Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez denounces ‘sexist slur by congressman’

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BBC reports a recent incident that prompted U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to give a speech after a colleague used a sexist slur in an argument and then denied it.

US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has given a speech rejecting a colleague’s apology after he allegedly using a sexist slur in an argument. The New York City Democrat took to the House floor to accuse Republican Ted Yoho of accosting her on the steps of the US Capitol on Monday.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who is often a target of conservatives, said the words showed a “pattern” of bad behaviour by men. Mr Yoho denies saying the slur and has called for civility. “This issue is not about one incident. It is cultural,” she told lawmakers, calling it a culture “of accepting a violence and violent language against women, an entire structure of power that supports that.”

She added that she was prepared to let the incident go until Mr Yoho “made excuses” by citing his wife and daughters in a speech on Wednesday.

What happened in the incident?

Ms Ocasio-Cortez said she was entering Congress to vote when Mr Yoho, a Florida congressman, and Texas Congressman Roger Williams approached her as they departed the chamber.

She said he called her “disgusting” and said “you are out of your freaking mind” in what a reporter who also witnessed the incident called a “brief but heated exchange” about recent comments Ms Ocasio-Cortez made about crime being linked to poverty.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez – a member of the so-called “squad” of young female Democrats – said she told him he was being “rude”.

Then, as Mr Yoho walked away, he was overheard by reporters using profanity and a sexist slur used to denigrate women.

Mr Yoho’s office denies he used the sexist word, and said he had exclaimed “bullshit” to himself instead as he was leaving.

[This article also linked to “Is it bad to be called a ‘bitch’?”]

What did Ocasio-Cortez say?

In a passionate speech on Thursday, Ms Ocasio-Cortez rejected Mr Yoho’s comments on the House floor one day earlier, in which he apologised for the “abrupt manner of the conversation” with her and said he was “very cognizant”of his language because he was married and had daughters.

“I will commit to each of you that I will conduct myself from a place of passion and understanding that policy and political disagreement be vigorously debated with the knowledge that we approach the problems facing our nation with the betterment of the country in mind and the people we serve,” Mr Yoho told his colleagues. “I cannot apologise for my passion or for loving my God, my family and my country,” he added.

“Mr Yoho mentioned that he has a wife and two daughters,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez, 30, said on Thursday. “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.” [. . .]

For full article, see https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53521143

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