What AOC means to me


courtesy of: nytimes.com

Christin Rodriguez, Opinon's Editor

The first time I heard of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, U.S. Representative of New York’s 14th Congressional District was in a NowThis News YouTube video. It showed Ocasio-Cortez addressing the floor in a bold red pantsuit and matching lip as she called out her Republican colleague and Florida Representative, Ted Yoho, for his insulting verbal attacks on the steps of the nation’s capital. He called her dangerous, disgusting, crazy and most abhorrently “a fucking bitch.” 

These words weren’t new to me. I’d known them well and heard them all the time coming from the mouths of high school boys that raved about their ex-girlfriends. I heard these words from the mouth of our very own President Trump. I saw them between the lines of text coming from behind a screen under the pictures of strong and outspoken women like Ocasio-Cortez.

I just never did anything about it because I didn’t know how to. I never felt like I had the power to say anything that meant something. I never felt the words Ocasio-Cortez so eloquently spoke would mean anything coming out of my mouth. 

However, AOC has transformed my view of the way we women view ourselves. AOC remarked to the floor that Yoho used his wife and daughters as a shield for the criticism of his sexist and disrespectful conduct. However, AOC shut Yoho down. She despised his use of the women in his life to guard himself.

Ocasio-Cortez stated that she indeed was also a daughter to someone and that using the kind of language he used, opens the women in his life and in his community up to the same kind of disrespect he subjected her to. 

I was floored. I’ve never seen a woman, let alone a Puerto Rican woman, someone that looks like me, take a man down with such poise. From then on, I was set on becoming more like Ocasio-Cortez and relinquishing the fearfully reticent girl I once was. I didn’t want to let any man get away with disrespecting me or another woman again.

As I’ve seen AOC rise to fame for her influence, repose and benevolence, I’ve come to realize that she is the epitome of a “we can do it” woman. She’s someone that I’d hope my children would look up to. Ocasio-Cortez is forthright and humble, and she never resorts to something as petty as name-calling.

Most importantly, AOC doesn’t take anyone’s crap, and I’m learning to do the same even if it does attract the male ordained title of “fucking bitch.”