Updated: Oct 25, 2020
By Gabriella Greenhill
Graphic via instagram by Jesse Duquette (@the.daily.don)
“F*cking b*tch”. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) was harassed with this term when Florida republican, Ted Yoho, felt it was acceptable to verbally bash her at the steps of the capital. I certainly hope we can all agree that degrading, demeaning, and undermining women serves no right within society, and with the world, the universe, the galaxy, and to infinity. It’s situations like these that make or break your reputation, including for both the victim and the perpetrator.
Why Rep. Yoho would jump at the opportunity to label AOC a “f*cking b*tch” out of response to her saying he was “being rude” in their beforehand argument, is one mouthful of a question. The answer lies only in his mind and, perhaps, within the many minds of men or just people who see no wrong in degrading women.
When phrases like, “don’t be a p*ssy” or “you throw/fight like a girl”, are thrown around, they take part in degrading women, whether you realize it or not. I’ve recently taken it upon myself to stop saying these demeaning phrases and have even pointed it out to my friends through saying, “we don’t degrade women with those phrases in this friendship!”
These phrases subconsciously degrade women. You are indirectly undermining women by saying that your emotions or physical attributes somehow correlate to a woman. How have we spread these phrases and not taken the time to notice that we are literally comparing someone’s frightened state to a reproductive organ? Or that we are comparing someone’s inability to throw some baseball in the air to a gender.
In Trevor Noah’s Netflix comedy special, “Trevor Noah: Not Afraid of the Dark” he so eloquently said that “ ‘don’t be a penis’ should be the phrase” as “you just sit on a penis wrong, and it breaks.” Noah continued to explain the hypocrisy in which men coin the phrase “don’t be a p*ssy” but, yet, “have sought to oppress it (the vagina) for so long” as “the vagina is frighteningly powerful. You realize human beings come out of a vagina … and still it continues to work as intended.” Perhaps, the answer for why many men or anyone degrades women is because they are afraid of the power we exude.
Image via Tumblr
Instead of ignoring Rep. Yoho’s dehumanizing terms, AOC exuded her power and carried millions of women when standing up for herself and us about being degraded. If people weren’t looking up to her already, they definitely are now as “b*tches get stuff done” is a quote for the ages.
With a powerful and immaculate speech heard around the world, she taught her nieces and “the little girls” she goes home to how to stand up for themselves and she proved to her parents that she is in fact the strong, independent, and resilient woman they raised.
Image via Instagram @aoc
While seemingly everyone is attached and amending — rightfully so — AOC’s “having a daughter doesn’t make a man decent. Having a wife doesn’t make a man decent. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man” quote, I am attached to her, “you can be a powerful man and accost women. You can have daughters and accost women without remorse. You can be married and accost women. You can take photos and project an image to the world of being a family man and accost women without remorse and with a sense of impunity” quote. How is it even possible that men or any person can degrade women when women birthed you, when you seek women for pleasure, and even when women are your mothers, grandmothers, aunts, godparents, legal guardians, daughters, sisters, cousins, friends, wives, partners, or lovers.
It’s a strange phenomenon that most respected men, or, in this case, respected politicians take part in undermining women. Rep. Yoho found out the hard way that this phenomenon, of verbally abusing your congresswomen or women in general, is not going to be accepted anymore. Because of women like AOC, men and people like Rep. Yoho will be dealing with the consequences about how they speak towards and about women, and with how they degrade, dehumanize, and abuse women.
Men and people like Rep. Yoho can run, but can’t hide. No longer can you hide behind the women in your life than go on to either publicly or privately degrade them. You can’t hide from women standing up against verbal abuse. You can’t hide from inevitable change.
Written by writer Gabriella Greenhill