7 perfect points AOC made in her scathing speech about sexism that everyone should read

Joanna Taylor
Friday 24 July 2020 08:45
news

Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez delivered a powerful speech calling out misogyny after facing abusive remarks from a Republican lawmaker.

Ted Yoho is alleged to have referred to AOC as a "f***Ing b*tch" to reporters outside the Capitol building. Yoho denies using these words.

Ocasio-Cortez also claims that Yoho accosted her personally, telling her that she's "disgusting" and "out of your freaking mind".

Yoho later told Congress that he is extremely aware of his language because he has a wife and daughters, but that he "cannot apologise" for his "passion".

AOC perfectly shut down his excuse and called out the "entire structure of power" that enables "violence and violent language against women".

Here are 7 breathtaking moments of her extraordinary speech that absolutely everyone should memorise.

1. "Every woman has experienced misogyny at some point in their lives."

Representative Yoho called me, and I quote, “a f*cking b*tch”. These were the words that Representative Yoho levied against a congresswoman.

The congresswoman that not only represents 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.

2. "Because misogyny is treated as being culturally acceptable, it goes unpunished."

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.

3. "Misogyny and xenophobia go all the way to the top."

Not only have I been spoken to disrespectfully, particularly by members of the Republican Party and elected officials in the Republican Party, but the President of the United States last year told me to go home to another country, with the implication that I don't even belong in America.

In July last year, Trump told a group of four progressive congresswomen including Ocasio-Cortez to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came".

AOC was born in New York.

4. "Misogyny dehumanises women."

Dehumanising language is not new, and what we are seeing is that incidents like these are happening in a pattern. This is a pattern of an attitude towards women and dehumanisation of others.

5. "If anything, having a wife and daughters makes your misogyny worse, not better."

What I do have an issue with is using women, our wives and daughters, as shields and excuses for poor behaviour.

Mr Yoho mentioned that he has a wife and two daughters. I am two years younger than Mr Yoho’s youngest daughter. I am someone’s daughter too. My father, thankfully, is not alive to see how Mr Yoho treated his daughter.

6. "Treating people with respect is what makes a decent man."

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 are all 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 that we can all move on. 

7. "Powerful men get away with accosting women."

Lastly, 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 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. 

AOC's speech garnered support from other Democrat women, including speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi also criticised the Republicans's attitude towards women, saying:

It’s a manifestation of attitude in our society really.

I can tell you that first hand, they’ve called me names for at least 20 years of leadership. 

No Republicans spoke in response to AOC's speech, but Republican Kevin McCarthy said at a separate news conference:

When someone apologises they should be forgiven. 

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.

It is absolutely acceptable to determine whether or not we accept someone's apology for something like sexism, but on top of that it's worth remembering that Ted Yoho actually refused to apologise anyway.

Every woman will find something in AOC's speech that they relate to, because sadly the culture of misogyny she talks about is ever present across all sections of society.

You only need to look at the long list of sexist remarks the president of the United States has made about women to find more than enough evidence of that.

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