Dear Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Welcome To Being A Woman In Politics

Dear Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Welcome To Being A Woman In Politics

Another round of misogyny for a rising star in the Democratic Party.

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With the government being shut down, Washington D.C. is in utter turmoil. At the time of this writing, Democratic congressional leadership and President Trump both refuse to back down over the five billion dollars that would go to fund the building of the wall.

With all of this chaos, you would think that would be all the media has time to focus on. Yet oddly enough, the government shutdown is sharing the spotlight with something else going on in politics.

Someone else, actually.

The youngest woman ever elected to Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has been partly the focus of the media since her surprising primary victory against a powerful Democrat who was a potential candidate for Speaker of the House.

Now, being the youngest woman elected to Congress would normally get you a few puff pieces from center-left publications. However, the media will not stop talking about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (often referred to by her initials, AOC).

After winning her general election, Cortez proved that she would continue her anti-establishment streak and would not fall in line or go away. She proved this by participating in a protest outside of Nancy Pelosi's office advocating for the Green New Deal.

Ocasio-Cortez is a huge advocate for the Green New Deal, which would create thousands of jobs, switch America to using renewable resources, and end our dependence on fossil fuels.

Her ambitious agenda includes single-payer healthcare, public housing, free public college, and abolishing ICE. She suggested taxing people making over 10 million dollars up to 70% of their income to pay for these policy proposals.

Rather than try to argue about why these policies are wrong, right-wing pundits have resorted to finding old videos of Ocasio-Cortez dancing in college. They also found the house she grew up in and shared pictures of her wearing nice clothes in an attempt to smear her working-class background. Classy, right?

Now it is true that these are common tactics that the GOP has been using for decades, but there is something that seems different this time.

The 2018 midterms showed us a lot of people from different backgrounds stepping up to challenge the status quo. They decided that America cannot continue down this path in the Age of Trump, and wanted to do something about it. Most of those people were women.

Women all across America have become fed up with the misogyny of the president, and want to see real change brought to this country.

It is important to note that most of the high-profile women are women of color. Congress has often been associated with white men in their 70s and 80s but now it looks like Congress will begin to more accurately represent the citizens of the country.

It is also important to remember that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a woman, young, and Puerto Rican. It is important to notice this so you can understand the criticisms often weighed against her.

I've already mentioned her politics, but if you type her name into Google the suggestion box, instead of suggesting "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez… healthcare reform" it will suggest "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez... bikini."

If you make the mistake of watching Fox News, you will see panels of mostly men talk about her clothes and refer to her as "the little girl" and call into question her intelligence.

I don't think I need to explain the differences in how differently Ocasio-Cortez would be treated if she was a senile 80-year-old man that could trace his lineage back to Jamestown.

Unfortunately, most women do not need me, a man, to write an article about what they face in all industries. However, women who put themselves in the public eye, and choose to challenge men on political issues are faced with serious attacks. One need only look at the disgusting remarks made about high profile women in politics like Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.

This type of hatred is directed towards conservative women as well. There are large numbers of people that allege that Sarah Palin was only picked to be the Vice Presidential nominee because she's perceived as attractive to middle-aged suburban men. During the Republican primary, President Trump stated that Carly Fiorina was unfit to be president because she was not attractive enough to him.

However, I personally believe there is hope. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez uses her youth to her advantage on Twitter. Her refusal to back down from the institutions of power shows a resilience that continues to attract people hopeful for a better future. And ultimately, she is stronger than her opponents because she is fighting for a cause rather than just trying to quell opposition. People admire her optimism in a time where cynicism seems to be the only logical emotion to feel. These new threats to the status quo could finally be a change for all Americans.

In these difficult times it's important to pay close attention to figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, so you can be reminded to be proud to be an American.

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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How Minorities Are Portrayed In Mainstream Media?

In our ever-changing modern world, the problems of inequality have developed in new ways and have become more visible in our society. Moreover, the topic of minorities in mainstream media has become a hot-button issue. With the inaccurate portrayal of women, racial, and ethnic minorities in ways that devalue and commodifies them, the potential dangers are abundant: racism, stereotyping, and a whole slew of other problems. We will address these issues with examples from various outlets to give a broad overview of the issues at hand.

