Having a daughter doesn’t make a decent man.
July 23, 2020 8:34 AM   Subscribe

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) Responds to Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) A powerful speech from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the inexcusability of dehumanizing language against women and not accepting non-apologies.
posted by toastyk (129 comments total) 129 users marked this as a favorite
 
AOC condemns culture of accepting violence against women after Yoho confrontation (Guardian live blog)
“These were the words that Representative Yoho levied against a congresswoman -- a congresswoman who represents not just New York’s 14th congressional district but every congresswoman and every woman in this country because all of us have had to deal with this in some form, some way, some shape at some point in our lives.” [...]

Ocasio-Cortez said Yoho’s words were “not deeply hurtful or piercing” because she has heard them far too many times before.

“This is not new, and that is the problem,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “This issue is not about one incident. It is cultural. It is a culture of lack of impunity; of accepting of violence and violent language against women; and an entire structure of power that supports that.”

Ocasio-Cortez also criticized Yoho for using his wife and daughters as “shields for poor behavior” to avoid taking responsibility for his actions.

“I am two years younger than Mr Yoho’s youngest daughter. I am someone’s daughter, too,” Ocasio-Cortez said, getting choked up as she reflected on her gratitude that her father was not alive to hear Yoho’s words. The congresswoman added, “I am here because I have to show my parents that I am their daughter and that they did not raise me to accept abuse from men.”
posted by katra at 8:45 AM on July 23 [84 favorites]


Damn, that was a good speech. I liked the quoted part above by katra, but I also found the statement that Mr. Yoho's comments give license to other men to accost his daughters, his wife particularly powerful.
posted by vernondalhart at 8:57 AM on July 23 [51 favorites]


TPM, July 22, 2020:
[Rep.] Karen Bass [D-CA] told The View’s Meghan McCain on Wednesday that many of Congress’ female members “gathered around” Ocasio-Cortez and “demanded that there be an apology.”

“I know that Yoho apologized today, we don’t think that’s enough, we’re not finished,” Bass said.

McCain had tweeted Tuesday that although she and Ocasio-Cortez disagreed on “literally almost everything,” Yoho was out of line for what she called an “archaic” and “despicable” “misogynistic trend” where any woman a man disagrees with “is a b----.”
posted by katra at 8:59 AM on July 23 [12 favorites]


Ocasio-Cortez excoriates Yoho in powerful floor speech after he directed sexist slur at her (Boston Globe)
After her speech, a number of other lawmakers rose in support of Ocasio-Cortez, including Representative Ayanna Pressley, who condemned Yoho’s remarks. “As the Congresswoman stated, we are not on the House floor today because of just one callous incident, unfortunately what brings us to this moment are the structural and cultural conditions — and yes, the very men — that have normalized the marginalization of women, and specifically women of color, since this nation’s very inception,” Pressley said.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasts Ted Yoho over confrontation: "That is not acceptable" (CBS News)
Ocasio-Cortez was joined in the chamber by fellow Democratic lawmakers, many of them women, who relayed their own experiences with colleagues in which they were demeaned and condemned Yoho's behavior and derogatory comments. [...] Ocasio-Cortez recounted the confrontation in her speech and said she was "minding my own business" when Yoho approached her and called her "disgusting," "crazy," "out of my mind" and "dangerous." Repeating the uncensored profanity, Ocasio-Cortez said she is no stranger to being the target of "dehumanizing language," and said his behavior further demonstrates there is a "pattern of an attitude toward women and dehumanization of others."
posted by katra at 9:13 AM on July 23 [4 favorites]


It’s like she was designed in a lab to be everything those dinosaurs hate and fear the most. Rock on.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:31 AM on July 23 [273 favorites]


I especially love that she explicitly called out his using his wife and daughters as a shield. So many men do this and it is so offensive.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 9:43 AM on July 23 [196 favorites]


The thing that always impresses me most is her clarity and simplicity of language, and her refusal to hedge. I wish every politician had that kind of moral courage.
posted by toastyk at 9:44 AM on July 23 [158 favorites]


My biological father said that my mother was "too much of a hamburger slut to marry". He came from money(ish) and she was 20 years younger and blonde. I asked what hamburger slut meant, and he said "young, will do just about anything for a hamburger special". I've haunted these halls.
posted by lextex at 9:46 AM on July 23 [20 favorites]


That speech was powerful. She used her words to cement Rep. Yoho's legacy not as a politician and family man but as a moral cretin and a coward.

AOC was quite right to say that Yoho's language gives others permission to follow suit, but I ope this strong speech is much more influential in causing the Yohos of this world to think twice.
posted by Gelatin at 10:00 AM on July 23 [20 favorites]


Thank you so much for posting this. I never watch CSPAN videos, but I watched all 10 minutes of her speech because it was so powerful and engaging. I realized shortly after she was elected that I had started measuring all politicians against her standard as a smart, ethical, honest, inspiring, and savvy Congresswoman. And while it’s amazing that all of my Congressional representatives are left-leaning women, I wish with all of my heart that I could have the equivalent of three AOCs fighting for me in Congress.
posted by Maarika at 10:06 AM on July 23 [39 favorites]


Came here to say what toastyk said, using almost exactly the same words in a slightly different arrangement.

When AOC became widely known a lot of people wanted to focus specifically on her mastery of social media, when it should have been clear that she's just a really great communicator (among other things).
posted by theory at 10:09 AM on July 23 [33 favorites]


How long do we have to wait before she can be president?
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:15 AM on July 23 [30 favorites]


4 more years
posted by brujita at 10:16 AM on July 23 [17 favorites]


that gave me chills.
posted by affectionateborg at 10:21 AM on July 23 [1 favorite]


the part that got her the most emotionally upset was when she mentioned her mother seeing all of this tv. none of the rest bothered her personally at all and that is evident.

i wonder if this will get through to its intended audience.
posted by affectionateborg at 10:24 AM on July 23 [11 favorites]


Damn I can't wait to see her run for the white house. And I'm not even a US citizen. She is awesome.
posted by DreamerFi at 10:25 AM on July 23 [24 favorites]


Trump is president because of, not in spite of, the kind of misogyny AOC condemns, so it's all the more vital for her to take to the House floor to insist it no longer is acceptable.
posted by Gelatin at 10:32 AM on July 23 [83 favorites]


Oh god that was so great. I read the comments here first and thus had pretty high expectations going in but it just kept getting better and better.
posted by XMLicious at 10:41 AM on July 23 [2 favorites]


I'm always a little shocked by the number of people in my Facebook feed whose go to insult for Representative Ocasio-Cortez some variation of 'stupid', when she is verifiably by all measures a very smart person. And when that doesn't work they say that she should go 'back to bartending', which seems to be the antithesis of the equal system they profess to support and the blue collar jobs that they themselves have.

