The last few days have been flooded with headlines about the back and forth between Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), a Democrat from New York, and Representative Ted Yoho, a Republican from Florida, after Yoho called AOC some pretty derogatory terms outside the Capitol building in Washington D.C.
AOC clapped back, though, in the classiest way possible, saying that, "Having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with decency and respect makes a decent man."
She's absolutely right, too. I don't want to hear, "Well, I have a sister, so I am respectful of women" and then see your actions and words say something different. That's never acceptable.
Saying you respect women just because you have females in your life is the same as saying you're not racist because you know Black people, it doesn't mean anything.
When a public figure talks about women in this way, though, it makes it even worse because it makes the headlines and teaches men who do talk that way that "it's OK to talk like that because so-and-so does and he's a [fill in the blank profession here]."
Here's a headline for you: It's not OK to objectify and mistreat women.
As a female, I get tired of the same old routine, and I shouldn't be so shocked when a man actually treats me with respect. It shouldn't feel like I just won the grand prize on a game show, but it does.
"I have a daughter" and/or "I have a wife" mean absolutely nothing if you make comments about every girl at the gym wearing shorts and workout pants.
Not everyone respects their wife or acts in an honoring way towards their daughter. If your daughter was out with a guy, and you wouldn't want him treating her the way you're treating women, we may (read do) have a problem.
"Hey, baby, looking hot" shouldn't be a pick-up line because there's more to me than my looks, and if you had any respect, you'd recognize that. Also, forced apologies aren't apologies (@ Yoho).
To the guys who do show women respect, you're the true winners in today's day and age.
But to the guys who are having that conversation about their ideal woman on the train: grow up, learn respect, and stop sharing those disrespectful memes on your Facebook.