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Women in the Media

Women have always been portrayed as a minority in the media. Early media sources and shows were dominated by male personas. Examples like Walter Cronkite, Johnny Carson, and Dick Cavett are major players in the early days of mainstream media. The media has always been saturated by male talent; it makes it difficult for women to have their voices heard and have a clear role in movies or films as they are under-represented. In an interview with TIME magazine, Rachel Maddow, the only female to host a prime-time cable news show said, "the industry is still very male, and when women host cable-news shows they are very often paired with men, because they're not allowed to do it on their own for some reason," (TIME). The lack of women in the mainstream news outlets is worrying as well as the lack of parity in the two genders in terms of a role as pointed out by Maddow. Women are also depicted as sexual objects, side characters, and inferior romantic interests in many films. They are often seen with slim curvy bodies. Rarely are women seen with physical flaws in movies, shows, etc. This image is very inaccurate and misleading to real life standards. This unrealistic image can hurt a young woman's mind.

The challenges faced by women are numerous. Misogyny, pay inequality, unequal standings, and higher expectations are all hurdles to pass for women attempting to integrate themselves in the workforce and in the media."Many stereotypes depicted by the media includes female alcohol consumption being judged more harshly than the male behavior of the same nature". In addition, "it is found that representation of drinking practice on YouTube seems to reflect the conventional double"; female drinking is mainly interpreted as a sign of sexual willingness and is strongly stigmatized.

Racial minorities in media

Other minorities have found it difficult to be heard. Minorities like African Americans, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans are all underrepresented in the mainstream, and can usually only be found in their niche markets. African American and Hispanic people in movies are often portrayed as thugs or gangsters which is not a fair way to represent them. The author of the book "Bad Feminist" supports this claim as she notices how the media depicts the African American community differently from reality since they are "mediated through the vision of white writers and directors" (Gay 218). Furthermore, "Latino characters have been relegated to a restricted set of roles including criminals, exotic lovers/sex objects, servants/blue-collar workers, and unintelligent objects of ridicule".

The way in which journalists report news about race and crime shapes the public's perception of those races. According to Journal-isms, white Americans' racial perceptions of crime, especially with the association of crime with racial minorities, are a result of news media skewing those perceptions (Prince). The article goes on to describe how 43% of homicide victims in local news are white; however, only 13% of homicide victims in crime reports are white. These statistics clearly indicate that the way in which journalists report the news creates a narrative that misrepresents racial minorities. This misrepresentation eventually finds its way into other forms of media.

For example, primetime television also leads to the development of stereotypes against Latino and Black minorities. According to an article written by Riva Tukachinsky, Dana Mastro, and Moran Yarchi, "Prior to the 1980s, Blacks were seen nearly exclusively in unflattering and largely disparaging roles on television, emphasizing criminality and idleness" (Tukachinsky, Mastro, Yarchi 540). The casting of Black actors in these demeaning roles further established and reinforced stereotypes about Black people. The researchers go on to state that even in recent media content, Blacks are more likely to be depicted as unemployed or blue-collar workers (Tukachinsky, Mastro, Yarchi 540). Decades later, stereotypes about Blacks as unskilled and uneducated people are still being reinforced and supported by their depiction in primetime television. Their study found that this negative representation of Black and Latino minorities in media poses a threat to the identity of ethnic minorities (Tukachinsky, Mastro, Yarchi 551). In other words, the misrepresentation of these minority groups in the media correlates to the creation and strengthening of stereotypes regarding those ethnic minorities.

The list of minorities being devalued in media is endless as the media also paves the road to stereotyping Native American Females, degrading their true culture and values. "It dives into the historical stereotypes of Native American females as drudges, princesses, and prostitutes that is highly saturated in media, movies, and literature"{Lajimodiere, 104}. This, of course, is different from reality where most Native American Females are different from what the media portrays them to be as.

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