This speech hit home for so many different reasons, but let's break it down.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's speech comes after Rep. Yoho reportedly made sexist comments against her for her opinions on the handling of the pandemic, poverty, and policing. Rep. Yoho is accused of calling her "disgusting," "crazy," "out of [her] mind", "dangerous," and a "f------ b----." The press then reported on the comments as they were made in the presence of the reporters. When he was slammed in the press, Rep. Yoho made a public apology but failed to include several key components to make the apology even appear genuine.
Rep. Yoho did not say Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's name in his apology nor did he take responsibility for his actions. Instead, he apologized for "the abrupt manner of the conversation [he] had with [his] colleague from New York." Essentially, Rep. Yoho apologized for the tone in which he spoke to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, not for what he said to her.
The issue with what Rep. Yoho said does not have anything to do with if his tone was "abrupt," but everything to do with the sexist and degrading language he directed towards Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. Refusing to make an apology is one thing, but to make an apology that isn't really an apology just to maintain the image of having made an apology is blatantly disrespectful.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez rightfully slammed Rep. Yoho for his openly sexist behavior. Her speech spoke truths that women across the country, and the world for that matter, have dealt with for years:
"This is not new, and that is the problem." Women across the country, and around the globe, experience similar degrading and sexist remarks and actions every day. This is not a momentary mistake, but another moment in the parade of sexism.
"I could not allow my nieces, I could not allow the little girls that I go home to, I could not allow victims of verbal abuse and worse to see that, to see that excuse and to see our Congress accept it as legitimate and accept it as an apology and to accept silence as a form of acceptance." I am studying education in hopes of being a high school English teacher. I carry the weight of being a role model to young women with me every day. I see calling out sexism now as a practice for showing my future female students it's okay to do the same.
"I am someone's daughter too." We've all heard stories of protective fathers defending their daughters. But when the father isn't there, it's difficult for people to remember that that woman still has people who would protect and defend her in that moment. Not that she should need protection when walking down the street or riding the subway or walking into her workplace or hanging out with friends.
"And so what I believe is that having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man." A man labelling himself as a father or husband has been an all too common defense against being called sexist. Being in a relationship does not automatically make you a decent man. Raising a family does not automatically make you a decent man. A decent man would not make such flimsy excuses for unacceptable behavior. A decent man would not use the women he loves as a shield to defend himself against necessary criticism.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a defender of women's rights, and that's what it comes down to. She did not accept Rep. Yoho's flimsy, selfish attempt at an apology. She recognized that it wasn't an apology, but a defense that construed the issue.
The issue was the degradation of women. Rep. Yoho attempted to twist it into an issue of whether or not he loved "[his] god, [his] family, or [his] country."
If you still don't understand why this is such a serious issue, take a look at this Fox News article reporting on this speech. The headline is "Ocasio-Cortez delivers emotional floor speech slamming Rep. Yoho's 'abusive language'."
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was denied her professional title, but Rep. Yoho was still given his.
This is not an issue of political difference, but an issue of sexism.