AOC Fucks the Patriarchy's Shit Up

The line from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's calm evisceration of Rep. Ted Yoho yesterday on the floor of the House of Representatives that will likely be the one that is remembered is something that shouldn't need to be said: "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." Too many terrible men have tried to use the fact that they're related to women as a defense for their shit behavior. Ocasio-Cortez was done with that, as we all should be. Ted Bundy had a mom. Bill Cosby has a wife and daughters. Donald Trump has had three wives and two daughters. Their proximity to women did nothing to ameliorate their hideous acts towards women.

Ocasio-Cortez said that she wasn't speaking so much because Yoho had called her a "fucking bitch" on the steps of the Capitol but because, the day before, Yoho had offered the fake apology of a fucking bitch. Yoho has long been a fucking bitch. He rode into DC on one of the racist Tea Party waves in 2012, representing a district in Florida that's 75% white. He's been a loyal gobbler of Koch money, the kind of piece of shit Republican who votes to defund Planned Parenthood, won't say if the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is constitutional, and refuses to vote for a federal anti-lynching bill because that would be "overreach." What had so upset Yoho that he felt he had to confront Ocasio-Cortez? The Democrat from NYC had said a month ago that poverty leads to crime, something that we've fucking known since at least Les Miserables. But that set off Yoho because if there's one thing a Republican doesn't want to hear, it's that you might need to actually help people.

Then, proving that he's one of the littlest fucking bitches in the bitch-filled GOP caucus, Yoho went to the mic in the House on Wednesday to say, in essence, "Sorry if what I said upset you. Oh, and I didn't say it. Oh, and I might have said it but I didn't intend for her to hear it. Oh, and I only said the thing I didn't say because I love my country and God and my wife and daughters and I'm gonna hide behind all that because I'm a fucking bitch." More or less, that was it. 

Sure, one way to read and watch Ocasio-Cortez's response is that she ripped off Yoho's little nutsack and showed it to him, laughing as he looked at his torn scrotum in her clutched hand while he bled to death. It is more than gratifying to see it that way. "I want to be clear that Representative Yoho’s comments were not deeply hurtful or piercing to me, because I have worked a working class job," she said, adding, "I have tossed men out of bars that have used language like Mr. Yoho’s." And you totally know she could. It was cathartic, but it was so much more.

More importantly and more incisively on her part, Ocasio-Cortez universalized the insult to show how it's simply part and parcel of the patriarchal world that women have been forced to negotiate and, really, fuck that shit. Fuck this male-dominated institution and fuck all the men who fuck up women's lives and fuck them that they do it without consequences. Or, in her words, "I want to thank him for showing the world that 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. It happens every day in this country. It happened here on the steps of our nation’s Capitol. It happens when individuals who hold the highest office in this land admit, admit to hurting women and using this language against all of us."

Yoho's pathetic little slap at Ocasio-Cortez is just another of the last gasps of a white patriarchy that has been on oxygen for at least a decade, kept alive by unholy medical procedures and the force of pure racist and sexist fear, like Sheldon Adelson or the thankfully dead Strom Thurmond, that their day may finally, at long last, after so much delay, be over. And it's going to be women like Ocasio-Cortez and the dozen-plus women in Congress who stood with her, as well as the daughters and granddaughters of soon-to-be extinct creatures like Yoho. 

Goddamn, it can't come soon enough. Please take the keys away from men, whether in Congress or in other positions of power and hopefully the presidency one day soon. God knows people like Ted Yoho have fucked this nation he supposedly loves for everyone, including wives and daughters. No, the people who really love the United States know it must change or it will die. Ocasio-Cortez and Pramila Jayapal and Ayanna Pressley and Mikie Sherrill and Rashida Tlaib and so many more will keep giving the patriarchy a beat down in the Congress and elsewhere until it's finally yielded to the hope of progress.