It’s not about the clothes. It’s never, really, about the clothes. For those who seek power in places that have not…

It’s not about the clothes. It’s never, really, about the clothes. For those who seek power in places that have not previously been welcoming, the clothes can become cudgels. They can serve as an easy shorthand for who belongs, and who does not. They can be ratifications of progress and of backlash, used by people who think they know what power should be, and act like, and look like, and dress like—people attempting to enforce, on and for everyone else, the narrowness of their own perspectives.

This is a time that is challenging that myopia.

How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Plain Black Jacket Became a Controversy

A little, simple person like her. This is the strain of rhetoric Scarry was both capitulating to and amplifying when he sent his tweet on Thursday. “I know what it’s like to be a poor intern in D.C.,” he told Talking Points Memo in an interview, “and I can tell you-and I’m a male, obviously-but you tend to not look like that.

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0 Responses to It’s not about the clothes. It’s never, really, about the clothes. For those who seek power in places that have not…

  1. I don’t even have to read the article to know the context… I like Ocasio-Cortez’s reply, that (if I remember correctly) if she’d shown up in a burlap sack, the exact same people would attack her the same as her showing up in the finest clothes she could find on the discount rack.

    It’s never about clothes. It’s about narrow minded people. (And I really am holding my tongue… Whenever I say “narrow minded people” I never mean just that…)

  2. always the dog whistle for white supremacy. the future is not theirs.

  3. Paul Hosking says:

    Wow. This is seriously screwy. I expected going in to this article, someone would be taking shots at her not wearing the social equivalent of the right uniform for these halls of power. But no. It’s that she IS wearing the right costuming.

  4. She’s wearing pretty much what I would expect her to wear – little black number – classic…
    But the usual thing – judging on appearance and deliberately drawing the wrong conclusions.

  5. Adam Liss says:

    She’s my newest hero. I can only imagine what she’ll accomplish after she actually takes office.

  6. I find myself wondering if this obsessive focus on Congressperson-elect Ocasio-Cortez is strengthening or weakening her, and by extension, her “disruptive” phalanx, and by further extension, the Democratic Party. While I see the appeal of this story in building her mythos, and while I think she mostly ‘won’ this engagement (at least so far as the Press-pool and perhaps women are concerned), she’s getting waaaaay too much of the wrong sort of attention, waaay too early. Not her fault, certainly — but the fault of a press that can’t resist a clickbait headline that puts people at each others’ throats. They can’t resist creating a Latinx Katniss Everdeen.

    Leading the Revolution is not what AOC should be drafted into doing. She should be walking the streets of my neighborhood, talking to the people, and collecting clips substantiating her ability to do Congressional politics.

  7. Adam Liss says:

    She seems to be naturally adept at turning even the “wrong” type of attention into support for her position. Why do you think she isn’t talking to her constituents?

  8. Cindy Brown says:

    And at the risk of some stereotyping, she IS latina. IME, they are serious about dressing up and dressing right. In every photo and video clip of her that I’ve seen, she nails her wardrobe every time.

    As the article says, it’s a power play, a put-in-her-position move. I’m just delighted at how unfazed she is and how good she is at turning the tables on these people (also which I have been consistently seeing over the last year).

  9. it’s gotta be a crazy tight rope to walk – stay on brand, look different enough to represent change, but also same enough to be ‘serious’.

  10. And all a guy has to do is turn up in a suit…

  11. Adam Liss – She’s talking to her constituents. The media should leave her alone to master her job and do the peoples’ business, and stop trying to make her the face of American Democratic Socialism or Millennial Insurgency. She likely can’t sustain such scrutiny for long, and if she falters, in this atmosphere, she’ll have a label like “Pocahontas” hung around her neck and be reduced to political impotency.

    She’s a potentially valuable asset. The supposedly-“liberal” press should have the sense God gave a goose and take the spotlight firmly off her until she’s ready to engage in national politics.

  12. Paul Hosking says:

    See – this is the sneaky bit here. If she was a guy, the comment would have been that he showed up in too nice of a suit. So obviously, he’s not what he says he is.

    It’s not that she chose the wrong outfit. It’s that it was a nice outfit. Too nice of an outfit. Something someone of her much-touted background wouldn’t be able to afford. So therefore, she’s a phony.

    No need to look for genuine people. Ignore the conman pushing the Overton Window over here. Because the other side of the box has conmen too! And don’t think about looking for a genuine shake-up of Congress over there either – they’re conmen! Phonies! All of them!

    And so on.