It's like they want to say...something else about her, but their families are watching over their shoulders.
posted by Alison at 10:52 AM on July 23 [76 favorites]


"Excoriate" is a word that needs to be used more often.
posted by vibrotronica at 10:57 AM on July 23 [12 favorites]




Dems rebuke culture of sexism in defense of Ocasio-Cortez (Politico)
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who has faced personal attacks of her own from GOP members, delivered a powerful speech on the floor condemning the sexist culture that women, particularly women of color, still face. "These are the things that happen to us all the time," Jayapal said on the floor, noting out of the 11,000 people who have served in Congress, only 79 are women of color.

“We are not going away. There are going to be more of us here," she added. "There is going to be more power in the hands of women across this country. And we are going to continue to speak up.”

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), one of the highest ranking Democratic women in Congress, said she hurried to the floor to take part in the parade of speeches just as the hour was ending. “This is something that every single woman I know, and I’m sure every single woman in our country, has experienced to some degree or another,” Clark said in an interview afterwards, calling Yoho’s attempt on Wednesday to apologize “unacceptable.”

“We are done with not only these type of comments, sexism from our colleagues, but also, not taking responsibility for their actions,” Clark said. “If we don’t speak up, it just becomes something that women and girls just accept in their lives.”
posted by katra at 11:14 AM on July 23 [9 favorites]


AP:
The remarkable outpouring, with several female lawmakers saying they’d routinely encountered such treatment, came in an election year in which polls show women lean decisively against Trump, who has a history of mocking women. Trump was captured in a 2005 tape boasting about physically abusing them, and his disparagement of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has included calling her “crazy.”

[...] Pelosi herself weighed in a separate news conference. “It’s a manifestation of attitude in our society really. I can tell you that firsthand, they’ve called me names for at least at least 20 years of leadership, 18 years of leadership,” Pelosi said of Republicans. [...] “I personally have experienced a lifetime of insults, racism and sexism,” said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif. “And believe me, this did not stop after being elected to public office.”
posted by katra at 11:26 AM on July 23 [13 favorites]


WaPo:
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said she was speaking “on behalf of women around the world.”

“This is not just about one woman, one incident, or one verbal assaulter,” she said. “This is about respect and fundamental equality. … You respect women because they are an equal human being to you. We will not allow sexism and misogyny and patriarchy to hold us back.”
posted by katra at 11:35 AM on July 23 [12 favorites]


To quote myself on Twitter:

Me: We have to stop lionizing people in power and instead focus on ideals and the fight to make them reality.

Also me: I would die for her.

posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:42 AM on July 23 [39 favorites]


Posted 3 hours ago. 2 million views already. Don't read the comments.
posted by gwint at 11:52 AM on July 23 [5 favorites]


Her speech was amazing.

But why do I read the comments on linked articles? It is *so* disheartening to see how many people agree with Rep. Yoho.

I want to live in a country world where it's unacceptable for one person to call another person a f***ing b***h. I truly don't understand how people can say 'well, she deserved it'.
posted by hydra77 at 11:54 AM on July 23 [10 favorites]


C-Span has a playlist/supercut of the hour starting with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez' statement above, and containing referenced responses from Rep. Ted Yoho and reactions from other Congresspeople.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:58 AM on July 23 [1 favorite]


The funny-odd thing is that pretty much no one knew who this Yoho was until he accosted her. And after getting a bit of notoriety, he'll go back to being a sad-sack nobody in a sea of bloated Republicans no one likes being around — at best, he might get a footnote in AOC's presidential biography.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:20 PM on July 23 [18 favorites]


He was already stepping down from his seat at the end of this session.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:21 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


Oh that's interesting ZeusHumms. Is it likely he will be replaced by a progressive person or is that area solidly R? Couldn't tell from a brief Google.
posted by rogerroger at 12:23 PM on July 23


Zero chance of a progressive unless whoever wins the GOP primary turns out to be another Roy Moore.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 12:37 PM on July 23


The whole speech was amazing, and I loved the passage about her father and showing her family they did not raise her to accept abuse. But this part, from the conclusion, was everything:
What I want to express to Mr. Yoho is gratitude. I want to thank him for showing the world that you can be a powerful man and accost women. You can have daughters and accost women without remorse. You can have be married and accost women. You can take photos and project an image to the world of a family man and accost women without remorse and with a sense of impunity. It happens every day in this country. It happened here on the steps of our nation’s capital.
(apologies for any typos/omissions, I was practically transcribing it live on FB)
posted by martin q blank at 12:41 PM on July 23 [43 favorites]


> How long do we have to wait before she can be president?
If you're a Twitter user, @POTUS_AOC provides a weekly countdown of how many days remain until AOC becomes eligible to run. The reminders have been a tiny spark of hope in my feed for the last three years. (Currently, it's 1543 days.)
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 12:53 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


Next time I fuck up at work or at home, i'm just going to stand up in my cubicle and yell, "“I cannot apologize for my passion, or for loving my God, my family, and my country! I yield back!”"
posted by vespabelle at 12:59 PM on July 23 [45 favorites]


As happy as I would be to vote for AOC for President, I think a future Senate run or House leadership role are both more likely and probably a better way for her to move her policy goals forward.
posted by feckless at 1:26 PM on July 23 [20 favorites]


...go to insult for Representative Ocasio-Cortez some variation of 'stupid', when she is verifiably by all measures a very smart person

These are the same people who thought Obama was an inarticulate idiot but Trump is a genius. Even factoring in the incredible racism and misogyny, I have no idea how they model the world in their heads.
posted by PlusDistance at 1:30 PM on July 23 [52 favorites]


Can you imagine what it would be like if every woman in the House and Senate adopted AOC's stance of "we won't accept or forgive your hostile misogyny?"

I hope their Republican (and yes, not a few Democratic) colleagues are imagining it now.
posted by Gelatin at 1:34 PM on July 23 [13 favorites]


> How long do we have to wait before she can be president?
> Basically, the 2024 election cycle.


Non-USian here, help me understand this – for AOC to be president in 2024, Trump would have to win this year, right? Because if Biden wins, won't he be up for reelection in 2024? Then it's either AOC 2028 or she runs as an independent, which tends to... not work out?
posted by Tom-B at 1:46 PM on July 23


Tom-B, that's accurate.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 1:52 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


Under the assumption that Biden goes up for re-election (and doesn't do something like select her as VP candidate), and she doesn't decide to go for a primary challenge, correct.
(Nobody's *won* a primary challenge against an incumbent President, as far as I know, but it's been attempted as recently as George H.W. Bush vs. Pat Buchanan in 1992)
posted by CrystalDave at 1:53 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


[ One post removed for violating the guidelines. If a discussion is about a big-picture issue ( the culture of misogyny and patriarchy, in this case) recognize that's probably the wrong place to debate small technical points or the exact details of the one example ]
posted by loup (staff) at 1:53 PM on July 23 [20 favorites]


These are the same people who thought Obama was an inarticulate idiot but Trump is a genius.

