AOC Has Delivered An Iconic Speech On Misogyny After Being Called ‘A Fucking Bitch’

"You can have daughters and accost women without remorse ... it happens every day in this country."

alexandria ocasio-cortez aoc

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has proven once again why we should all be deeply obsessed with her, after delivering what is possibly the most iconic speech on misogyny since Julia Gillard.

In a 10-minute address the Democratic congresswoman from New York called out Florida-based Republican Ted Yoho for accosting her on the steps of the Capitol this week and calling her a “fucking bitch”.

As she pointed out in her speech, it’s far from the worse thing she’s ever been called. If you’re a woman, chances are you’ve also been called worse in bars, on public transport, on the street, at work, on the internet.

But what prompted her response wasn’t so much his comment, as his pathetic non-apology afterwards where he tried to mitigate his misogyny with the fact he has a wife and two daughters (because we all know you can’t be sexist if you’re related to a woman!).

“What I want to express to Mr Yoho is gratitude,” AOC said.

“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 be married and accost women. You can take photos and project an image to the world of being a family man, and accost women without remorse, and with a sense of impunity. It happens every day in this country.”

The incident that sparked this happened on Monday in the US, when AOC was walking past Yoho on the steps of the Capitol. Yoho called her “disgusting”, “crazy” and said she was out of her mind for drawing a link between New York’s recent crime spike and the economic insecurity caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The congresswoman reportedly told Yoho he was being “rude” and walked inside. As she did Yoho called her a “fucking bitch”, a comment that was said in earshot of a journalist.

“I have encountered the words uttered by Mr Yoho, and men uttering the same words as Mr Yoho, while I was being harassed in restaurants. I have tossed men out of bars that have used language like Mr Yoho’s and I have encountered this type of harassment while riding the subway in New York City,” AOC said.

“This is not new, and that is the problem. Mr Yoho was not alone. He was walking shoulder to shoulder with representative Roger Williams, and that’s when we start to see that 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, an entire structure of power that supports that.”

Ocasio-Cortez went on to say she wasn’t hurt or offended by his comment — “it’s just another day, right?” — and she was going to let it go, until she saw him make excuses for his behaviour.

“I do not need representative Yoho to apologise to me. Clearly he does not want to. Clearly when given the opportunity he will not, and I will not stay up late at night waiting for an apology from a man who has no remorse over calling women and using abusive language towards women,” she said.

“What I do have issue with is using women, our wives and daughters, as shields for poor behaviour. Mr Yoho mentioned that he was a wife and two daughters. I am two years younger than Mr Yoho’s youngest daughter. I am someone’s daughter too … and they did not raise me to accept abuse from men.”

AOC also said by using abusive language towards women it gives others permission to use that kind of abusive language towards women, like his wife and daughters.

“What I believe is that having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man and when a decent man messes up, as we all are bound to do, he tried his best and does apologise. Not to save face, not to win a vote, he apologises genuinely to repair and acknowledge the harm done so we can all move on.”

People are already applauding the iconic speech.

What Did Ted Yoho Say?

On Wednesday Yoho made a speech on the House floor where he apologised “for the abrupt manner of the conversation”, but definitely not for what he actually said.

Predictably, he delivered a generic non-apology where he tried to justify his misogyny by pointing out he has a wife and two daughters.

“Having been married for 45 years with two daughters, I’m very cognisant of my language. 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 apologise for their misunderstanding,” he said.

He then tried to explain he was just “passionate about those affect by poverty”, because he used to be poor himself.

“I cannot apologise for my passion or for loving my God, my family and my country,” he said, all things that are in no way relevant to calling someone a fucking bitch.