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UNH ‘nasty girl’ starts safe space for discussion

Last week, you may have noticed a group titled “Nasty Girl Club” pop up on your Facebook feeds. The name of the group is still up in the air, as creator and administrator Lizzie Silvio doesn’t want it to be misconstrued as a group meant only for females or only for Democrats. According to Silvio, the title is simply a reference to President-elect Donald Trump calling Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman” in a debate after claiming that no one had more respect for women than he does.

Silvio, a sophomore communication major, voted for the first time in last week’s presidential election. She and her family were some of the first in line for the polls at Oyster River High School on Nov. 8. After voting, her mother bought champagne and Silvio spent the day with her family listening to Beyonce’s “Who Run the World (Girls),” and getting excited about the prospect of having elected the country’s first female president.

Silvio considers herself an Independent when it comes to politics, but identified as a Democrat for this particular election. Having been so confident in Clinton’s election, Silvio said that she felt very frustrated as she watched state after state turn red on the television as Election Day came to a close.

“My [frustration] is not because [Trump] is a Republican and I think that’s a lot of people’s situation. I just think he challenges everything that many Americans stand for,” Silvio said.

The Nasty Girl Club started as a Facebook group after the result of the 2016 presidential election.
The Nasty Girl Club started as a Facebook group after the result of the 2016 presidential election.

Bearing this frustration in mind, Silvio concluded that the only thing she and the rest of the country could do was move forward. So, early Thursday, Nov. 10, Silvio created the “Nasty Girl Club.”

Initially, the group received some backlash from people who believed that this was a hate group run by radical feminists. However, this backlash was shortly followed by an outpour of support, represented by the amount of “likes” and “follows” the page received. Only a week after the page was created, it already has 189 members.

The page serves as a safe space for not only Clinton supporters and Democrats, but for everyone who wishes to share their views in a fair and constructive way.

“This is beyond politics. This is beyond Democrat versus Republican. This is so beyond [Clinton] versus Trump. It’s not about us hating Trump, it’s more about the ideologies that he has brought out and [how those] have brought out the worst in people,” Silvio said.

Anyone can “suggest” people to join the group on Facebook. It is then up to Silvio, or the page’s moderator, sophomore Eloise Shaw, to accept.

“I always give everyone a chance [to join],” Silvio said. “But if they start posting things that aren’t a conversation, then they’re just out of the group. I don’t even respond.”

Shaw also said she was excited to vote for her first time last week, but became discouraged when she was asked why she had the right to vote, as Shaw was born in the United Kingdom and now has dual citizenship. She reached out to Silvio to explain this experience and to ask how she could get involved.

“It was a relief to get that help from [Shaw] because I kind of got an overwhelming amount of support and I can’t handle all of it by myself,” Silvio said.

Silvio describes the group as not only a place to discuss concerns for Trump’s presidency, but also a place to share hope with one another. She said she would like the “Nasty Girl Club” to be a starting place for a “dialogue of zero tolerance for hate,” with one of their core principles being that they “tolerate debate, not hate.”

Along with posting helpful and hopeful posts on the group’s Facebook page, Silvio hopes that members will practice sharing links that are reliable, whether they correlate with group beliefs or not.

Throughout the page, Silvio frequently shares Robert B. Reich’s videos and articles. Reich, who served as secretary of labor in the Bill Clinton administration, was named by TIME magazine as one of 10 most effective cabinet secretaries of the 20th century. In some of his recent posts, Reich highlights 10 productive ways Americans can move forward after the election. Silvio said she feels that the first six in that list encapsulate the goal of the “Nasty Girl Club.” These methods are stated in Reich’s video titled, “Office Hours Live.”

The “Nasty Girl Club” hopes to use Reich’s guidelines to direct their frustration with the election, and turn that frustration into a positive outlook by engaging in productive decisions and actions moving forward.

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