The culture of dehumanizing language is broader than this, unfortunately.

Can you imagine what it would be like if every woman in the House and Senate adopted AOC's stance of "we won't accept or forgive your hostile misogyny?"

I'm trying to imagine what it would be like if everyone adopted AOC's stance and stopped using the hostile misogynistic and ableist language that she describes, because it can be so toxic to free expression and support exclusion, inequity, and inequality.
posted by katra at 1:53 PM on July 23 [6 favorites]


and support exclusion, inequity, and inequality

It's intended to. Yoho was telling AOC he didn't think she belonged in Congress at all and didn't care about her constituents who sent her.
posted by Gelatin at 2:01 PM on July 23 [13 favorites]


I watched his original apology speech and it was just absolutely horrendous.
posted by rebent at 2:07 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


It's intended to. Yoho was telling AOC he didn't think she belonged in Congress at all and didn't care about her constituents who sent her.

But even when it's not intended, it still can have that impact. The casual ableist slurs, like calling someone "crazy," or an "idiot," may not be intended to exclude, but they can have that impact.

I also seriously doubt that any of the people derailing the discussion here from the actual subject of the post to chat technical politics intend to exclude the voices of women and distract from the larger discussion about the culture of dehumanizing language, but I think the politics chat can be felt as excluding, especially in the flat text format here. Talking over the voices of women being highlighted by this post so what the women are trying to talk about gets drowned out by speculation about specific technical AOC points can be oppressive, even if it is not meant to be.
posted by katra at 2:15 PM on July 23 [11 favorites]


She’s great ... and if you think otherwise I will freely assume you are a fucking idiot.

I’m looking at you, cousin Kim. (I won’t link the Facebook offender in question (and she’ll never read this comment) but I will choose to believe in my heart that she knows how I feel.)

Also, seriously now, if you can find anything to be offended by in AOC’s statement (and I mean anything at all) you really should take a little me time and reflect upon that.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:20 PM on July 23 [10 favorites]


She’s great ... and if you think otherwise I will freely assume you are a fucking idiot.

Maybe we could start a thesaurus for ableist slurs, like "malevolent" or "racist."
posted by katra at 2:26 PM on July 23 [9 favorites]


Maybe we could start a thesaurus for non-ableist slurs

katra, such a resource exists! SelfDefined, an online dictionary and thesaurus created by Tatiana T Mac. There are lots of alternative, non-ableist words suggested. It's open source and always being updated.
posted by rogerroger at 2:32 PM on July 23 [39 favorites]


rogerroger, thank you and flagged as fantastic! Casual ableism is problematic for many reasons, and especially when it hampers our ability to clearly call out racism.
posted by katra at 2:38 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


(! I didn’t know/ was not aware ‘idiot’ was ableist. Sorry for any offense. What to use in its stead? ‘Miserable piece of shit’? I’ll gladly go with that...)
posted by From Bklyn at 2:46 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


I love this so much:
What Mr. Yoho did was give permission to other men to do that to his daughters.
Not only does AOC call out Yoho for hiding behind his wife and daughters, she says that he is actively harming them with this very public act of misogyny. As others have noted, this will be his legacy.

You brought boxing gloves to a kung fu match, Ted.
posted by swift at 2:48 PM on July 23 [44 favorites]


Rep. Yoho said, "I rise to apologize for the abrupt manner of the conversation I had with my colleague from New York," without naming AOC, then dragged in his wife & daughters. He said, "The offensive name calling, words attributed to me by the press were never spoken to my colleagues and if they were construed that way, I apologize for their misunderstanding," and "I cannot apologize for my passion or for loving my God, my family and my country."

He didn't apologize for anything.

More Yoho weaseltry: Yoho's office denies that he made the comment, telling CNN in a statement Tuesday that he "made a brief comment to himself as he walked away summarizing what he believes her policies to be: bullshit." (CNN, July 22, 2020) [Yoho flashback: The House passed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act in February with broad, bipartisan support in a 410-4 vote. Yoho told CNN that he voted against the measure because the bill is an "overreach of the federal government" and tramples on state's rights. (CNN, Feb. 26, 2020)]

Speaking of misogyny, house brand Fox News went with Ocasio-Cortez delivers emotional floor speech slamming Rep. Yoho's 'abusive language' for its headline, with gems like The liberal politician and member of the freshman "squad" said she was prepared to let Yoho's comments go, until the retiring GOP congressman attempted to apologize on the House floor Wednesday and instead used his wife and daughters as "shields" and "excuses for poor behavior," she said, and Ocasio-Cortez ended her 10-minute monologue thanking Yoho for showing just how common harassment against women is -- even against members of Congress -- and how it's a "pattern" of dehumanizing behavior. Fox holds that Yoho did apologize yesterday, and that the congresswoman swiftly rejected his apology. Then she monologued on the House floor, kicking off an hour of "passionate speeches" made by 16 of her Democratic colleagues "including the three fellow squad members Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley -- who praised the freshman rep for standing up to Yoho and said women are not going to put up with such attacks," thus reminding the regular Fox fan that all four women are to be despised, not just the one in the headline.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:04 PM on July 23 [6 favorites]


i wonder if this will get through to its intended audience.

I doubt it. When it first got posted to Twitter a few hours ago, the first few comments, which were from women, were along the lines of, "There she goes making it about her again" and "She always plays the victim" and "clearly she's too thin-skinned to be in politics."
posted by dobbs at 3:15 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


Good solid speech by Ocasio-Cortez. I probably shouldn't have been, but I was shocked by how incoherent Yoho's response was-- he just claimed he didn't do it, then listed some unrelated talking points.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 3:19 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


It is so refreshing, and comforting, to hear a politician speak the truth. It has always bothered me when men refer to having wives and daughters as somehow evidence for "I couldn't possibly be sexist". AOC laid out in the clearest way I have seen why those claims are total BS. I particularly liked the part where she thanked Yoho for demonstrating that having a wife and daughters does not make a decent man. AOC is absolutely amazing.

Also there was a reporter from The Hill who heard Yoho use those terms to refer to AOC.
posted by bluesky43 at 3:26 PM on July 23 [15 favorites]


Because if Biden wins, won't he be up for reelection in 2024? Then it's either AOC 2028 or she runs as an independent, which tends to... not work out?

My dream is that Biden recognizes his best role here is as a stopgap to get rid of Trump, then pulls an LBJ (or Knox/Hayes/etc.) to make room for a GREAT Democratic Party President. Not sure that should be AOC, but it's the basic idea.

But even when it's not intended, it still can have that impact. The casual ableist slurs, like calling someone "crazy," or an "idiot," may not be intended to exclude, but they can have that impact.

See also: "hostile work environment."

Also there was a reporter from The Hill who heard Yoho use those terms to refer to AOC.

Yeah I assume that's why AOC mentioned more than once that it was in front of the press.
posted by rhizome at 3:41 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


[To emphasize loup's note earlier, please don't derail onto gaming out strategy for future presidential elections; the post is about her response to this incident and the bigger-picture problems she's calling out in her speech.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:47 PM on July 23 [14 favorites]


It's honestly surprising to me that he'd have done it to begin with. The Republican game is normally about couching truly horrifying notions in genteel language. Not regular "I don't like you" things in coarse language.

Like, what compels a politician to approach an opponent, completely unprovoked, and unleash a torrent of verbal diarrhea like that?

Maybe men really are too emotional to lead.
posted by explosion at 3:48 PM on July 23 [23 favorites]


Like, what compels a politician to approach an opponent, completely unprovoked, and unleash a torrent of verbal diarrhea like that?

Male privilege.
posted by bluesky43 at 3:53 PM on July 23 [19 favorites]


The culture of hatred out of the far right, and even medium right, is bleeding into every place where people have online dialogue. I have never seen people villify someone as much as they go after Ms.Ocasio-Cortez; it is sickening, and an awful reminder that digital media has unleashed a flood of gut wrenching animus, that is a constant diet. So people like Yoho who, apparently, have a taste for it, are so full, it spills over as if it were real, real discourse, about reality. They go on as if this constant discussion is moral, in support of American values, in support of the flag, the police, the military, the American way of life. This animus is a mass psychosis fanned by corporate predators who have only half a generation to continue with their wholesale destruction of the environment, and wholesale robbery of our future. Ocasio-Cortez's bright, beautiful, brilliant face, and discourse these are supremely threatening to incompetents like Yoho, who are in place to put their pegs in the holes they are told to. He gained huge popularity among the like minded. I know that 90% of people who unreasonably hate her, have never heard her speak. They just listen to haters who speak of her. She doesn't get paid enough, she isn't safe enough, she is a national treasure. She made a great speech.
posted by Oyéah at 4:27 PM on July 23 [35 favorites]


Like, what compels a politician to approach an opponent, completely unprovoked, and unleash a torrent of verbal diarrhea like that?

Male privilege.


More specifically: men who have suddenly realized they are on the wrong side of history, are angry about it, and are used to taking their anger out on the women around them with impunity.

If he acts like this toward a professional colleague, I am genuinely worried about how he acts toward his wife and daughters. That type of anger unleashes tenfold at home.
posted by basalganglia at 4:44 PM on July 23 [13 favorites]


I have never seen people villify someone as much as they go after Ms.Ocasio-Cortez

Sadly, I have: Ilhan Omar could tweet a photo of a puppy licking an ice cream cone and her replies would still be filled with racial slurs and death threats.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:59 PM on July 23 [54 favorites]


This settled on my soul. I am so proud to have her.
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:06 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


Like, what compels a politician to approach an opponent, completely unprovoked, and unleash a torrent of verbal diarrhea like that?

Male privilege.


I get it, and I agree in the main, but I smell a rat, possibly an election rat: why now? AOC has been in office for two years and from all I've read it leapt out of nowhere?
posted by rhizome at 5:54 PM on July 23


There’s no grand strategy. They’re just bad at this and they’re existentially mad that people are figuring it out and lashing out at their favorite targets, ie anyone that’s not a white cis straight man.
posted by Automocar at 6:03 PM on July 23 [12 favorites]


She has felt this her whole life. Acting like the mundane sexist attacks she experiences, that all women experience, has some kind of mystery about it is part of what she is talking about. I encourage you to watch the video again.
posted by tiny frying pan at 6:08 PM on July 23 [32 favorites]


Threadreader link with AOC's House colleague Ruben Gallego (Democrat, Arizona's 7th congressional district) tweeting July 21 after the story broke; @RubenGallego:

I have suggested the same thing that @aoc has poverty & unemployment lead to crime. Weird neither Yoho or any other member has ever talked to me that way.

posted by Iris Gambol at 6:15 PM on July 23 [24 favorites]


You brought boxing gloves to a kung fu match, Ted.

It's her super power. People throw grenades at her, she turns them into softballs and slams them out of the park.

It's like when people couldn't stop thinking they would be the one to dunk on the Parkland kids. Cue image of Daffy Duck with a split shotgun, face full of gunpowder, and beak on backwards.
posted by ctmf at 6:49 PM on July 23 [13 favorites]


What Oyéah said.
posted by y2karl at 7:34 PM on July 23


I want to move to a different part of Queens just so I can vote for her.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 7:34 PM on July 23 [8 favorites]


affectionateborg: i wonder if this will get through to its intended audience.

I think the fantastic thing about her short speech was that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez presented this to racist, misogynist Yoho, but to Rep. Roger Williams (Wikipedia), who was walking with Yoho, and later said he didn't hear or participate in a heated exchange involving Ocasio-Cortez and a Republican colleague (Texas Tribune). She addresses Trump's racist attacks on her and other congresswomen (Guardian). She addresses Florida governor DeSantis, who used dehumanizing language, saying "this girl, Ocasio-Cortez or whatever she is" (Washington Post).

She broadly addresses men who use language like Mr. Yoho's, which is the problem. She addresses the culture that supports and accepts this violence and violent language against women. She addresses women who have dealt with this sort of misogyny before in their lives.

Her audience is society, those who benefit from, or stand silent beside, the culture of misogyny, and those who are its targets.


katra, quoting AP: The remarkable outpouring, with several female lawmakers saying they’d routinely encountered such treatment, came in an election year in which polls show women lean decisively against Trump, who has a history of mocking women.

"Mocking" is much too light. This is President "grab them by the p***y" ("when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.")


Nancy Lebovitz: Good solid speech by Ocasio-Cortez. I probably shouldn't have been, but I was shocked by how incoherent Yoho's response was-- he just claimed he didn't do it, then listed some unrelated talking points.

How very presidential of him.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:03 PM on July 23 [22 favorites]


@billmckibben: "Thank heaven @aoc is a great soul with great politics and great humanity, because she is also better at politics than anyone I've ever seen in my life."
posted by kliuless at 11:19 PM on July 23 [15 favorites]


YES to AOC. Such a great speech. I hate it when men state that they can't be sexist becuase they have a wife or daughters (or mothers, or sisters etc). To me it screams that unless you have women relatives, you don't see women as humans at all.

Her dismantling of that kind of bullshit was excellent, as were her bigger points of course.

And just when you think republicans can't stoop any lower, they defend Yoho. If I called someone a "fucking bitch" AT WORK, I'd get sacked, and rightly so!
posted by sedimentary_deer at 2:37 AM on July 24 [7 favorites]


The Republican game is normally about couching truly horrifying notions in genteel language. Not regular "I don't like you" things in coarse language.

