'I am someone's daughter, too': Ocasio-Cortez trashes apology from congressman who used vile language
WASHINGTON — She has been called worse things, but New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t about to let a foul-mouthed congressman slide after calling her a vulgar name because she said his verbal attack was bigger than both of them.
The name-calling narrative stretched into a fourth day Thursday after Ocasio-Cortez took to the House floor to officially reject Florida Rep. Ted Yoho’s apology after calling her a “fucking bitch” — and to attack the sexist, dangerous culture from which such hate speech stems.
“When you do that to any woman, what Mr. Yoho did was give permission to other men to do that to his daughters,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “In using that language, in front of the press, he gave permission to use that language against his wife, his daughters, women in his community, and I am here to stand up to say that is not acceptable.”
Ocasio-Cortez was still hot under the collar after her clash on the Capitol steps Monday withYoho, who had called her “disgusting” for suggesting that a recent spike in New York City crime could be attributed to poverty and unemployment.
Ocasio-Cortez reportedly fired back by calling Yoho “rude.” Yoho stormed off, but not before leveling the “fucking bitch” invective and setting off a political storm.
Yoho offered an apology, though without mentioning Ocasio-Cortez by name, but that didn’t put the row to rest.
“Having been married for 45 years with two daughters, I’m very cognizant of my language,” Yoho said during a House speech Wednesday.
“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 the misunderstanding.”
Not good enough.
“Having a daughter does not make a man decent,” Ocasio-Cortez said Thursday. “Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man. I am two years younger than Mr. Yoho’s youngest daughter. I am someone’s daughter, too.”
She said it was fortunate her father was not alive to witness Yoho’s insult.
“My mother got to see Mr. Yoho’s disrespect on the floor of this House towards me on television, and 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.”
Before becoming a member of Congress, Ocasio-Cortez was a blue-collar bartender not unaccustomed to vulgar language.
“Rep. Yoho’s comments were not deeply hurtful or piercing to me, because I have worked a working-class job,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I have tossed men out of bars that have used language like Mr. Yoho’s. And I have encountered this type of harassment riding the subway in New York City. This is not new.”
“This issue is not about one incident,” she added. “It is cultural. It is a culture of lack of impunity, of accepting of violence and violent language against women, and the entire structure of power that supports that.”
Ocasio-Cortez and her congressional supporters said the fish stinks from the head, calling out President Donald Trump for his insistence on slurring any woman he doesn’t like, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom he has dubbed “Crazy Nancy,” among other things.
“Nearly every woman in the world has experienced verbal abuse, not just once, but since they were little girls,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. “We see it coming regularly from the president of the United States. And now we see it coming from his partisan lackeys.”
But one leading Republican said it is time to move on.
“When someone apologizes they should be forgiven,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Calif., “I don’t understand that we’re going to take another hour on the floor to debate whether the apology was good enough or not. It’s appropriate that he apologized. I just think in a new world, in a new age, we now determine whether we accept when someone says I’m sorry, if it’s a good enough apology for them.”
(McAuliff reported from Washington and Greene from New York.)
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