Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), shared her story of being sexually assaulted in a candid interview that was published Wednesday. She also discussed what needs to be done to ensure that the fight for abortion rights succeeds.
Ocasio-Cortez spoke to GQ about the days following the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. WadeShe also made a decision to join protesters at D.C. and tell them about her personal experience with being raped.
As Democrats bizarrely sang “God Bless America” on the Capitol steps at a press conference for a gun reform bill shortly after Dobbs v. JacksonWas voted, OcasioCortez Join the growing crowd outside. She told the publication that her decision to join protesters was “about a human need” — a need to tell the public that “their elected officials give a shit about them.”
She stated that while it was a personal decision to come out about her sexual assaults, it was one that she felt she had no choice but to make. She first revealed that she had been rapedWhen she was discussing the attack on the Capitol on January 6, last year, has continuedSpeaking out about the assault in recent weeks as the far right has revoked the right millions of people to terminatePregnancies that were caused by rape
“When I was about 22 or 23 years old I was raped,” she told a crowd in New York after the Dobbs decision came down. “I was completely alone. I felt completely alone. I felt so alone, that I had to have a pregnancy test in a public restroom 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.”
Her vulnerability — and the vulnerability of the many people who have shared their abortion stories in support of the procedure — must not stand alone, she said. However some reportsOcasio Cortez stated that while women may feel more motivated politically after the decision, it will also require the support of men to win the battle against abortion. (Trans men and nonbinary women can also get pregnant but cis women are the largest group directly affected. Roe.)
The progressive told GQMen must break away from patriarchal norms and engage in vulnerable and serious discussions to defeat oppressive abortion bans.
“For almost every woman that has gotten an abortion, there’s a man who has either been affected or liberated by that abortion too,” she said. “In this moment it’s really only going to be the vulnerability of men, and men talking to other men, that gives us the greatest hope of shifting things the fastest, soonest.”
She noted that men face “stigma” for being vulnerable, something they must break free from. “I think something that’s really powerful for men is to share their stories of growth,” she said. Later, she noted, “There are amazing men in this world, and not men as a final product. There are men on incredible journeys, internal journeys, journeys of transcending beyond just anger as the acceptable masculine emotion.”
During her interviews with GQOcasio-Cortez also spoke on her experiences of being subjugated in the Democratic Party establishment and her future political plans. Since day one in Congress, Ocasio-Cortez said, she has faced “open hostility” from mainstream Democrats for her presence in office, despite her huge popularity among the public.
“Others may see a person who is admired, but my everyday lived experience here is as a person who is despised,” she said. “Imagine working a job and your bosses don’t like you and folks on your team are suspicious of you. Then imagine that you are a boss who doesn’t like you and your coworkers are suspicious of you. The competing company wants to kill you.”
Which is her potential to run as president? many commentatorsOcasio Cortez said with tears that she doesn’t believe it would be possible for her ever to be elected.
While she doesn’t want to dash young people’s hopes about the future, she noted that deep-seated misogyny and racism that transcend ideology would be a powerful force against her if she were to run. “I admit to sometimes believing that I live in a country that would never let that happen,” she said.