‘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’ — Rep. @AOC sending a message to all men in response to Rep. Yoho’s non-apology pic.twitter.com/5JfzTK2VXI— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 25, 2020
It's been a busy few days since I mentioned Rep. Ted Yoho's reference of fellow Rep. Ocasio-Cortez as a "Fucking bitch", but because this speech mattered, I want to revisit what apparently happened, and take a look at the fallout. Because one of the things that needs to be understood is, AOC doesn't come to play, and she knows other people saw what went down. So if Rep. Yoho wants to imply that these words were not said, or not said to her, this can be contradicted. But here's the rub: if someone says something insulting not to your face, but about you within earshot, is that not the same thing? So what AOC heard was this man who never had a minute with her beforehand ran up and said things that did not comply with her understanding, but resulted in that dismissive gendered comment.
To be fair, Yoho was punching up a little by addressing AOC in that we know who she is, and unless you study right-wing bloviators
But here's some insight into how Yoho addressed what he said in his apology:
Florida Republican Rep. Ted Yoho expressed some contrition on the floor of the House for “the abrupt manner” of an outburst he unleashed on New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) on Tuesday.
The Hill reported that Yoho said “f**king bitch” in reference to Ocasio-Cortez after the confrontation.
Yoho initially denied the allegations and claimed he’d only told the New York representative she was “bullshit” while accosting her over claims she made linking economic insecurity to a rise in crime in New York City.
In his statement Wednesday, Yoho invoked his wife and daughters to make the all-too-familiar claim that having women in his family makes him conscious of the ways women are belittled.
“Having been married for 45 years with two daughters, I’m very cognizant of my language,” Yoho claimed.
Yoho said his offensive words were not spoken directly to the congresswoman.
“The offensive name-calling words attributed to me by the press were never spoken to my colleagues,” Yoho claimed. “And if they were construed that way, I apologize for their misunderstanding,” he added.
While offering some contrition, Yoho said he would not apologize for his “passion, loving my God, my family or my country.”
He said what he said. To be blunt, there are many men who have women in their families who nonetheless treat the women in their lives like trash, just with the benefit of being able to do that behind closed doors. Having womenfolk about doesn't actually shield anyone from being accused of lousy behavior towards any women if there is evidence of it. And his explanation for what he said seems to boil down to "I didn't call my colleague a gendered slur to her face, I said it about her where others could hear, and also too, I am a Christian patriarch and why shouldn't I say it?" In other words--isn't she just?
His apology, in other words, wasn't a full-throated "I did not say it" but rather "I am sorry this was misunderstood, but she is, you know." Which isn't an apology. Even if he somehow didn't say it in the first place, his fumbly-ass apology tried to justify it. Which is not what an apology ever should be. Which is to wit: You know you done wrong. You know what you done wrong. You are sad you done wrong, you know you did harm by what you did wrong and want to make amends for it, and you are not going to do wrong again. But Yoho is up on Fox News saying this is all fucked up and he is getting played.
Really? Yoho played himself by raising his profile by accosting AOC. He knows that. He knows what he said, he just never thought someone would call out the dynamic by which he thought that what he said wouldn't get a going over by people who know women belong in congress doing what AOC does: representing with conviction and compassion.
He's wrong and stays wrong. If he gets any shine from this it's as a provocateur for the moment but things are moving really quickly right now. And I have made a point to forget his retired ass existed.