‘Fuck Your Feelings’ Never Applies to White Men

The logic of abuse has ordered our lives for so long, it must not be allowed to rule our politics any longer

Laurie Penny
9 min readFeb 7, 2021


AOC tells it like it is.

Pain has no place in politics. That’s the rule. And it’s definitely the rule if people with political power have caused you pain. You don’t talk about your trauma. You don’t show the damage. You smile at your abusers. You make things comfortable. No matter what outrages are inflicted on you and people like you, you suck it up and you move on.

It’s been a month since armed white supremacists stormed the U.S. Capitol, but conservatives are already acting as if it was aeons ago. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is not moving on.

Ocasio-Cortez recently described her experience during the Capitol riot during an Instagram live broadcast. She spoke about it calmly and with compassion for well over an hour in footage that has been seen by millions around the world. She told the world how she had had to run from racists with guns, how she was convinced she was about to die. She articulated the lasting horror of that moment and explained why it matters.

Conservatives, including those who had personally egged on the mob, exploded with outrage. The Congresswoman was told, as survivors of abuse are always told, to get over it already. Sit down and shut up and stop making it awkward for the rest of us. Don’t you have healing to do?

Fox News mocked Ocasio-Cortez as ‘Best Actress in a Political Drama.’ How dare she. She’s hysterical. She’s lying. She’s crazy. Everyone knows that women who talk in public about their pain and suffering are crazy lying hysterics. And that’s a good job, too, otherwise men might have to pay attention for a solitary second to the human consequences of their actions.

“These folks who tell us to move on, that it’s not a big deal, that we should forget what’s happened, or even telling us to apologize — these are the same tactics of abusers,” Ocasio-Cortez said, drawing a deliberate link between the behavior of her conservative opponents and the behavior of sexual predators.

The Congresswoman was told, as survivors of abuse are always told, to get over it already.



Laurie Penny

Based on a true story. Author, journalist, screenwriter, social justice bard.