Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Tuesday denied that she, or any other woman, is “too attractive to be smart.”
In a tweet complaining about sexism, Ocasio-Cortez also rejected the idea that intelligent women are unattractive or that women can be “too loud or too meek, too big or too small.” She said such judgements are meant to stop any woman from “challenging power.”
The reason women are critiqued for being too loud or too meek, too big or too small, too smart to be attractive or too attractive to be smart, is to belittle women out of standing up publicly.
The goal is to ‘critique’ into submission. & That applies to anyone challenging power. https://t.co/Ocxtjjdh1e
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 28, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez’s feminist rant came in a retweet of Kat Gordon, a mom-marketing guru. Gordon had accused the “same people” of belittling Ocasio-Cortez for being a bartender and faulting Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., for her lucrative side hustle as a lawyer.
“I feel like I predicted it from day one,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “The idea that a woman can be as powerful as a man is something that our society can’t deal with.”
How Ocasio-Cortez suffers for being attractive
The Washington Post last week reported that Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate, worked on dozens of legal matters during her career as a professor at Ivy League law schools. According to the report, Warren “charged as much as $675 an hour to advise a variety of clients, including people with asbestos disease and a corporation facing possible liability over ruptured breast implants.”
Ocasio-Cortez came to Warren’s defense by attacking CNN editor Andrew Kazynski for tweeting The Post’s reporting. She suggested that he was jealous and sexist, seemingly wrongly assuming that he was behind the story.
The freshman congresswoman has often blamed sexism for perceived social injustices. In addition to her tweet about Warren, Ocasio-Cortez just last week made the following issues about gender discrimination: The New York Times’ photo selection, facial recognition technology, and, with Warren’s help, the series finale of “Game of Thrones.”
On a personal level, Ocasio-Cortez has bemoaned the burden of being an attractive woman before. In a March interview with New Yorker editor David Remnick, she agreed that she’s considered a “pretty idiot,” as opposed to the other supposed option for female politicians: a “hideous harpie.”
Many commentators have blamed sexism for Hillary Clinton’s loss of the 2016 presidential race, as well as Warren’s relative lack of success thus far.
However, political scientists Jennifer Lawless and Danny Hayes found in a book-length data dive published in 2016 that neither the media nor voters evince significant sexism toward female political candidates. Instead, they argued, it is the perception of sexism that discourages women from running for office.