Gisele Fetterman has committed Fox News’s highest crime: She’s a funny, conventionally attractive Democratic Latina who opened her mouth. Since her husband, John Fetterman, won his Senate election, Gisele has become an ever-increasing target for conservative news media—who charge, among other things, that she is trying to overthrow her 6'9" husband, because she has a running joke in which she crops his head out of photos. Luckily, people who get what it’s like to singled out and harassed for no legitimate reason—namely, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)—are sticking up for the beloved former SLOP (Second Lady of Pennsylvania).
“I think that it’s very important that she doesn’t have to handle that by herself and on her own,” Ocasio-Cortez told The New Republic about the new senate spouse. Ocasio-Cortez has been the subject of rightwing ire—arguably living rent-free in the head of, well, every Republican in the country—since she unseated a longtime incumbent in 2018. During the January 6th riot at the Capitol, Ocasio-Cortez worried for her life, after enduring years of conservative abuse over everything from having worked as a bartender to wearing anything more expensive than a burlap sack in the Capitol.
“It’s very important that the party sticks up for people. They haven’t done a good job in the past,” Ocasio-Cortez pointedly told the magazine.
Back in July, members of Congress could use up to $10,000 to upgrade their homes’ security. The House Sergeant of Arms also said it would cover the cost of monthly monitoring systems. While no specific threats against Fetterman (or her husband) have been revealed, I think anyone with half a brain would realize it’s never too soon to take this kind of harassment seriously.
What stands out about this new “normal” is that Fetterman is a political spouse, not the politician. “The fact that a spouse of a senator-elect has been attacked nonstop for the past 24 hours and everyone’s OK with it and everyone thinks it’s normal.… It’s not normal,” Fetterman told TNR.
“Since entering the Capitol for training,” she continued, “my inbox has been completely filled with threats and horrible things. And that’s because I’ve been a non-stop loop on Fox News. Hopefully it’s not like this forever … and hopefully it’s not like this for the next young Latina or person of color or spouse who enters this space.”
Fetterman does not plan to enter politics herself, or even move to Washington, D.C. “I want to work closely with the spouses and get to know them, but I’m going to be in Pittsburgh. John will be in D.C.,” she said. “My work and my kids and my life is in Pittsburgh.”
Gisele appears to be pretty clear-eyed about her situation: “The right-wing hates women,” she said. “They especially hate strong women, and I think that’s what you’re seeing.”