In a fiery speech on the House floor Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez condemned Republican Rep. Ted Yoho's sexist attack on her in front of the U.S. Capitol Building earlier this week as the product of a culture and "entire power structure" that excuses and enables dehumanizing abuse of women.
"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."
—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
"This issue is not about one incident," said the New York Democrat. "It is cultural. It is a culture of... impunity, of accepting violence and violent language against women."
Ocasio-Cortez tore into Yoho for invoking his wife and two daughters "as shields and excuses for poor behavior" in his floor speech addressing the incident Wednesday. Yoho, who called Ocasio-Cortez "disgusting" and a "fucking bitch" on the steps of the Capitol Monday, said he "cannot apologize for my passion."
The New York Democrat said Yoho's remarks show he has "no remorse" for using abusive language against a fellow human being and member of Congress.
"I am two years younger than Mr. Yoho's youngest daughter," said Ocasio-Cortez. "I am someone's daughter, too. My father, thankfully, is not alive to see how Mr. Yoho treated his daughter... 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."
Here is my full response regarding Mr. Yoho and the culture of misogyny that inspired his actions.
I am deeply appreciative of my colleagues and everyone speaking up and out against the rampant mistreatment of women both in Congress and across the country. ⬇️ https://t.co/nFfxy5UdmP
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 23, 2020
Following Ocasio-Cortez's speech, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) thanked the New York Democrat for showing such "grace" and "dignity" in response to the vile abuse hurled at her by Yoho and other Republican lawmakers.
"And to everybody that is out there watching us, and to our colleagues across the aisle, let me say this: We are not going away," said Jayapal, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. "There are going to be more of us here. There is going to be more power in the hands of women across this country. And we are going to continue to speak up."