‘The Daughter Excuse!’ A Cynical Shield against Sexist Behavior

After having insulted Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Republican Rep. Ted Yoho tried to excuse himself by using his role as a husband and the father of two daughters. A cynical attitude, according to The New York Times.

“Sorry, Ted Yoho. Having daughters doesn’t get you a sexism free pass,” according to The New York Times.

The argument started when Yoho, a Republican elected to the House of Representatives, approached Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (frequently referred to as AOC), a Democratic star, in the halls of the American Congress last week, criticizing her for statements linking the rise of crime in New York to the rise in poverty due to the pandemic.

A journalist from The Hill who witnessed the scene reported that he then accused her of being “out of her freaking mind,” of making “disgusting” remarks and called her a “fucking bitch.”

Diverting Criticism

Yoho excused himself the next day, regretting the “abrupt manner of the conversation.” He denied having said the insults in question and defended himself by bringing up that he was married and a father of two daughters.

Thursday, in a speech given before Congress, which later went viral, AOC declared: “I am someone’s daughter too.”

She explained that at first, she had planned to ignore the insults but changed her mind after Yoho decided to involve his wife and daughters in the argument to divert criticism – the “Daughter Excuse” – and trying to “excuse a host of bad behavior,” that was a regular thing, as historian Barbara Berg claimed in The New York Times.

A Noteworthy Speech

“Men have often pointed to their relationships with and love for some women – especially wives and their daughters – to combat claims that they have mistreated other women,” declared Kelly Dittmar, a scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University − a strategy of shielding that The New York Times, in its editorial, called undignified and cynical.

AOC did not miss the chance to put the congressman in his place and of delivering a noteworthy speech before Congress, which was applauded by many representatives. “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,” she declared, while at the same time deploring a “cultural” problem of sexism in the United States.

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