....Have you been hearing things that Republicans have been saying for the past decade?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:19 AM on July 24 [10 favorites]


there are literal witnesses other than his doofus colleague who heard these things right?
bc it's so weird he's saying he didn't say it when i think it was reporters who heard it who reported it, right? or have i misunderstood the chain of events?
posted by affectionateborg at 3:51 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


For those victimized by authoritarians, truth is what gets repeated by the authority. If old white male asshole claims he didn't say it frequently enough, that's what will stick in the minds of the frightened white people who need someone big and strong to look up to.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:51 AM on July 24 [6 favorites]


Yes, as has been stated several times, and in the content of her speech, this was in front of reporters. It is NOT weird he is stating he didn't say it. It is NOT WEIRD. Of course he is saying he didn't say it. However, he did.
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:07 AM on July 24 [6 favorites]


es, as has been stated several times, and in the content of her speech, this was in front of reporters. It is NOT weird he is stating he didn't say it. It is NOT WEIRD. Of course he is saying he didn't say it. However, he did.

And the fact that he feels compelled to lie about it is an admission that he did wrong and he knows it.

When I took journalism in high school, my teacher told us that "if your source lies to you, that's your story." Not merely the fact that they lied, but that their lie means they know a truth they want to conceal.

The so-called "elite political media" would do well to remember this basic lesson. If only they had had this information -- a basic tenet of high school journalism class, mind -- during the runup to the second Iraq War.
posted by Gelatin at 5:20 AM on July 24 [16 favorites]


Hey? Guess what, asking questions like that really grinds my gears. It comes off like you are questioning what happened. It comes off like you are doubting the story. It is not un-harmful to ask questions like you and others did, when the information is in this thread, in all news stories, and in her speech. How could I believe you meant that in good faith? Either it was not in good faith, or you didn't watch the speech or read any news reports on it. I chose to believe the later.
posted by tiny frying pan at 6:35 AM on July 24 [5 favorites]


And I had to speak back to that comment just in case. Because there is ALWAYS some sort of pushback or disbelief about what men do to women. Always.
posted by tiny frying pan at 6:38 AM on July 24 [20 favorites]


It also shouldn't be surprising at all that a Republican would be "saying he didn't say it when [...] it was reporters who heard it who reported it." Trump denies saying things that he's on video as saying, and claims the evidence he's lying is "fake news." This pattern is hardly new.
posted by Gelatin at 6:44 AM on July 24 [3 favorites]


I 100% believe Yoho said what has been reported, but do we know the actual name of a reporter who witnessed this exchange and has said so themselves? Because in all the news stories I've seen contain phrasing like "the exchange was heard by a reporter" but seemingly not the author of the article.
posted by Reverend John at 6:54 AM on July 24


I don't think affectionateborg was questioning what happened. From the tone of the comment, it reminds me of times when someone has completely gaslit me on the facts of a matter in order to shut down an argument.

It reads like, "this is my understanding of the event. But the response is completely orthogonal to my understanding. Do I misunderstand, or is the response utterly misbegotten?" It's seeking affirmation that you're not losing your fucking mind.
posted by notsnot at 6:54 AM on July 24 [3 favorites]


I 100% believe Yoho said what has been reported, but do we know the actual name of a reporter who witnessed this exchange and has said so themselves? Because in all the news stories I've seen contain phrasing like "the exchange was heard by a reporter" but seemingly not the author of the article.

I'm not entirely clear why the identity of the reporter who overheard this exchange is relevant to the conversation.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:58 AM on July 24 [16 favorites]


every time.
posted by tiny frying pan at 7:00 AM on July 24 [5 favorites]


It's relevant because it makes the claim concrete and at least potentially verifiable. It becomes a fact that those of us who might be involved in conversations outside of Metafilter with people who don't believe that he said those things can point to as further evidence of the fact that Yoho said these disgusting things to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.
posted by Reverend John at 7:06 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


This slug from ABC news appearing in my yt feed last night was rather annoying. Fuckers.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 7:07 AM on July 24


Does The Hill have a bad reputation? I was under the impression most lawmakers read it, and trusted it.
posted by tiny frying pan at 7:10 AM on July 24


I want to move to a different part of Queens just so I can vote for her.

I'm out on the West Coast but she's one of the few people on our political stage I'm looking forward to voting for when the time comes (2024?)
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 7:11 AM on July 24


The New York Times has a story about the AOC speech in which they write:
“In front of reporters, Representative Yoho called me, and I quote: ‘A fucking bitch,’” she said, punching each syllable in the vulgarity" emphasizing how she is breaking norms.

And then they write a story about Yoho in which they very politely say:
"Mr. Yoho walked away from Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, uttering a pair of expletives."

As Duncan Black writes: They didn't even quote Yoho using the naughty words, but they quoted AOC quoting him using the naughty words, because it UPENDED TRADITIONS, and was NORM-SHATTERING. You might say, UPPITY!

The New York Times is garbage.
posted by JackFlash at 7:12 AM on July 24 [36 favorites]


It's relevant because it makes the claim concrete and at least potentially verifiable. It becomes a fact that those of us who might be involved in conversations outside of Metafilter with people who don't believe that he said those things can point to as further evidence of the fact that Yoho said these disgusting things to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.

Again, Trump's supporters dismiss as "fake news" things that he is on video saying. These denials aren't made in good faith, but are about tribalism at best and blatant, hostile misogyny at worst.

Reporters are traditionally reluctant to make themselves part of the story. But it isn't clear how it's any more "verifiable" to say "a reporter heard it" ("Fake news! They're making it up!") to "Reporter $NAME heard it" ("Fake news! They're making it up!").

That said, if memory serves me correctly, since the incident occurred on the Capitol steps, it was reported because people who witnessed it, possibly reporters among them, called attention to it on social media.
posted by Gelatin at 7:13 AM on July 24 [10 favorites]


I might add, making it all about the source is a common diversionary tactic to change the subject from what Yoho said in public to another member of Congress.
posted by Gelatin at 7:20 AM on July 24 [17 favorites]


That said, if memory serves me correctly, since the incident occurred on the Capitol steps, it was reported because people who witnessed it, possibly reporters among them, called attention to it on social media.

I don't doubt this in the least, and I have tried to search it up on my own, but unfortunately I've come up short. Even an often mentioned and linked article in The Hill doesn't actually say that the author witnessed the exchange.

Metafilter is filled with brilliant, informed people who in this case seem very confident that there definitely are one or more actual reporters backing up this claim. I don't doubt it in the least, rather I assume that someone here knows more than I do and I was hoping to benefit from that wisdom. I'd love to be pointed to the social media posts by people who witnessed it.
posted by Reverend John at 7:21 AM on July 24


I found one Twitter source that claims it was Mike Lillis, who heard the exchange. He is a senior reporter at The Hill, far as I can tell. No way for me to find out if this is true because if he saw it and reported on it, he was reporting fact.
posted by tiny frying pan at 7:40 AM on July 24


he is stating he didn't say it.

When I listened to his apology the other day -- before AOC's speech -- I heard what he said differently. To me, he didn't deny saying it, he denied saying it to her. His exact words are: "offensive words attributed to me by the press were never spoken to my colleagues" (emphasis mine). This is why he continues, "and if they were construed that way I apologize for their misunderstanding".

The second half of his sentence doesn't make sense if he's denying speaking the words -- they only make sense if he's denying addressing them to AOC. He's not claiming he didn't speak them, but that he didn't intend to be overheard.

It's just bullshit weasel words and not in the least surprising.

The same thing happened the other day when republicans were claiming the left was lying and that "no citizens were arrested by federal officers in Portland". They weren't claiming there were not federal officers in Portland or even that people weren't being taken by them. They're denying the people were being arrested -- and they're right, the people weren't being arrested. Instead, they were being detained against their will and then released hours or days later.

These people are weasels. They use weasel words.
posted by dobbs at 7:47 AM on July 24 [24 favorites]


The NYT report is infuriating. Rebecca Traister says it better than I ever could.
posted by bluesky43 at 8:13 AM on July 24 [8 favorites]


To my knowledge The Hill hasn't identified the reporter who said they overheard the exchange, even on their website reporting.
posted by bluesky43 at 8:18 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


They is a perfectly acceptable pronoun when you don't know the gender of a person. S/he, on the other hand, is an abomination.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:19 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


apologies. fixed.
posted by bluesky43 at 8:20 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Great speech. Downloaded and filed next to our own former Prime Minister's.
posted by flabdablet at 8:41 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


I want to move to a different part of Queens just so I can vote for her.

Same. I'm a few blocks west of the line in Astoria. Sigh.
posted by gaspode at 8:43 AM on July 24


Just got around to watching this. I knew it would be good but I couldn’t imagine it being this perfect. She continues to be a tremendous, impressive person.
posted by obfuscation at 9:55 AM on July 24 [3 favorites]


Hope it's not inappropriate to mention here, but today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bella Abzug, another New York City (Manhattan) House member who like AOC was also the target of incredible amounts of abuse for her unabashedly progressive politics and her gender.
posted by hangashore at 10:31 AM on July 24 [10 favorites]


She's such an orator!

flabdablet, I was thinking of the Gillard speech as well.

and that they did not raise me to accept abuse from men

I literally gasped aloud when I heard her say that. And one big reason is: how many people's parents did raise them to accept abuse from men? I hope that hearing this speech helps some folks reflect on that, and do more of the work of unlearning those destructive lessons.
posted by brainwane at 10:55 AM on July 24 [16 favorites]




i wonder if this will get through to its intended audience.

I am a woman and US citizen and I believe I was her intended audience. It got through to me, to say the least. I felt like she was saying to me that it's right to use our platforms to call out abusive language, and that we don't have to accept excuses and fake apologies. And she was telling me that someone is there, fighting every day for my rights.
posted by ewok_academy at 11:14 AM on July 24 [22 favorites]


The second half of his sentence doesn't make sense if he's denying speaking the words -- they only make sense if he's denying addressing them to AOC. He's not claiming he didn't speak them, but that he didn't intend to be overheard.

That's the way I understood it too. He admits to (but doesn't actually say he admits to) saying those words but it's ok because he didn't say them TO her. So it's obviously your fault if you eavesdropped on his private thoughts. When in fact, he should get a cookie because of his politeness not to say them TO her, but explicitly does not apologize for thinking them or saying them because it's the sign he's some kind of patriot. It's what all true Americans are thinking, and since he is one, the words just came out of his mouth, sorry not sorry.

That's how I understood it. To me, even if that's what he thinks happened, that still describes a disgusting person. More likely, though, he meant for her to hear and now he's just too much of a coward to own it.
posted by ctmf at 12:15 PM on July 24 [6 favorites]


They weren't claiming there were not federal officers in Portland or even that people weren't being taken by them. They're denying the people were being arrested -- and they're right, the people weren't being arrested. Instead, they were being detained against their will and then released hours or days later.

Detaining people against their will is an arrest even if the LEO doesn't say, "You're under arrest." That's been settled by the courts. These people are bad at everything, including using weasel words. They just lie.
posted by ryoshu at 12:21 PM on July 24


Detaining people against their will is an arrest even if the LEO doesn't say, "You're under arrest." That's been settled by the courts. These people are bad at everything, including using weasel words. They just lie.

Which is why common advice to citizens being confronted by police goes something like to say only "Am I free to go?" and, if not, then "I want a lawyer," and to say nothing else at all.
posted by Gelatin at 12:24 PM on July 24 [3 favorites]


Okay. Ocasio-Cortez accosted by GOP lawmaker over remarks: 'That kind of confrontation hasn't ever happened to me' (The Hill, July 21, 2020) - byline: Mike Lillis

Report: Republican Congressman Calls AOC 'Disgusting' And Curses At Her On Capitol Steps (Forbes, July 21, 2020) With heated debates centered around policing in the U.S. increasing in intensity, Congressman Ted Yoho, (R-FL), confronted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-NY) on the Capitol steps Monday, calling her "disgusting" for suggesting the recent crime surge in New York City was attributable to unemployment and poverty, according to reporter Mike Lillis of The Hill, who witnessed the confrontation.

The Hill’s Mike Lillis scooped that retiring Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) — also a member of the Freedom Caucus — got into a heated exchange with liberal Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on the steps of the Capitol this week. And he reportedly called her a “fucking bitch” as he walked away, though his spokesman claims that Yoho actually said “bullshit.” (Politico, July 22, 2020)

Reporter: GOP’s Verbal Slur Against Rep. Ocasio-Cortez ‘Touched A Nerve’ | The Last Word | MSNBC (Air date: July 23, 2020) - Lawrence O'Donnell talks to Mike Lillis; Lillis provides his eyewitness account starting at 2:26 in response to O'Donnell's "bookkeeping' question. This clip is also archived at MSNBC. The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell provides show transcripts, with transcription running about 10 days behind the air date.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:38 PM on July 24 [10 favorites]


AOC's Powerful and Historic Floor Speech - "A young congresswoman from New York delivered one of the most thorough thrashings the Capitol has seen since Representative Preston Brooks brutally caned Senator Charles Sumner on the Senate floor in 1856."
posted by kliuless at 2:34 PM on July 24 [7 favorites]


Incidentally, on July 21, noted terrible person Matt Gaetz (Republican House rep, first district of Florida) tweeted (Thread Reader link):

I can confirm that AOC gets along w many of her Republican colleagues on a range of things that don’t have anything to do w legislation or politics.

