Feminism, Woman Crush Month

Woman Crush Month – Lauren Duca

Artwork by Chloe Bruderer

Woman Crush Month is a month-long series by the girls of She Did What She Wanted
in celebration of Women’s History Month.

By Nina Small

I woke up the morning of November 9th in a haze, a horrific nightmare turned reality. It felt like the Earth shifted overnight. The normally high volume streets and subway cars of New York were silent. Everyone looked off into the distance, our new reality slowly sinking in.

The rest of the day, and a few that followed it, blurred together. Though I believed I would never move past the depression stage of grief, I came to realize how important taking control of my life and actions were to moving forward. The world was different now, and if I wanted anything to change I couldn’t simply live in my protected bubble any longer.

I can’t say for sure, but I imagine Lauren Duca had a similar reaction to the election. As the weekend editor of Teen Vogue, Lauren decided to use her platform to call Trump out – a month after the election she penned an article entitled “Donald Trump is Gaslighting America.” If, like most people, you are not familiar with the 1938 film the term “gaslighting” comes from, Lauren explains it as “a buzzy name for a terrifying strategy currently being used to weaken and blind the American electorate. … to gas light is to psychologically manipulate a person to the point where they question their own sanity, and that’s precisely what Trump is doing to this country.”

The post went viral, finally putting a name to the psychological tricks we saw the President elect performing on a daily basis. Its popularity made Lauren a new face of Trump’s opposition and young women interested in politics. She was consequentially invited onto the Tucker Carlson’s FOX show, where she talked about an incident where Ivanka Trump and her son were harassed on a plane. What transpired was not a civil debate, but rather an attempt from Carlson to degrade her because she writes for a magazine aimed at teenage girls. Carlson simply laughed over her when she stated young girls are allowed to be interested in thigh-high boots and politics. As Lauren noted towards the end of the segment, he would barely let her get a word in – “You’re actually being a partisan hack who’s just attacking me ad nauseam and not even allowing me to speak,” she said. Despite the attempts to shut her down, she held her own. (It’s also worth noting, if you search for the clip on YouTube 90% of them have labels such as “Tucker Carlson DESTROYS Moron Journalist Lauren Duca on Ivanka Trump Harassed on Plane”).

Carlson is not Lauren’s only opponent – she received threatening emails from Trump supporters and was even harassed by Martin Shkreli, who photoshopped himself onto pictures of her and her husband. Fortunately, he was banned from Twitter as a result of the harassment.

Twitter is one of Lauren’s main outlets for political writing – you’ll find her timeline filled with smart (often hilarious) replies directed at Trump and his team, a necessity in this day in age. Honesty, humility, and intelligence suddenly went out the window with Trump – so his tweets needed to be fact checked, his quotes challenged. For someone to use their platform to take on this administration is a huge task, so I really admire Lauren’s dedication. She recently started a new op-ed column for Teen Vogue entitled Thigh-High Politics, with the goal “to be a starting point for empowering you with information, including resources for activism and further reading.”

We all have a responsibility to be informed citizens, so I am glad that Lauren Duca is out there providing info and advocating for teenage girls. For the next four years I’ll make sure to “stay outraged.”

She Did What She Wanted firmly believes there’s nothing better than women empowering other women, so when we found out March is Women’s History Month, we knew we needed to do something special. There are too many amazing women to fit into just thirty one days, but to do our best, we invited our contributors to write about the favorite women in their lives, and Woman Crush Month came to be. #WCM is the ultimate girl power party, and it’s all about women celebrating women and their achievements, and we personally can’t think of anything better than that.

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