The backlash to the incoming congresswoman’s “very nice” outfit is both tedious and predictable.
Earlier this week, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posted a tweet: At Congressional events, she shared—the representative-elect of New York’s 14th district is currently in Washington for a series of orientations on the workings of the House—she keeps being mistaken for an intern. Or, sometimes, for the spouse of the person who must be the true new member of Congress. Ocasio-Cortez, a young woman who is also a woman of color who is also a democratic socialist—a politician who won her election, earlier this month, with 78 percent of her district’s vote—keeps getting told that she doesn’t quite belong in Congress. Her tweet sharing that experience was punctuated by a face-palm emoji. It went viral.
The next day, Eddie Scarry, formerly a blogger for the gossip site Fishbowl DC and currently a writer for the conservative Washington Examiner, posted a picture of Ocasio-Cortez, taken from behind, seemingly without her knowledge, as she walked through a hallway wearing a tailored black jacket and carrying a coat. He accompanied it with a note that doubled as a caption: “Hill staffer sent me this pic of Ocasio-Cortez they took just now. I’ll tell you something: that jacket and coat don’t look like a girl who struggles.” This tweet went viral, too—not because of the insight it offered, but because of the opposite. People mocked it and memed it and objected to it, some indignant at the creepshot Scarry shared, many others referencing the obvious fact that it is possible to advocate for the working class and wear clothing at the same time.