Sen. Cory Booker D-N.J., questions Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during a hearing, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. (AP/Jose Luis Magana)

Totally with-it GOP attacks Cory Booker with hip millennial words, sounds like your mom

The party's Twitter account accused Cory Booker of "mansplaining," but it doesn't seem to understand what that is


Rachel Leah
January 18, 2018 2:34PM (UTC)

The official Twitter outlet of the Republican party has accused Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) of "mansplaining" immigration and other issues to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in an impassioned speech during a Senate Judiciary Committee the oversight hearing on Tuesday. In much the same way your mother may say "the Facebooks," the GOP mishandled the term.

Booker was addressing the issue of President Donald Trump's alleged racist comments about Haiti and African nations and Nielsen's inability (or unwillingness) to recall and denounce them. "When ignorance and bigotry is allied with power, it’s a dangerous force in our country. Your silence and your amnesia is complicity," Booker said to Nielsen Tuesday. The senator's remarks quickly went viral.

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The GOP Twitter account shared a short article from the its website titled "Derogatory Cory" and tweeted: "If a male Republican senator spent his 10 minutes 'mansplaining' at the female DHS Secretary about immigration policy & yelled at her the only time she tried to speak, Democrats would be triggered."

In the article, it says, "Picture it. A male Republican senator spends his entire 10 minutes 'mansplaining' the female DHS secretary about immigration policy, throws around the term 'conscientious stupidity,' yells at her the only time she tries to speak, and concludes his diatribe without even asking her to respond." The post includes four photos of Booker appearing enraged, with the option to "Watch Derogatory Cory Here."

The article continued, "There’d be so many triggered Democrats that there’d be a hashtag within minutes, campus protests across the country, and the topic-du-jour for celebrities at Hollywood’s next award show. But because the party affiliations were reversed, Derogatory Cory got nothing but praise from the selectively-outraged base he was clearly performing for yesterday." The article concluded with the phrase, "Nevertheless, she persisted," mocking the words that became a rallying cry for women after Mitch McConnell attempted to demean Elizabeth Warren with them.

Thing is, that's not mansplaining. It's just not. Mansplaining is when a man speaks condescendingly to a woman in an attempt to explain something he may not understand completely, but that he holds forth about because his masculinity demands it and provides him authority on the subject. It's usually compounded with the assumption that the women in question does not know the topic at hand and often pops up when the woman has just explained that very same thing to that man.

But Booker wasn't trying to explain anything to Nielsen. He wanted to challenge her on an issue. Very different.

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But as usual, Twitter wasn't having it.


Rachel Leah

Rachel Leah is a culture writer for Salon. You can follow her on Twitter: @rachelkleah.

MORE FROM Rachel Leah

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Cory Booker Donald Trump Gop Immigration Kirstjen Nielsen Mansplaining Media Politics Rnc Twitter

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