“Post the mildest praise of Hillary in any public forum, and you might as well have voiced an incantation from a dusty old grimoire” (13).


Noun: a book of magic spells and invocations. 


“Oh! Ron, you forgot your grimoire in the Three Broomsticks,” said Hermione. 


revenant


“To hear the Bernie Bros tell it, she was not a Democrat but a grotesque revenant, an aristocratic vampire thirsty for the blood of virgins” (47-48).


Noun: a person who has returned, especially supposedly from the dead. 


Christina Aguilera, now a pop revenant, starred in the music videos promoting the new Mulan movie.


venal


“She was corrupt, venal, duplicitous, a succubus Lady Macbeth” (48).


Adjective: showing or motivated by susceptibility to bribery. 


Our venal President is a supplicant to corporate America. 


Thanks for joining me for Wordy Wednesday. Stay sane, stay safe, and happy reading!

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