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Ted Yoho’s “Apology” to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Was BS

Nope.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) listens during a House Financial Services Committee hearing

Rep. Ted Yoho wants people to think he’s sorry, but he won’t actually say it. After drawing national criticism for calling New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “disgusting” and “fucking bitch” on the steps of the capitol, the Florida rep took to the floor of the House to offer a tepid non-apology and deflection for his actions.

Yoho confronted Ocasio-Cortez because he didn’t like her connecting poverty and crime in recent statements, so he begins his “apology” for the “abrupt manner” in which they interacted by giving excuses that he was once poor and on food stamps. Then he trots out the ole “husband and father to daughters” line that reinforces the idea that men should only care about women based on their relationships (or guardianship) of them, and not the fact that women are, you know, PEOPLE.

It was a cowardly statement that in no way accepted any personal responsibility, as Representative Ocasio-Cortex pointed out, with the full video of the “apology” embed.

Yoho’s statement here isn’t just not an apology, it’s actively insulting. He defends himself, couching his incredibly inappropriate outburst in terms of poverty and even policy. And he dehumanized his colleague by reducing this, I guess, to an issue of respecting women without even saying her name.

Again, Representative Ocasio-Cortez:

This lukewarm, overly scripted speech doesn’t cut it, Yoho. No woman, especially a member of Congress, should have to endure a man confronting her at her place of week and verbally assaulting her. And yet it’s something that every woman fears and has to deal with all the time. Just take a look at a few examples of how common this is:

This is not about being asked to “apologize for his passion,” Yoho is being asked to treat women with respect and to set an example for millions of others by apologizing sincerely for being that kind of jerk male we all know. We get called foul names for not smiling and fear for our lives when that happens. It’s not about politics, it’s about misogyny.

So, no, we’re sorry Mr. Yoho, you’ve lived up to your name and proved once again that the only thing worse than a man is a Florida Man.

(image: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.