Nasty Women For the Lord!

“She’s such a nasty woman!” – a one liner from Donald Trump, leveled at Hilary Clinton during the third presidential debate, caused me to search for a theological response.  Usually an expression like “Nasty woman,” might be used as a negative description of a vulgar or decadent woman.  It seemed to me that Trump used the expression to describe Hilary Clinton as she hurled charges back at him.  In that context, a “Nasty woman” is not a vulgar or decadent person, but a woman who stands her ground, does not back down to a man and essentially hits back when a man attacks her.

I began to think about “Nasty women” in the Bible – those who had the nerve to stand with the men, talk back to the men, and basically acted with the same or similar authority to men.  There are several examples of independent women in the Bible who acted with authority around men: Eve; Jezebel; Deborah; Delila; Bathsheba, when she spoke with David on his death bed; Mary and Martha and many others.

Take for example Mary and Martha.  The setting is a dinner at their home where Jesus is the guest of honor.  Martha is preparing the meal.  Mary skips serving the food and goes into the room where the men are located.  Mary sits with the men at the feet of Jesus.  Mary wants to listen to Jesus, dialogue with Jesus, question Jesus and ultimately understand Jesus.  She is afraid that if she stays in the kitchen she will miss some important pearl of wisdom from the master  of the universe.  Martha gets mad at Mary for not helping her to cook.  Martha stops cooking long enough to storm into the room, confronts Jesus and asks him to check Mary for having the nerve to refuse to do what women almost always did – cook, serve and clean for men.  Martha demands that Jesus banish Mary to the Kitchen.  Jesus refuses to throw Mary under the bus when he tells Martha to “Leave her alone…she has chosen the better part (to sit at his feet and learn more about what he is teaching).

In the context of how Donald Trump described Hillary Clinton, both Mary and Martha are “Nasty Women.”  Both have the nerve to insert themselves into the decision making of Jesus.  Both women are independent, thinking women.  In the eleventh chapter of John, at the death of their brother, Lazarus, Martha engages Jesus in a theological discussion on the resurrection of the dead.  Mary pours oil on the feet of Jesus, dries the feet of Jesus with her hair and kisses the feet of Jesus.  I think Trump would call both women, “Nasty women.”

So, my question for the women who are reading this post is this: Are you a “Nasty Woman?”  Do you have the nerve to question a man?  Do you have the self-confidence to challenge a man?  Are you a “Nasty woman” for the Lord?  I encourage you to take a moment and read about two of the early, “Nasty women for the Lord:


Luke 10: 38 Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. 40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42 there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Do you know any, “Nasty women for the Lord?”
  2. Why would you describe these women as “Nasty women?’
  3. What would you add to my description of a “Nasty women for the Lord”?



Lord, grant me the courage to speak my mind, act my mind, and live my mind.  Lord, remind me to only put you in front of me.  Lord, I lift you up.  Lord, I acknowledge your power, grace and mercy.  Lord, make me unafraid of people who would persecute me for your names sake.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Nicholas Hood III

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Lk 10:38–42). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.