10

Recently, there was a huge backlash after the last presidential debate that Trump referred to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Congresswoman of 14th NY district as AOC. For example, look here, or here, and here.

I can't understand why it is considered disrespectful. I mean Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez uses the acronym AOC in her Twitter account: https://twitter.com/AOC. But, why when other people use her famous acronym AOC does it becomes disrespectful suddenly? I would appreciate a well-sourced answer here.

  • 33
    I read political news all day. I've not heard of said "huge backlash", which makes me wonder just how huge it really is. I mean, Trump says a lot of stuff, who cares anymore? – dandavis Oct 25 at 21:03
  • @dandavis Because you haven't heard it, it doesn't mean it's not there. – Alone Programmer Oct 25 at 23:36
  • 15
    The links provided don't show any evidence of a "huge backlasth." They simply show three separate sites reporting on the same event, using the same quotes from the same people. Linking to three separate articles that all report the same thing is not proof of a a huge backlash. A backlash is a strong negative response to something by a lot of different people. Removing the term "huge backlash" from the question would make it more reasonable. – barbecue Oct 26 at 4:24
  • @AloneProgrammer: absolutely possible. I'm not omniscient, but if something is "huge" I would like to think i'd hear about it, and judging from the "ups" on my comment others share my experience. – dandavis Oct 26 at 10:52
35

Because it is not always appropriate to use someone's nickname when referring to them and I don't think it is a stretch to say a presidential debate is not a place for nicknames. There is also the question why some people get addressed with proper titles and names while others only get nicknames. When referring to fellow members of government in a setting like a debate they should be referred to in a formal manner which would normally be their title and last name not a nickname.

From your first link her complaint is she is refereed to by a nickname while others get their title and proper name.

"I wonder if Republicans understand how much they advertise their disrespect of women in debates when they consistently call women members of Congress by nicknames or first names while using titles & last names when referring to men of = stature," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

From your second source

AOC is a name given to me by community & the people. Y’all can call me AOC.

Government colleagues referring to each other in a public or professional context (aka who don’t know me like that) should refer to their peers as “Congresswoman,” “Representative,”etc. Basic respect 101

From your third source it is obvious he went even further by referring to some other congresswomen by referring to them as just numbers as part of a group

Trump referred to Ocasio-Cortez as “AOC plus three,” referencing her and Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, also known as “The Squad.”

It seems that Trump used the nickname because he didn't want to give her and some of her allies the same level of respect that he gives other members of congress.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    None of the articles make clear if Trump actually used titles for other people in the debate. I didn't watch the debate and what I can't seem to find out is if AOC has been treated differently to others. That however, doesn't stop this being the right answer. All the articles refer back to AOC's own comments on the matter which relate to workplace respect. – Jontia Oct 25 at 19:43
  • 3
    In this instance and going on the quotes provided, nicknames and isolated first names fall into the same category. And everyone has a first name. And while Trump mentioned 'Joe' several times, that was intended to belittle him. – Jontia Oct 25 at 22:34
  • 18
    I wonder if all of this, perhaps even Ocasio-Cortez's argument, doesn't really address the main point. It's not that it's impolite to call her by the abbreviation, and to be honest I wonder whether she would have said anything if Biden had used the same term. It seems clear to me the context made it clear that Trump was trying to insult her. That's bolstered by the fact that he tried to be even more rude to the other legislators ("plus three" is even more insulting because it implies that they are irrelevant relative to her—expect she mentioned that in another tweet). – Obie 2.0 Oct 26 at 2:57
  • 5
    Still...it is interesting that people say AOC, HRC and RBG (or even ACB) these days, but they don't say BHO, GWB, or DJT, or JGR, NMG, BMK (exactly, who knows who they are) very often. There used to be LBJs, MLKs, and JFKs, but that seems to be largely a thing of the past. I think she's clearly right—and about more than just Republican politicians! – Obie 2.0 Oct 26 at 3:04
  • 2
    The fact that RBG is actually JRBG makes me want to make a supreme court anime. The continual attempt to quantify outcomes would play really well. It could be a tournament-style thing. Not sure this helps. – capet Oct 26 at 4:39
12

From your newsweek link:

"I wonder if Republicans understand how much they advertise their disrespect of women in debates when they consistently call women members of Congress by nicknames or first names while using titles & last names when referring to men of = stature," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

"AOC is a name given to me by community & the people. Y'all can call me AOC," she went on in another tweet, addressing her followers.

"Government colleagues referring to each other in a public or professional context (aka who don't know me like that) should refer to their peers as 'Congresswoman,' 'Representative,' etc. Basic respect 101."

I think that's pretty clear.

| improve this answer | |
  • 21
    @A.Rex You do realize that typing Mike_Pence is the way you MUST address Mike Pence if you want the tweet to to to him, right? If she had put an at sign in front of Vice President Mike Pence the tweet would have gone to the twitter account for the Vice network, because that's how twitter works. If you find it disrespectful, complain to Twitter, or maybe Pence, since it's his handle and he chose it. – barbecue Oct 26 at 4:34
  • 8
    @A.Rex Certainly that would be an option, but twitter is an app and a style that promotes brevity and shuns formality. The point is moot anyway - it would be disrespectful, had she used the twitter handle to adress (or discuss) the Vice President in a debate. Or an interview, or on the congress floor. That is not your comparison. – Stian Yttervik Oct 26 at 7:41
  • 1
    Come on... is this a new policy of this SE to remove all the comments?! – Alone Programmer Oct 29 at 13:29
  • 1
    @AloneProgrammer No, it's actually a very old policy. Comments are transient and should help to improve an answer/question. Long back and forth discussions in comments are discouraged and generally moved to chat or deleted. – tim Oct 29 at 15:38
  • 1
    @StianYttervik Is Twitter not a "public context"? – user76284 Nov 1 at 22:18

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .