Inspired by Ocasio

I was prepared to be underwhelmed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I’m so jaded by all the young, beautiful people on the news that I thought she was one more wrinkle-free person with a teleprompter. But now that we’ve gotten past the election, she’s going strong without makeup and without a typed script.

I like her.

I’m following her on Instagram. Her latest “live story” about how WOC of color have to fight imposter syndrome and not feel like they have to be perfect all the time hit home for me, even though I am not a WOC.

I am not a WOC, but I am a Woman With a Disabled Kid (WWDK) who works from home in a basement office and sometimes makes only about $300 per article. (Sometimes $1,200 per article.) I have to constantly work to keep the school district from locking my kid up in a windowless basement classroom along with the other disabled kids. The other PTA moms sometimes get up in their meetings and announce “how do we keep the special ed families from moving to our town and using up all the school’s money.” (Honestly. No joking.) So sometimes, I’m not feeling my most confident, professional self, and I need to go get a manicure and watch videos like Ocasio’s where she talks policy, while cooking dinner. Because that’s me. I have to make dinner every night.

It is so damn refreshing to see someone combine professionalism with real life. I’ve got a load of whites in the dryer right now. I just changed the sheets on our beds. In a minute, Ian and I will go upstairs, and I’ll make burgers and sweet potatoes and help him with his English homework. I need to finish it all by 7:30, so I can run off to the school board meeting because I want to see a presentation on social emotional learning. Work and life are one big messy mix for me.

If we now are allowed to own housework and homework and work-work, I’m very happy.

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18 thoughts on “Inspired by Ocasio

  1. I have been feeling inspired by Dr. Leanna Wen. She is also young like AOC, so I don’t find myself in the same place as them Wen just had a baby, for example. But what inspires me is their fight for their goals. I love AOC’s “big mouth”. Wen seems quietly persistent.

    And , I am becoming more and more joyful about Pramila Jayapal. Also a persistent fighter. I never agree with any politician on everything, but I respect these women’s strength and unwillingness to give up.

  2. Agree with all your thoughts here. I am more and more impressed with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I think her Instagram posts have had a big impact—especially on folks who aren’t part of the usual political junkie/political pundit crowd.

    Do you think she would be a good House speaker? Or do we have to wait until she’s been in the House for years and has become jaded and wise to the ways of Congress?

    1. I do not think AOC would be a good speaker now and I also believe it would be impossible for a 1st term junior congressperson to be elected speaker. I read a op ed saying that the Democrats need to shake up their rules for leadership positions, and I hope that’s what the progressives will work towards, to build junior positions where the art of congress can be learned.

      1. Yes, well, even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t for replacing Nancy Pelosi—when asked about it she said, “But if we are not on the same page about changing the systems and the values and how we’re going to adapt as a party for the future, then what is the point of just changing our party leadership just for the sake of it?”

        But I see congress as a system set-up to push legislators to pass legislation that favors those interests with lots and lots of cash to lobby, make election contributions and provide nice private sector jobs for the legislators after their terms are up.

        On the hopeful side, maybe Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others can rise above it. One the other hand, it hasn’t happened that much historically.

  3. Jeez, I see her as both arrogant and ignorant, and as proposing programs which will be disastrous if enacted. Sort of a Trump of the left.

      1. “an adorable college sophomore … who has lots of opinions and ideas but doesn’t know what she doesn’t know”

        I have one of those! Today over Thanksgiving dinner she lectured me and my sisters about what good parenting is. LOLOLOL. She also used the word “heteronormative” randomly, and she explained that she doesn’t like the word “girlfriend” and it makes her tongue hurt to say it.

        Man, no wonder my dad used to make me argue about issues like affirmative action when I came home from college (he took the anti- side).

      2. Wendy, let me guess! She had read one of those ‘how to demolish your reactionary Uncle Bob’ guides for Thanksgiving and decided it was one size fits all?

      3. Wendy said,

        “Today over Thanksgiving dinner she lectured me and my sisters about what good parenting is.”

        OH MY GOSH!

        I did not see this plot twist coming.

        My aunt and uncle also thought they knew exactly how my parents should be managing me as a little kid before they themselves had kids. My parents were thrilled when my aunt and uncle wound up having a little hellion of their own.

        “She also used the word “heteronormative” randomly, and she explained that she doesn’t like the word “girlfriend” and it makes her tongue hurt to say it.”

        Can you recall where heteronormative got used, because I’m really curious.

        Is “partner” her preferred terminology?

      4. ” The first instance located by QI was published in December of 1915 in a story by Fred N. Rindge. The passage containing the quote criticizes the opinions of college students that the author believes are undeveloped. The saying is attributed to Twain, and it uses a starting age of seventeen and an ending age of twenty-five for the son:

        It reminds one of something Mark Twain said to the effect that when he was seventeen he couldn’t bear to have his Father around while they were discussing important questions but when he was twenty-five it was wonderful how the old man had improved. Some college students think their opinions on such subjects are final—poor chaps, they sure have another guess coming.”

        However, since AOC is in fact 29, this timetable gives me less hope that she will see her errors anytime soon.

      5. “She had read one of those ‘how to demolish your reactionary Uncle Bob’ guides for Thanksgiving and decided it was one size fits all?”

        Um, nope. Her aunts, grandmother and I are all non-reactionary. She just has the usual “I’m 19 and know everything” view of life.

        “Can you recall where heteronormative got used, because I’m really curious.
        Is “partner” her preferred terminology?”

        You know, I can’t remember the heteronormative part. I was halfway into a bottle of beaujolais by that point. But girlfriend had something to do with how her best friend L is staying at her (my daughter’s) boyfriend’s for Thanksgiving and everyone at their Thanksgiving dinner thought L was the girlfriend.

    1. Hill says “her every move, including her early stumbles, like when she said there were three chambers of government: the House, Senate and White House. Some of her young Democratic colleagues, who’ve subscribed to a keep-your-head-down approach, already diss her as a media-hungry, social-media celebrity in the mold of a certain Republican president.” – so in seeing her as a Democratic Trump, I am not alone!

  4. Laura said,

    “It is so damn refreshing to see someone combine professionalism with real life. I’ve got a load of whites in the dryer right now.”

    I wanted to mention that I’ve been doing editing work at home part-time (about one big day a week) for medicolegal reports, and while I start pretty mentally fresh first thing in the morning, at some point I start blowing mental fuses. I can literally feel myself getting slower and less smart as the morning wears on.

    My personal discovery has been that it’s very useful at that point to get up and move laundry or load the dishwasher or make a cup of tea or go to the bathroom–the ideal is a mindless, 5-minute task that involves getting up and doing something…and poses no danger of getting accidentally sucked into the internet. At least first thing in the day, I try not to touch the internet.

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