Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York told GQ that many individuals in the U.S. hate women and that she sometimes thinks that somebody like her could not be elected president.

“Sometimes little girls will say, ‘Oh, I want you to be president,’ or things like that,” the progressive lawmaker said when questioned about whether she thought that she or a person like her could ever lead the nation, according to the outlet. “It’s very difficult for me to talk about because it provokes a lot of inner conflict in that I never want to tell a little girl what she can’t do. And I don’t want to tell young people what is not possible. I’ve never been in the business of doing that,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“I hold two contradictory things [in mind] at the same time. One is just the relentless belief that anything is possible,” the congresswoman said. “But at the same time, my experience here has given me a front-row seat to how deeply and unconsciously, as well as consciously, so many people in this country hate women. And they hate women of color. People ask me questions about the future. And realistically, I can’t even tell you if I’m going to be alive in September. And that weighs very heavily on me. And it’s not just the right wing. Misogyny transcends political ideology: left, right, center. This grip of patriarchy affects all of us, not just women; men, as I mentioned before, but also, ideologically, there’s an extraordinary lack of self-awareness in so many places. And so those are two very conflicting things. I admit to sometimes believing that I live in a country that would never let that happen.”

“Could Obama have gotten elected without the kind of financial support that he had?” she questioned, indicating that her position against Wall Street would represent a significant obstacle in her path, according to the outlet. “I don’t know.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2019, is not currently old enough to serve as president, but shortly before the 2024 presidential election she will turn 35 — at that point, she will meet the minimum age requirement for the presidency as stipulated by the Constitution.

“I try to think about how I can be most effective and, honestly, to this point, I have not come up with an alternative that I have found more effective than what I’m doing at the present moment,” Ocasio-Cortez said, according to GQ. “But this is something that I routinely revisit.”

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