Sunday, March 17, 2019

Ocasio-Cortez outrages Republicans
by refusing to respect their ignorance

from The Guardian:

The young congresswoman has turned the tables on the Wall Street Journal after it accused her of taking ‘pride in ignorance’

by Arwa Mahdawi
AOC is ignorant, ungrateful and coming for your meat
Large swaths of America appear to be suffering from a debilitating condition known as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Derangement Syndrome (AOCDS). Symptoms include bouts of extreme condescension, an inability to stop sputtering the word “socialist”, and overwhelming anger that a young woman of colour is unapologetically succeeding.

The latest conservative to succumb to AOCDS is Grace-Marie Turner, the president of a non-profit devoted to “counter[ing] the march towards toward government-controlled medicine”. (Can we just pause for a moment and contemplate what sort of person spends their life trying to ensure there will never be affordable healthcare in the United States?)

On Tuesday Turner ranted in the Wall Street Journal that Ocasio-Cortez “has little regard for the system that made it possible for her to be elected to Congress”. Turner also lamented that the congresswoman “leads a generation of young people to take pride in their ignorance – of the laws of nature, of history, of the Constitution, of the eternal battle for freedom – and still succeed”.

As you can imagine, the congresswoman had a few words to say in response to this, tweeting on Thursday that: “I guess WSJ Editorial Page takes pride in their ignorance of our nation’s history of slavery, Jim Crow, & mass incarceration; willful doubt on the decades of science on climate change; targeting of indigenous peoples, and the classist, punitive agenda targeting working families.”

Ocasio-Cortez hit the bigoted nail on the head with that. After all, what Turner was essentially saying in her op-ed was that minorities should respect a system that doesn’t respect them. That Ocasio-Cortez, who “doesn’t come from a rich and powerful family”, doesn’t have an Ivy League education, and has Puerto Rican heritage, should be grateful she is allowed to exist in America, let alone succeed. And that AOC certainly shouldn’t mess with the laws of nature and history that mean rich white men, and a few rich white women, are our leaders and superiors. Turner, and conservatives like her, are terrified by Ocasio-Cortez because she symbolizes a new generation who aren’t going to shut up and be grateful, but are intent on changing an unequal system.

If you need any more evidence of how panicked conservatives are about the young congresswoman, just take a look at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, which features heavy doses of Ocasio-Cortez scaremongering. Perhaps the most ridiculous examples of this was Sebastian Gorka, a former Trump official, announcing to the crowd that democratic socialists like Ocasio-Cortez “want to rebuild your home … [and] take away your hamburgers. This is what Stalin dreamt about but never achieved.” Republican men are clearly terrified AOC is coming for their meat.

Serena Williams says ‘Dream Crazier’
“Crazy” and “hysterical” are gendered insults that have been used to belittle women for centuries. A new Nike ad featuring Serena Williams takes on the C-word, with Williams saying: “If we show emotion, we’re called dramatic … if we dream of equal opportunity, we’re delusional … And if we get angry, we’re hysterical, irrational, or just being crazy.” It’s a powerful ad and Williams, who has been relentlessly vilified as an Angry Black Woman, is the perfect person to narrate it. However, before we start applauding Nike, it’s worth remembering that the company is currently in the middle of a class-action lawsuit accusing it of gender discrimination. So while it’s great that big companies are taking on important issues in their advertising, let’s not forget that it is much easier to make feelgood ads than it is actually walk the walk and implement equality in your workplace.

Female leaders warn women’s rights are being eroded
Dozens of female leaders have signed an open letter warning that populist movements around the world threaten gender equality. Susana Malcorra, the former Argentinian foreign minister, told the Guardian that women’s rights are particularly threatened in countries that have seen the rise of “a macho-type strongman”, such as Brazil, the Philippines and Italy.

Only six countries give men and women equal legal rights
According to a new report by the World Bank the only countries in the world where men and women have equal legal work rights are Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden.

Running while Muslim and female
Decathlon, a French sports retailer, has cancelled its plans to sell a runner’s hijab after backlash. The budget minister, Gérald Darmanin, was one of the many politicians who spoke out about the hijab: “I value women’s freedom more than commercial freedom,” he told French radio station Europe 1. Look, everyone’s entitled to their opinion on the hijab. But speaking out against a product that would lead to more Muslim women going out running because you “value women’s freedom” is disingenuous to say the least. Just say you’re Islamophobic and get it over with, mate.

‘Give women their names’
Tabitha King is an author and an autonomous human being – but is usually referred to in the media as “Stephen King’s wife”. King recently spoke out about being treated as an appendage in a series of messages shared on her husband’s Twitter account. “Wife is a relationship or status. It is not an identity,” she wrote. “You might consider the unconscious condescension in your style book, and give women their names.”

America celebrates Women’s History Month
Speaking of giving women their names, Happy Women’s History Month. Why not kick it off by reading about Shirley Chisholm, the first black congresswoman. Her campaign slogan was “unbought and unbossed” and one imagines Grace-Marie Turner would not have liked her at all.

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