It appears the Right has a growing boner for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It definitely will be interesting — and a bit surreal — to see how that dynamic plays out going forward. This breezy v-log is long, but interesting and pretty good in my opinion. It’s worth your time, if nothing else.
America doesn’t really know what to do with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She’s a cultural anomaly in modern American politics on a number of different levels. As the Right continues to attack her for any reason simply because they’re completely scared shitless of her and their base gives them high engagement by simply mentioning her, she’s likely to become that rarest of political events — someone who stands squarely at the intersection of culture, politics and the national zeitgeist.
Only a few people — men — in our history have enjoyed such a historic stage and, they, too, all go by their name brand initials — TR, FDR, JFK. Now, here’s where things get interesting. I’m a dude, but I’m old enough to at least have the vaguest understanding of the different cultural worlds than men and women inhabit.
Women, at least it seems, often take cultural and fashion cues from other women that men don’t of men. So, while I’m not going to propose that I have any particular insight into the female mind, history would indicate that AOC has at least the potential to be an enormous cultural touchstone for many young women over the next 20 odd years (or more.)
This causes me to again observe that as of the moment, AOC’s relationship status is a black box. I like to think I’m fairly well informed about politics, culture and celebrity and I am completely unaware of AOC romantic status. I don’t know if she’s gay, straight, bi or pan. She’s a complete romantic enigma.
By even mentioning that, all I’m saying is AOC can’t continue to get the amount of ironic thirsty attention from the Right without some Right wing nimrod asking the same kind of questions I’m asking but in a much nasty manner and with a political agenda that is completely opposite to my own.
This will happen because women — and their romantic / sexual availability — is such a basic feature of humanity, that it’s inevitable that AOC will become a defacto sex symbol despite her best efforts not to. I’m well aware that it goes completely against everything she’s working for, but, like, uhhh, are we supposed to turn off 100,000 years of human evolutionary psychology because we are afraid people won’t take AOC “seriously?”
On second thought — don’t answer that.
Regardless, the whole point is — we’re careening towards a cultural tipping point when the simple question I’m asking, “Is AOC dating anyone?” will start to bounce around the media-celebrity industrial complex. I would not be surprised if Jezebel or The Cut at some point attempt to will into existence a romance between AOC and Sen. Cory Booker.
Anyway, as I was saying, there’s at least the possibility that AOC will, in a few years, be what everyone wanted HRC to be. It may take AOC a little bit longer than we’d hope, but it might very well happen. It might happen in large part because the Right in its own twisted manner, has a huge boner for AOC and they can’t help themselves talking about her the more it sinks in she’d probably be fun to “date.” (That’s cultural dog whistle for MAGA bro’s if ever there was one.)
But what do I know. My life is “sad” just for bringing this up in the first place.
Editor’s Note: Apparently I have a “sad” life for asking this question. Maybe? I just think if she’s going to be a viable political figure going forward the question of her romantic status will grow in importance. Yes, it would be under a significantly different context for a man, but modern politics fucking sucks, especially for a woman. Apparently, this particular aspect of her life is going to be taboo or something until something happens.
Let’s be honest — no one can look and act like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez without the public knowing in excruciating detail her exact relationship status. I mean, fuck, people, I’m surprised I don’t know when she’s ovulating given how quickly she’s beginning to permeate pop culture.
Add to that that we’ve not seen what surely is out there — more than a few sizzling pictures of her in a bikini — and it all seems rather odd. Is she dating someone? Who was the last guy / girl she dated? Why did they break up if they’re not dating now? And it is dubious at best to think a woman like her living in the NYC area working as a bartender hasn’t had her fair share of boyfriends over the course of the recent past.
I say this knowing damn well these questions wouldn’t be asked of a man — or if they were, they would be asked much later in his career — but she’s young, affable, smart and demonstrably gorgeous. Add to the mix her political trajectory looks like it’s going to be about as high as you can get, and you’d think in this surreal nexus of politics and celebrity that we now live in that TMZ, People or BuzzFeed wouldn’t have a least poked around in that part of her life so people like me would know off the top of my head what her romantic status is.
Again, this is not so much what I want as the cold, cruel world of life in the spotlight. AOC is a babe — and smart — so while incels are busy ranting about her dance movies, I’ve simply noticed the absence of what is basic information that the average high information voter such as myself would know without thinking about.
Going forward, this is probably going to grow in importance. The longer she stays in the public eye, the sooner we’re going to see a bikini picture of her and there will be a great hue and cry about What Does It All Mean. I, for once, believe as women grow in political power, we’re all just going to have to deal with the fact that young, attractive women, like, huh, like to be in bikinis?
It’s not like she’s done porn, though, honestly, that, too is a dumb taboo going forward. In about 20 years, a lot of those young women in YouPorn videos are going to start thinking about going into politics and we’re all just going to have to accept that Porn Exists.
I have to note that really the interesting thing about AOC and other liberal women in office is that they really go against the script when it comes to powerful female pols. Usually, to be successful, a woman has to be physically unattractive and extremely conservative.
But times and expectations are changing, so buckle up, folks. AOC in 20 years is probably going to run for president and the way things are going — win.
Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. He is writing his first novel. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.