LWOS Life: Pride and Prejudice and Lipstick: How the Stigmas of Past Political Women Have Set the Stage for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become widely known in the last two weeks for three things: her victory in the New York congressional primary over ten-term veteran Joe Crowley, her doing so without any help from the mainstream media, and the fact that her signature red lipstick is currently sold out at Sephora. Provided her expected win this coming November, Ocasio-Cortez will be the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress. She has no prior experience holding political office. She describes herself as a democratic socialist, the complete opposite of our currently dominant representation as a nation. And she’s from the Bronx.

Backlash surrounding Ocasio-Cortez and her platform has been minimal, probably due to her lack of presence in larger media outlets, which keeps her safely tucked away from the slander of the Right. But Ocasio-Cortez has clearly taken notes from those women who proceeded her in political roles, with the help of the mainstream media that she has mostly avoided. Her rookie status on the political scene can only help her, as we saw Hillary Clinton recently slaughtered by attention to her past. Her femininity has a similar benefit, as she garners the respect that was paid to former politically surrounded women like Jackie Kennedy. Her resilience commands accolade, like that of the slandered former governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. All of these qualities fall under the stigma of what Joseph Roach calls the “it” factor—the only stigma necessary to being a successful woman in office.

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