Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's first few days in office have been pretty eventful to say the least.
The youngest congresswoman in history, the 29-year-old has faced her fair share of criticism on everything from how she dresses to the house where she grew up. Then, there was the video of her and her fellow Boston University (my alma mater might I add!) classmates doing Breakfast Club-inspired dance moves on a roof to the song "Lisztomania" by the band Phoenix. The anonymous Twitter-user posted the edited video with the intent to demean Ocasio-Cortez, calling her "America’s favorite commie know-it-all" and a "clueless nitwit" in the since deleted tweet. The video (watch the full version here), which really could not be more wholesome, only works to paint Ocasio-Cortez as a relatable and fun young woman. Let's just say, there are far worse things that could come from someone's college days.
Ocasio-Cortez responded by laughing off the petty attack, poking fun at herself while simultaneously showing that it was going to take a lot more than that to bring her down.
And now, merely a week later, she is under attack yet again with the circulation of a fake nude photo. The photo, which shows a woman's bare legs in a bathtub with a vape pen, first surfaced on Reddit (surprise surprise) with the false claim that it was Ocasio-Cortez. The website Motherboard, with the help of some foot fetishists, debunked the claim and revealed that the woman in the tub was actually Sydney Leathers, which Leathers openly admitted to.
Yet, despite the knowledge that the photo was in fact not of Ocasio-Cortez, the conservative news site The Daily Caller published an article with the click-bait headline, "Here’s The Photo Some People Described As A Nude Selfie of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez." And that's where Ocasio-Cortez drew the line.
Since her Tweet, The Daily Caller has since changed the headline and issued a half-ass apology, but that doesn't take away from the injustice that has been done, and the injustice it represents on a much larger scale.
Though frivolous and far-reaching, these accusations exhibit the very often misogynistic culture that we live in. Each supposedly-damming picture, video, or comment comes with the intent to discourage young women from running for office (or really trying to attain anything in a male-dominated field) with the threat that they will be humiliated, and ultimately proven unfit for the position.
But what these people are failing to understand, is that these attacks on Ocasio-Cortez only work to prove exactly why we need her in the first place. Ocasio-Cortez is not just representing her district, but young women across America who are constantly struggling to prove their intelligence and capabilities against a patriarchy that views them as unworthy and undeserving. Considering what we've seen from Ocasio-Cortez so far, I think it's safe to assume that she will only use this as fuel to push harder and claim her position as a rightfully-elected member of the House of Representatives.
While those that actively try to slander Ocasio-Cortez hope to threaten young women, I think it's pretty obvious who is actually threatened here.