BOOK REVIEW: NASTY VOL 2 edited by Tiffany Scandal

Thirteen essays by women for everyone. Topics cover everything from shaving and sex work to abortion and abuse, and so much more.

I don't know where to start with this collection other than it is an absolute must read. Every essay feels incredibly necessary and important and if you manage to make it through without feeling some powerful emotions and increased empathy I will probably judge you (so like, no pressure). Volume 1 was an impressive collection that made for an empowering read, but Volume 2 takes things in an overall heavier direction. It still manages to find moments of levity and hope.

I can't really choose favorites, but there are a few essays that hit me particularly hard and have taken up space in my head.

The Kobayashi Maru for Queers by Lydia Xythali is the first essay, and it's also the one that resonated with me most on a personal level. Xythali expresses so many things I've thought and felt myself, and it was incredibly affirming to read.

My Name Is Thursday by Thursday Simpson was like a wallop right in the stomach. It made me feel heartbroken, furious, and then happy and so proud of her. This coupled with TERFcult by Larissa Glasser made me aware how little I know about Trans issues and I've since been seeking a better understanding (and discovering how essential writings like this are).

This is Not a Love Story by Eve Luchs and Never Cursed by Leza Cantoral were a double whammy that I read while trying my damndest to not start sobbing. Both are about abusive relationships and the complexity of getting out of them. Such great examples of how strength and bravery don't always look they way we think they do.

This is such an inclusive collection, and I think there is at least one essay that will have personal resonance for anyone, but even more important is the insight into experiences different from one's own. I truly hope to see more nastiness in the world.