Rep @AOC: “I do not need Rep. Yoho to apologize to me. Clearly he does not want to. Clearly when given the opportunity he will not & I will not stay up late at night waiting for an apology from a man who has no remorse over calling women & using abusive language towards women.” pic.twitter.com/XKymFh3Oyf
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 23, 2020
A congresswoman at the steps of the Capitol accosted and told, “You are disgusting,” “Crazy,” and, in an entitled show of testosterone, called a “F*cking bitch.”
Sounds all too familiar? The sexist slurs, being called names—when did it become so routine that we just shake our heads and keep walking?
If a reputable Congresswoman can get verbally abused in front of the reporters, imagine how many women go through this with men at home who are their husbands and boyfriends and at work with their male colleagues and bosses. We, as women, are used to it! And this is our biggest mistake in what makes this patriarchal culture get away without any consequences.
Rep. Yoho did us all a favor. He showed his real self to the world, and in that, he gave us a preview of how entitled patriarchy acts—in the shadows and masks put up in front of the world. But when that face falls off or slips even for a few minutes, we see a verbal, sexist slur or even physical abuse. For the nonbelievers who feel having a family is like the right of passage to the epitome of morality, Rep. Yoho hopefully has broken that belief.
Rep. Ocasio Carter is right: having children, daughters, sisters, a wife does not mean anything. Patriarchal ego exists—from Silicon Valley to the Capitol to our living rooms. Being a family man is just another mask that comes off behind the closed doors of a home more often than outside in work, but when it does come off, we can’t shake it off as just another day in the office.
When a woman steps out to work, she is not only working for herself but for the future of generations that will follow her. She has to show her son that a woman can be a mother and a working woman if she chose to be; she has to show her daughter, her niece, her neighbor, that bullying and abuse are not acceptable, that she has right to earn her living like any other person without being harassed, that she has a right to be a mother and woman without making it seem like a sin.
As women, I don’t think we are asking for equality in physical terms—we know men are usually more muscular than women. Equality, for me, is in the brains more than brawn. It is in my intelligence, in analytical, rational, and logical terms. I can be a homemaker, or I can be an executive working at a corporation, or I can be a musician, a dancer, or an artist. I can be whoever I want to be without being asked when I am getting married or when I am planning to have kids or why I am ambitious and putting in so many hours when children are at home. A man is never asked about his children when he becomes a CEO, so why does a woman’s worth get questioned?
Equality is also in the boyfriends and husbands pulling in their weight as fathers and changing diapers, getting up to feed the kids, and cooking dinners. Equality is equal pay and equal opportunity. Why do biology and gender have to dictate what kind of work a woman should do, how much she gets paid, and how she gets treated at home? Do the curves in our body intimidate men so much that they resort to abuse? Or is it our intelligence that endangers their existence? All these questions are not a rant but are facts brought to light yet again—only this time, it is a Congresswoman amongst reporters who can record this incident.
These are the facts of a developed nation. Can we all—men and women—not let this slide and stand up for each other?
If a man was insulted, his behavior to return fire with fire would be commended, but when a woman does the same, she is whiny and asking for differential treatment. Rep. Yoho did not insult the men who agreed with AOC; he only abused her—think about it. Harassment and gender inequality are issues beyond politics; they are human issues and must be tackled in a human way.
My sincere plea is that no one should be insulting anyone—man or woman or identities outside the gender binary. My appeal is for a just and an equal society where gender is a nonissue for the daughters and sons of the world. We are all nurturers and providers and we deserve equal respect everywhere.
But, until then, don’t be taken aback if a woman rises to fight for herself—this is her right too and it is a right to exist in equal standing with everyone.
Watch her response below: