Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen sat down for an early exit interview with Cosmopolitan magazine, sharing lessons from her extensive congressional career before she retires in 2018.
It’s worth reading the entire piece, which highlights the areas in which Ros-Lehtinen has notably differed with the GOP: climate change (“People who argue that it isn’t changing, that the sea levels are the same, are just delusional”), same-sex marriage (“If more members of our party listened to their hearts and acted on that, I think that we would be better off”) and President Donald Trump (“I’m not the president of his fan club”).
Of particular note is Ros-Lehtinen’s nod to her trailblazing on Capitol Hill: She was the first Hispanic woman -- and first Cuban American -- elected to the House, and that made her all-too-familiar with “mansplaining,” she told Cosmo:
When I first got to Congress many years ago, there weren’t that many female members of Congress. And now there’s so many more of us, and I think the male members have understood the changing nature of society. They’re more cognizant that maybe what they’re thinking and their points of view are not the Magna Carta.
There came a time in my public service career where I really had the gumption to express my point of view and I felt like, OK, don’t tell me about this issue of human rights. I really do know a lot about it and we can share opinions, but there’s certain facts that you need to know. That only comes once you master a subject, and you feel like, OK, I trust my instincts and I trust my knowledge, and boy, I’m not gonna let anybody mansplain to me. I’m gonna dig right in and I’m gonna get my point of view across. Having that sense of self is really a confidence builder. Hoo-boy, you just feel it in your bones. More and more I think men are seeing, Oh boy, this person knows what she’s talking about. And they’re a little more cautious than they used to be.