Lauren Duca went from relative obscurity to viral fame overnight. Today, she’s a force of nature, her “man-repelling” combination of defiance and strength sitting at the heart of her success.
Days after publishing a viral Teen Vogue column, “Donald Trump is Gaslighting America,” Duca, a 27-year-old journalist and feminist activist, appeared on Fox News to discuss Ivanka Trump with Tucker Carlson, who turned the discussion into a roast.
“You should stick to the thigh-high boots, you’re better at that,” he told Duca.
“Oh Tucker, oh honey,” Duca replied, “You’re being a partisan hack who is just attacking me ad nauseam, and not allowing me to speak.”
The clip went down in infamy, and Duca’s Twitter following soared. Carlson’s insult became the title of Duca’s Teen Vogue column, Thigh High Politics, where she delivers searingly smart news analysis, resources for the resistance, and, in her own words, “generally refuses to accept toxic nonsense.”
She has also become one of the most influential faces of America’s progressive, feminist resistance. It took some time to adjust to the onslaught of hate she faces for writing about gender and politics, Duca says, but she now considers herself “fireproof.”
In an exclusive interview with Quartz, Duca, who is one of our How We’ll Win: Visionaries, explains why men need to start making themselves uncomfortable, and why she doesn’t self-censor her dialect. “Saying ‘like’ or ‘um’ is how I’ve been socialized to talk, so I won’t stop,” she says. “Girls shouldn’t have to perform straight, white, male respectability to participate in politics.”