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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Dressing nasty

“Such a nasty woman.”

“This pussy votes.”

“Pussy – Grabbing the vote since 1920.”

These were all sayings found on merchandise created by artist Erin Boyd, and sold at The Bureau of Historical Investigation during an art walk Friday, Nov. 4.

Boyd, owner of Red Boots Design, has been inspired to turn the ugly discourse heard during the presidential election into empowering designs that are seen on T-shirts, bags and more.

“I went home and I was looking at Twitter and watching ‘The Daily Show’ and I was like, ‘Well, maybe I should make another shirt,’” Boyd said. “This was the quote that stood out to me, ‘Such a nasty woman,’ so I just mocked it up and put it online and at seven o’clock in the morning The New York Times had messaged me and wanted to do an interview.”

It’s become evident what people get out of Boyd’s artwork over the past two weeks, she said.

“It was a mean thing that someone said, but now it’s so much more than that,” Boyd said.

The Bureau of Historical Investigation showcased clothing created by artist Erin Boyd during an art walk Friday, Nov. 4. // Photo by Kelsie Noble

Donald Trump has been very misogynistic and anti-women, Boyd said.

“He’s awful to women, and has been the entire time, so that’s why I’ve been making these shirts,” Boyd said. “I’m definitely making them from a pro-women themed political perspective for sure.”

Marissa McGrath is a co-owner of the Bureau. Politics are personal, and as a business, those at the Bureau have always worn their politics on their sleeves, McGrath said.

“We’re really interested in women’s history and progress for women, so it seemed like a fun celebration to bring Boyd in and be like ‘Have at it everyone. Come one, come all, label yourself as a ‘nasty woman’ and take ownership in a political climate that is repeatedly working to try to make you feel like you are not a full citizen,’” McGrath said.

“It was a mean thing that someone said, but now it’s so much more than that.”

Owner of Red Boots Designs Erin Boyd

The ‘nasty woman’ shirts are capable of having both positive and negative effects on those who wear them.

“When I originally got my shirt I looked at myself in the mirror in it, smiled, then immediately got sad and quiet,” McGrath said. “I was looking at it, realizing that I’m wearing this label so there’s this badge of honor part of it, but there’s also the ‘how dare you say this about a person.’ I’m a person and it’s not okay to speak this way about people.”

Cat Carnell, a vendor of Sea Witch Botanicals is a fan of Boyd’s artwork.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Carnell said. “The idea of taking something that was so horrifying and turning it around into something positive and kind of uplifting is really making people rally around it.”

Carnell thinks the shirts are for everyone.

“We’re all humans,” Carnell said. “Men and women can be appalled at what a misogynist says.”

Not only women have been attracted to Boyd’s designs.

“I think it’s for men partially because everyone that is able to vote should,” event attendee Mike Ylinen said. “They are also part of the decision process but I think it’s also men saying, ‘Hey, the way that you were talked about,’ even if it wasn’t directly about them, ‘isn’t okay and I’m standing with you showing my support as well.’”


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