Donald Trump needs the nasty woman vote to win, and hes lost it. Sad!
Donald Trump needs the nasty woman vote to win, and he's lost it. Sad! Gage Skidmore / CC 2.0 BY SA

Well, it happened again. A racist Cheeto insulted our intelligence by talking over Hillary Clinton on a national stage, and it was exactly the nightmare we've come to expect from these "presidential" "debates." Before we get into this any further, here is our endorsement of Clinton. Read it and for the love of god, VOTE.

Now, if you missed the debate, I'm proud of you, self-care is important, and you'll be shocked to know that Trump did many repugnant things. He said racist things. He continued his unhinged crusade against the great city of Chicago. He said that he would "keep you in suspense" as to whether he'll accept losing to Clinton even though that is how democracy works. Clinton closed the debate with clear policy goals. Trump used his closing time to once more disparage "inner cities."

When asked about the growing number of sexual assault allegations against him, he said he "didn't do anything," that the allegations have been "debunked" (they haven't), and that the accusers probably just want to be famous (ah yes, champions of women so often perpetuate damaging rape myths).

But I don't want to just talk about the ways Donald Trump lost women voters during this debate, because we also have to talk about about the moments when Hillary Clinton showed up for us in all the ways that matter. When moderator Chris Wallace brought up Supreme Court nominees, Clinton came out swinging for Roe v. Wade. When he returned to the issue, this is what she had to say about it:

Well, I strongly support Roe v. Wade, which guarantees a constitutional right to a woman to make the most intimate, most difficult, in many cases, decisions about her health care that one can imagine. And in this case, it’s not only about Roe v. Wade. It is about what’s happening right now in America.

So many states are putting very stringent regulations on women that block them from exercising that choice to the extent that they are defunding Planned Parenthood, which, of course, provides all kinds of cancer screenings and other benefits for women in our country.

Donald has said he’s in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood. He even supported shutting the government down to defund Planned Parenthood. I will defend Planned Parenthood. I will defend Roe v. Wade, and I will defend women’s rights to make their own health care decisions.

And we have come too far to have that turned back now. And, indeed, he said women should be punished, that there should be some form of punishment for women who obtain abortions. And I could just not be more opposed to that kind of thinking.

Reproductive rights activists have criticized prior debates for not addressing this issue, despite ongoing fights from puritanical state legislatures to cut off access to abortion through cruel, medically useless bills that often specifically target poor women and women of color. Given the context of Donald Trump's increasingly well-documented disregard for women and their bodily autonomy, it was some powerful shit to see Hillary Clinton stand up for women's basic sexual freedoms on the debate stage. Here is a sad, fundamental truth: If you're a woman who likes having rights, you basically have to reckon with politicians who'd like for you to lose them every time a new election cycle begins. I've been waiting to see a presidential candidate speak out on this in a direct way for a long time, because punishing women for having abortions is something the GOP has never needed Trump's help with.

To her credit, Clinton also condemned Trump's personal behavior with women—behavior that includes everything from sexist bullying to alleged assault and rape.

"Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger," she said. "He goes after their dignity, their self-worth, and I don’t think there is a woman anywhere who doesn’t know what that feels like. So we now know what Donald thinks and what he says and how he acts toward women. That’s who Donald is."

She's right. Women know what this feels like, and harnessing that persistent low-level rage is smart, and fair game as far as I'm concerned—Clinton's lived it. Case in point: At the eleventh hour of the debate, Trump called Clinton a "nasty woman," illustrating what she'd said about him beautifully. The Clinton campaign already seems to be having fun with this, and they should. As for Trump, looks like he's sabotaged his chances of success in a country where you need women to vote for you to be president—even the nasty ones. Sad!