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Teen Vogue’s Lauren Duca Battled a Fox News “Partisan Hack” and Young Feminism Came Out the Winner

I wouldn’t normally recommend ever watching a Fox News interview, what with all the yelling and the general lack of listening, but last week, Tucker Carlson interviewed Teen Vogue’s Lauren Duca about some tweets she made in response to/around the same time as a news story about an airline passenger reportedly (possibly falsely) accosting Ivanka Trump on a flight.

As Duca elaborated during the interview, she sees Ivanka Trump as having (per another tweet) a “sinister complicity in aiding the most aggressively anti-woman candidate of our time.” She doesn’t support anyone being yelled at on a plane (or a funeral or a bris, as Carlson seemingly genuinely asks), but her opinions here are less about the setting and more about how much of a pass the country has given Ivanka for her intelligence, her pro-woman speeches, and, yes, her beauty. Throughout the campaign (and continuing since), Ivanka has served to soften her father’s image and stances on women’s issues. She is not just his daughter, but also a political surrogate and advisor. These are the issues Duca had come to discuss. That turned out to be an entirely one-sided debate, though, with Carlson misquoting Duca back to her, perpetually re-asking her questions she had just answered, and calling her answers “moronic,” before finally disparaging Teen Vogue, scoffing “which I guess you write for.”

That last point is, unfortunately, no surprise. When interruptions and straight-up lies just won’t suffice in bringing down a woman, belittling her on the simple basis of her gender is a tactic I’d wager nearly every woman and girl has experienced. Duca held her own against Carlson’s bullying, though, refusing to let him mischaracterize, misquote, and talk over her, even going so far as to call him “unprofessional” and a “partisan hack that’s just attacking me ad nauseam and not allowing me to speak.” She was even able to cut through his shouting to get him to admit they actually agree on the point he brought her there to debate: that neither of them thinks a person should be shouted at on a plane.

This entire interview is a master class in holding your own against baseless, hateful flailing in a debate opponent. But it was when Carlson reached that last resort of mocking her gender and her choice to write for young girls—the demographic so often viewed as the least consequential and worthy by men like Carlson—that Duca fully shone. When Tucker made that snide remark about Teen Vogue, Duca refused to let it slide. She pointed out that he knows full well where she works. Carlson then smugly read off some of Duca’s other headlines, ones about One Direction and Ariana Grande, in an attempt to balance out her brilliant viral op-ed “Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America.” And Duca wasn’t having it. Her response should be on t-shirts, posters, flags, and cross-stitched onto pillows until the end of time.

A woman can love Ariana Grande and her thigh-high boots and still discuss politics, and those things are not mutually exclusive. Now that you bring up Teen Vogue, we treat young women like they don’t have a right to a political conversation, and like you can’t enjoy Kylie Jenner’s Instagram and worry about the future of this country, and those things are not mutually exclusive. So you know what? I did write about Ariana Grande and I did write about the abusive, bigoted, deceptive President of the United States.

Tucker’s response was, as you would expect, disgustingly dismissive, telling her, “Maybe you should stick to the thigh-high boots. You’re better at that.” So she may not have changed his mind about the amount of respect women and girls deserve. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t make an impact.

Duca’s Twitter responses are full of messages like these. Because when they go low, we go high. But going high doesn’t have to be 100% demure and polite. It can involve refusal to stay silent. It can mean not backing down. It can even involve the patronizing “Oh, honey” Duca slipped in when Carlson required it, along with calling him “adorable” for insinuating she was “crazy.” Duca demanded respect from a man who clearly brought her on because he thought a young female writer with a passion for pop culture and girls’ issues would be an easy target. The spectacular fashion in which she proved him wrong was nothing short of heroic. If you think that’s an exaggeration, ask that 14-year-old girl from that tweet up there.

(via Mediaite, image via YouTube)

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