Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., came to the defense of Meghan Markle Saturday after President Donald Trump called the duchess of Sussex “nasty.”
In a feminist-themed tweet, Ocasio-Cortez purported to expose the misogynistic meaning behind the president’s insult, which he unleashed in an interview Friday with The Sun. The congresswoman cited an entry from the make-believe “Misogynist Dictionary” to make her point.
After correctly identifying “nasty” as an adjective, Ocasio-Cortez offered two sexist definitions. The clear implication was that Trump and his ilk use the term to denigrate women who threaten them.
Readings from the Misogynist Dictionary ?:
1. A woman who doesn’t bow under your thumb; or
2. A woman who‘s not attracted to you.
Ex: When a misogynist encounters a “nasty” woman, he‘ll almost surely try to denigrate her appearance, intelligence, or character. https://t.co/vGM9nbMkdt
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 1, 2019
As Ocasio-Cortez noted via a retweet of CNN anchor Jake Tapper, Trump called Markle “nasty” after The Sun confronted him with her criticism of him in 2016. In context, the supposed insult was actually about as magnanimous as the president gets.
“I didn’t know that she was nasty. I hope she is OK,” he told the British tabloid, speaking ahead of his visit this week to the United Kingdom, Ireland and France.
Trump went on to express support for Markle’s royal turn, which was a first for an American or black person.
“I am sure she will go excellently [as a royal]. She will be very good,” he said.
Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez goes to culture war for Meghan Markle
Ocasio-Cortez has often accused critics of her and her allies of sexism, even as she has forsaken the feminist cause to score points against her political opponents. Markle, a fellow groundbreaking woman of color and Trump critic, would seem to be an ally.
Whether or not Trump deserves his status as an enemy of women is a question perhaps best left to history. More relevant here is Ocasio-Cortez’s failure to understand how a dictionary works.
For starters, “nasty” isn’t a proper noun and so should not be capitalized. Nor should the word be in quotation marks. Also, the phrase to “bow under your thumb” is not an actual axiom and mixes metaphors.
Perhaps mostly damningly from a nomenclatorial perspective, Ocasio-Cortez botched her dictionary-style example. She described how sexist men allegedly use the word “nasty,” saying: “Ex: When a misogynist encounters a ‘nasty’ woman, he‘ll almost surely try to denigrate her appearance, intelligence, or character.”
However, according to protocol, she should instead have provided a quotation that illustrates the word’s meaning. The most obvious candidates would have been Trump’s comments that apparently inspired her tweet in the first place.
If she didn’t want to reference the president’s interview with The Sun, she could have harkened back to the 2016 debate, when he famously called Hillary Clinton a “such a nasty woman.”
Citing Trump’s jab at Hillary would have had the added benefit of providing some etymology. Feminists outraged by the debate, of course, adopted “nasty woman” as an empowering slogan.
Ocasio-Cortez’s supporters might object to her fake dictionary entry being fact-checked. After all, grammar-policing is perhaps the lowest form of internet trolling, and dangerously akin mansplaining.
But if you’re going to politicize the dictionary – in defense of a British princess no less – at least get the English right.