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US Congresswomen addresses 'culture of violence against women' following Republican verbal abuse encounter


[Video from NewYorker]

US Congresswomen, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – who was subject to a verbal attack by Florida Republican Representative Ted Yoho – slammed the comments and the apology made by Yoho, at the House Chamber, in Washington, D.C.

She emphasised the incident as extending the “culture of lack of impunity and accepting of violence and violent language against women” and that “an entire structure of power supports that”.

Ocasio-Cortez responded to the comments made by Yoho last week, where he called the congresswoman “disgusting” for talking about how poverty can drive crime and a “f*cking b*tch” which was overheard by a nearby reporter.

“[T]his is not new, and that is the problem. This issue is not about one incident,” she said.

Ocasio-Cortez also criticised Yoho for his supposedly insincere apology, where he stated, “I am sorry if you understood me to be saying. . . .” but that “no one was accosted, bullied, or attacked.”

Yoho had also claimed that he had experienced poverty when he was young. “I cannot apologize for my passion or for loving my God, my family, and my country,” he said.

Ocasio-Cortez underlined that Yoho should not use his family as a “shield” for his comments.   

“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 tries his best and does apologize,” she said. “I am someone’s daughter, too.”

The video of Ocasio-Cortez’s passionate speech was retweeted more than 95,000 times with more than 220,000 likes within 24 hours of its release, bringing praise and inspiring conversations about experiences of women and men around the world, whose realities are marred by modalities of sexism.

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