A pivotal moment…
“I am someone’s daughter too.”
On Thursday, July 23rd, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stood up and gave one of the finest speeches recently heard on the House floor, calling out not just Florida representative Ted Yoho for having called her “disgusting,” “out of your freaking mind,” and a “fucking bitch” on the steps of the Capitol in front of reporters on Tuesday, but also elucidating how that kind of language is normalized and deployed against all kinds of women, on all kinds of days.
It was a remarkable piece of oratory, clear and thoughtful about some of the knottiest dynamics of gendered power imbalance in political, public, and personal life.
The speech was precipitated by Ocasio-Cortez’ refusal to accept Yoho’s non-apology the previous day. Following Tuesday’s exchange, Ocasio-Cortez says, she was prepared to let it go. But after Yoho took to the House floor to “make excuses for his behavior,” Ocasio-Cortez says she could not remain silent. “I could not allow my nieces, I could not allow the little girls that I go home to, I could not allow victims of verbal abuse and worse to see that.” She also lambasted Yoho for referencing his wife and two daughters in his remarks, which she labeled as yet another example of men attempting to use female family members “as shields and excuses for poor behavior.” Simply having a wife or daughter “does not make a man decent,” she says. “Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man.” (Source: The Cut)
AOC awakened us to the reality that this type of behavior should never be normalized. She reminded us that nobody should ever find this language acceptable to use in any circumstance.
That is what AOC did so well on the House floor. She laid bare what is, for most professional women, such a routine occurrence that we have become numb to it. (Source: The Hill)
“There is going to be more power in the hands of women across this country.” (Source: Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA))
“Right on, AOC! Keep up the shattering of norms, the upending of tradition and the creation of moments of cultural upheaval, done in your measured, intelligent, honest and strategic way.” (Source: Terry Storch, NWNM)
Thank you, AOC, for your brilliance, grace, intelligence and dedication.
Please find time to watch this video in its entirety.