The incident with Eddie Scarry is the latest example of the pushback inspired by Ocasio-Cortez’s meteoric rise in politics. A political unknown just a year ago, the 29-year-old Latina from the Bronx has made history as the youngest woman elected to Congress, along with fellow 29-year-old Iowa Democrat Abby Finkenauer. She has shaken up New York City politics and is now planning to take her personal brand of fiery, media-savvy democratic socialism to Congress—a prospect that makes many people deeply uncomfortable.

Henry Navarro Delgado, an assistant professor of fashion at Ryerson University in Canada, says that’s precisely the reason why so many people are scrutinizing Ocasio-Cortez’s wardrobe. “There are several elements at play here,” he told Quartz. “She’s a woman of color. She’s a woman, of course. She is in a position that is normally dominated by white, male members of society. And her political views are also controversial to the majority of people in Congress.” Critics feel threatened by what she represents, and so they choose to focus on her clothes to show that she’s not who she says she is—and by extension, that she doesn’t belong.

Ocasio-Cortez seems to understand that:

For women like Ocasio-Cortez, it seems, fashion is always political. And there’s nothing that she could wear that would protect her from criticism. As Delgado says, ”It’s just the way that men in power tend to deal with feeling threatened by women who suddenly become part of the conversation of politics.”

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