She is not a bitch.


Posted at 9:41 AM, giving the impression that Gaetz had no problem believing Yoho had said what he was said to have said on the Capitol steps the previous afternoon.
--

One could be forgiven for thinking that rhetorical dynamism long ago vanished from the hallways and chambers of the United States Congress. It has been a hundred and sixty-four years, for example, since Charles Sumner, the anti-slavery Republican from Massachusetts, rose in the humid air of the Old Senate Chamber to unleash a five-hour, fully memorized onslaught against the idea of Kansas joining the Union as a slave state. Along the way, Sumner paused to lash two of his Senate colleagues, calling Stephen Douglas, of Illinois, a “noisome, squat, and nameless animal,” and accusing Andrew Butler, of South Carolina, of taking up with a “polluted” mistress—“I mean the harlot, Slavery.” You can still hear such acidic flourishes in other legislatures around the globe, but the language of the U.S. Congress is rarely so vivid. Generally, it is as flavorless as day-old gum.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a first-term Democrat from New York, provided a rare exception Thursday as she stepped to the microphone in the House chamber to make a hash of Ted Yoho, a veterinarian, Tea Party member, and veteran Republican from Florida.
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Delivers a Lesson in Decency on the House Floor, The New Yorker, July 24, 2020
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:48 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]




Rebecca Traister has elaborated on her earlier twitter comments about the framing of AOC vs Yoho in the NYT article today. SL TheUncut

...All these words [in the NYT piece] somehow cast Ocasio-Cortez and her female colleagues as the disruptive and chaotic forces unleashed in this scenario, suggesting that they shattered norms in a way that Representative Yoho’s original, profane outburst apparently did not. (Perhaps Yoho’s words weren’t understood as eruptive and norm-shattering because calling women nasty names, in your head or with your friends or on the steps of your workplace, is much more of a norm than most want to acknowledge).

As Mark Harris pointed out on Twitter, the Times only printed the full epithet in a piece about Ocasio-Cortez reading it into the House record, after declining to print the words in an earlier story, when they would have been attributed to Yoho. This offered the faint impression that the only person who actually said the actual words “fucking bitch” was AOC herself, and not the man who aimed them at her. What’s more, the paper described her as “punching each syllable in the vulgarity,” reinforcing a view of Ocasio-Cortez’s utterances as pugilistic, without acknowledgment that while she enunciated clearly, she delivered her speech in the calmest and most genial tones imaginable.

posted by bluesky43 at 5:30 PM on July 24 [10 favorites]


And now Yoho and his colleague are denying that he said those words, essentially calling AOC a liar.

AOC: "The fact that Rep. Williams is denying that he had even said it and then told a reporter right afterward that he was thinking about issues in his district is quite laughable," she said. "And it just speaks to a lack of integrity that not only he had in that moment, but lack of integrity that he continues to have by simply not just owning up and saying, 'Listen, this was a lapse of judgment. I'm sorry. I should have said something. Or I'm sorry for what my colleague did.'"
posted by toastyk at 6:48 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


AOC is the anti-Trump. She's thoughtful where he is thoughtless, insightful where he is oblivious, articulate where he is incomprehensible, brilliant where he is foolish.
posted by sotonohito at 6:55 PM on July 24 [6 favorites]


James Kwak is a law professor at the University of Connecticut and the chair of the board of the Southern Center for Human Rights. His latest book is “Take Back Our Party: Restoring the Democratic Legacy.” (NYT Opinion, Jul. 24, 2020)
[...] it can feel good to poke fun at Donald Trump’s incoherence, narcissism and singular ability to embarrass himself. But he is also launching a deadly serious attack on our democratic values.

Let’s not forget which one is more important.
posted by katra at 8:13 PM on July 24 [4 favorites]


Besides what Iris Gambol said (multiple references to the fact that reporter Mike Lillis of The Hill was the reporter who was eyewitness to the exchange), what is reported in Lillis's article is this:
In a brief but heated exchange, which was overheard by a reporter, Yoho told Ocasio-Cortez she was . . .
I believe that it is a very common journalistic practice to use terms like "a reporter" in your own article to refer to yourself in a 3rd-person kind of way.

If it were some other reporter, you be attributed what they witnessed very clearly to them in some way: "a pool reporter" or "Jacque Smirnoff of the New York Times" or something of the sort.

Only yourself or perhaps one of the team of reporters from your media outlet writing this particular report, will be written slightly obliquely or self-effacingly or in 3rd person or whatever as "a reporter."

I've seen this type of usage many dozen times and very single time it was pretty clear from context that "the [un-named] reporter" who witnessed the whatever was always the author.

Someone who works in journalism can step up to say why this is the practice, but it comes down to journalistic writing rules where you write in 3rd person rather than 1st person always (1st person being reserved for opinion and editorial pieces), you typically don't refer to yourself directly, combined with the fact that typically one does not rely on oneself as a source in one's own reporting as there is a sort of an inherent conflict of interest going on there.

On the flip-side, if you as a reporter did happen to personally witness a particular exchange then you are actually best positioned to report on it, and as a witness to the incident but not particularly a participant in it, the conflict of interest thing doesn't really apply. And in writing about it it seems quite important to note that it was in fact witnessed--you're not just reporting on 2nd or 3rd hand hearsay--but it's still awkward to write "the exchange was witnessed by reporter Mike Illis of The Hill" when you are in fact Mike Illis of The Hill writing the report.

Writing "was overheard by a reporter" gives exactly the same information to the reader (well, not all readers, apparently . . . but most?) while being a bit less awkward.
posted by flug at 8:36 PM on July 24 [6 favorites]


flug, the questions upthread mention confusion over reporters, plural. Some outlets placed reporters, multiple, on the steps on Monday, and in her House speech yesterday Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said, "I walked back out and there were reporters in the front of the Capitol, and in front of reporters, Representative Yoho called me, and I quote, a f------ b----." When I read the article at The Hill, I considered whether Mike Lillias the journalist was keeping a colleague's name confidential. So I kept looking for something unequivocal, and in the O'Donnell clip, Mike Lillias the interview subject gives his first-hand account, "I" statements and all.

*transcript at USA Today, which does censor Yoho's insult (rev.com went with f***ing b****); as noted previously, AOC deliberately read the original phrase into the record.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:02 PM on July 24


Thank you, flug. I thought that was the case with journalism and almost posted a much smaller comment to that fact. The reporter who saw it, reported on it. It happened. It's facts I heard with my own ears. But the common way to do that is to say, "a reporter." Regardless, this shit happened. Thank goodness we have such a smart and eloquent woman to put into words how wrong it was, and how tedious.
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:46 AM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Which is why common advice to citizens being confronted by police goes something like to say only "Am I free to go?" and, if not, then "I want a lawyer," and to say nothing else at all.

