Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez knows the power she wields as a woman makes some people very uncomfortable ― and she’s learning to use that to her advantage.
“The idea that a woman can be as powerful as a man is something that our society can’t deal with,“ the freshman Democrat from New York told The New Yorker in an interview published Monday. “But I am as powerful as a man and it drives them crazy.”
Ocasio-Cortez made the remark in response to a quote from Jezebel’s Ashley Reese: “Women are often either characterized as hideous harpies like Hillary Clinton or pretty idiots whose ‘craziness’ is bound up with their sex appeal ... To her critics, Ocasio-Cortez is firmly in the pretty idiot category.”
The Bronx native said she predicted “from day one” that she would be relegated to the “pretty idiot category,” which has put her on the receiving end of an onslaught of harassment from internet trolls and Republicans.
“I’m just a normal person. I knew that I was not going to be liked. I’m a Democrat. I’m a woman. I’m a young woman. A Latina. And I’m a liberal, a [Democratic Socialists of America] member,” Ocasio-Cortez said. ”... But this ravenous hysteria ― it’s really getting to a level that is kind of out of control. It’s dangerous and even scary. I have days when it seems some people want to stoke just enough of it to have just enough plausible deniability if something happens to me.”
Being the object of a sexist label, Ocasio-Cortez said, is helpful in one area: It really throws off her adversaries, including President Donald Trump.
“I can see Trump being enormously upset that a twenty-nine-year-old Latina, who is the daughter of a domestic worker, is helping to build the case to get his financial records,” she said. “I think that adds insult to injury to him.”
Head over to The New Yorker to read Ocasio-Cortez’s full interview.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.