Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can be described as not only the voice of a community, but a generation, and has broken barriers time and time again despite having the odds put against her.
On the October issue of GQ, the New York Congresswoman graces the cover with her signature red lip and gold hoops, reflects on the last 4 years since stepping into the political area, the right for women to choose, and the future of our country.
Have you seen the October cover of GQ magazine featuring Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wearing a double-breasted dark blue blazer over a black turtleneck? Her glossy dark hair is pulled back neatly without a strand out of place. Her lips are bright red, and on her ears— yup, you guessed it—gold hoops dangle defiantly. IYKYK.
The cover is a thing of beauty, and so are all the photos of AOC included within the magazine’s pages. But as beautiful as the images are, they are not the most beautiful thing about the feature. Instead, it’s Ocasio-Cortez’s words that make me swoon. Whether you agree with her politics or not, you cannot deny that the woman is a trailblazer who unapologetically speaks her mind.
As the mother of two daughters, I love that my daughters get to see an unabashedly proud Latina in politics who isn’t playing small and isn’t playing by the so-called rules of Washington. We need rule breakers and rule re-writers everywhere, but with so few in government, it makes AOC’s presence and impact much more necessary.
As you probably know, GQ is a men’s magazine, so it seems fitting that she and the writer, Wesley Lowery, agreed to “lean into difficult questions about gender—with a specific focus on what men need to be doing to combat misogyny.” This is a crucial conversation because to fight misogyny, men also have to be a part of that fight.
Here are just a few of my favorite AOC quotes from the piece.
“Misogyny transcends political ideology: left, right, center. This grip of patriarchy affects all of us, not just women.”
On the effect the patriarchy has on men:
“Men suffer from being under patriarchy. They don’t go to the doctor. They suffer from much higher rates of completed suicides. Even though they report lower levels of depression, that doesn’t mean that they suffer from it less.”
On how men are affected by abortions:
“For almost every woman that has gotten an abortion, there’s a man who has either been affected or liberated by that abortion too.”
On why sharing our personal stories is important:
“The most powerful and persuasive thing a person can say on any given issue is sharing their personal experience and personal story.”
On how having a choice has affected her personally:
“When I was about 22 or 23 years old, I was raped. I was completely alone. I felt completely alone. In fact, I felt so alone that I had to take a pregnancy test in a public bathroom in midtown Manhattan. And when I sat there waiting for what the result would be, all I could think of was, thank God I have at least a choice.”
On what it’s like to be an outspoken progressive Latina in Washington:
“My everyday lived experience here is as a person who is despised. Imagine working a job, and your bosses don’t like you—and the competing company is trying to kill you.”
On the world we’re fighting for:
“The world that we’re fighting for is already here. It may not be all here, it may not be the majority of what’s here, but it is undeniably here.”
The quote that most resonates with me is why sharing our personal stories is essential. So often, as Latinas or femme Latines, our stories aren’t a part of the larger narrative. They aren’t included or even considered. And perhaps that’s why AOC pisses so many people off – she tells her story unapologetically. A story that perhaps many don’t want to hear because they find it inconvenient, makes them uncomfortable, and challenges their reality of a world that has worked in favor of their privilege.
Which quote resonates the most with you?
About the Author
Claudya Martinez is a writer and content creator with a sense of humor. She loves collaborating with #WeAllGrow. You can follow her at @byclaudya on IG. You can read more of her pieces here.