There was a case were that language was not accepted, "I want a lawyer" is just you stating your internal thinking. You have to explicitly say "I am requesting a lawyer".
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:24 AM on July 25 [5 favorites]


Women reflect on sexist slur that often goes unpunished (AP)
Ask a woman if she’s been called the B-word by a man — perhaps modified by the F-adjective — and chances are she’ll say, “You mean ever, or how many times?”

[...] Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks on Thursday, widely shared online, amounted to a stunning indictment not only of the words of Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Florida, who she said called her a “f—————g bitch” in front of reporters, but a culture of abusive language against women that can lead to violence. Her speech resonated with many women — in politics and out, supportive of her politics or not — who said the language had been tacitly accepted for far too long.

[...] The moment was extraordinary, says Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, not because the language was new — as Ocasio-Cortez herself said, it was nothing she hadn’t heard waiting tables or riding the subway — but because of where it took place, and especially because the freshman congresswoman had the confidence and the support of her colleagues to call it out in such a public way. “This is all part of a shift,” Walsh says, attributing the change to the #MeToo movement, in large part. “Women are feeling empowered to speak up and believe they will be heard.” More than a dozen Democratic colleagues — but no Republicans — joined Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, in speaking out against sexist behavior, including from President Donald Trump.

[...] Of course, context is everything. When used as Yoho allegedly did, the word is intentionally gender-specific and heavy with implied power dynamics, says Walsh, of Rutgers. It “otherizes women, it dehumanizes them and tells women they don’t belong in these institutions and positions,” Walsh says. “It is about silencing women and keeping them out.”
posted by katra at 10:54 AM on July 25 [4 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted. If your comment needs a disclaimer (that you know the main point is the bigger point about the culture devaluing women but-), it's better to just skip posting it in this thread; it's going to strike people as either trivializing the incident or distracting from the bigger point.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:00 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


AOC represents the future of America: women who refuse to be silenced (Arwa Mahdawi, Guardian Opinion)
As Ocasio-Cortez noted on Thursday, at first she wasn’t going to do anything. After wryly tweeting “b*tches get stuff done” on Tuesday, she was ready to be done with the situation. You get used to dehumanizing behaviour when you’re a woman, you get desensitized to it. You don’t report abuse or harassment because nobody is going to take you seriously. You ignore the guy shouting obscenities at you on the street because you’re afraid for your personal safety. You ignore sexist comments from a colleague because you’re worried about your professional security. This is one of the most insidious things about patriarchy – it takes the fight out of you. You let things go.

But, after Yoho’s non-apology, Ocasio-Cortez decided not to let this go. [...] It wasn’t just the content of Ocasio-Cortez’s speech that was powerful, it was the way she delivered it. There was a carefully controlled fury in her voice that every woman will be familiar with. “I cannot apologize for my passion,” Yoho declared; as a man he doesn’t have to. When Brett Kavanaugh threw a temper tantrum in front of the Senate judiciary committee, Donald Trump Jr praised his “tone.” Men like Kavanaugh and Yoho are not penalized for their “passion”; they’re not penalized for showing their emotion. Women are. Show too much emotion and you’re “hysterical”, you’re “crazy”, you’re a “nasty woman”. And so you learn to control your fury, to modulate your emotion. You learn to apologize for your passion.

But no matter how measured you are, no matter how reasonable, it’s never enough. A New York Times article about Ocasio-Cortez’s speech cynically noted the congresswoman “excels at using her detractors to amplify her own political brand”. Instead of analyzing the cultural norms that allow men like Yoho to belittle women with impunity, it cast Ocasio-Cortez as a disruptive opportunist. A woman standing up for her dignity is reduced to “brand-building”. The article is a perfect example of what Ocasio-Cortez was referring to when she talked about Yoho’s actions being supported by an “entire structure of power”.

[...] Guess what? Ocasio-Cortez isn’t going anywhere. She represents the future of America: women who refuse to be silenced, refuse to “know their place”, and refuse to apologize for their passion.
posted by katra at 1:39 PM on July 25 [13 favorites]


Rep. Ted Yoho resigns from board of a Christian organization that works to fight hunger:

Bread for the World's statement:

"We believe that Rep. Ted Yoho's recent actions and words as reported in the media are not reflective of the ethical standards expected of members of our Board of Directors," the organization wrote in a statement.

"...[B]read sought his resignation as an action that reaffirms our commitment to coming alongside women and people of color, nationally and globally, as they continue to lead us to a more racially inclusive and equitable world."

posted by toastyk at 6:47 PM on July 25 [18 favorites]


Jennifer Rubin writes in today's Washington Post about AOC's speech with an piece entitled "Distinguished pol of the week: She wasn’t going to accept his non-apology".. For those who cannot access the link, here are my favorite parts.
You did not have to be her ideological soul mate or even a Democrat to appreciate the stirring speech Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) delivered on the floor Thursday — an emphatic rebuke of the misogyny displayed by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), who reportedly verbally accosted and cursed her on the steps of the Capitol earlier in the week. . .

Her remarks transcended partisan differences (and even gender and race), striking a blow for anyone who has had to put up with the ugly conduct of someone in a position of power.

Moreover, it was a moment when we could see how a critical mass of women can transform an institution and the parameters of acceptable conduct. “She was joined by more than a dozen Democratic colleagues who seized the moment to rail against sexism and reject the common explanation from men that they would never disrespect a woman because they have wives and daughters,” The Post reported. There certainly is power in numbers.

Brava, Rep. Ocosio-Cortez, brava! Your stature has risen in the eyes of millions, even those who might not share some of your political views, and you have truly made difference.
posted by haiku warrior at 11:57 AM on July 26 [5 favorites]


My memory was just jogged - Taylor Swift's blunt refusal to accept sexual harassment a few years ago carried some similar freight. You did this to me -- in fact, you had the gall to do it in public, it wasn't ok, I am not going to allow you to minimize it or pretend it was ok, and I am standing up and calling you out about it to set a precedent for others. Swift demanded and received $1 in damages, demonstrating that the judgment was the point.
posted by brainwane at 8:37 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


But Taylor Swift was sued for defamation and counterclaimed for sexual assault:
"Taylor is aware that her defiance in fighting against these [defamation] allegations - not only made toward her but other artists and colleagues - will achieve global visibility around sexual assault issues that, in many cases, go unreported and ignored and are marginalised," PR strategist Marvet Britto told NBC News.
Swift demanded and received $1 in damages, demonstrating that the judgment was the point.
Her lawyer Douglas Baldridge said she asked only for $1 because she did not want to bankrupt Mr Mueller, but rather use the case to send a message to all women that "they will decide what will be tolerated with their body".
posted by katra at 9:20 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


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