While i was being harassed in restaurants, i have tossed men out of bars that have used language like mr yoho’s and i have encountered this type of harassment riding the subway in new york city. This is not new, and that is the problem. Mr yoho was not alone; he was walking shoulder to shoulder with representative roger williams and that’s when we start to see that this issue is not about one incident. It is cultural, it is a culture of lack of impunity, of accepting of violence and violent language against women, an entire structure of power that supports that, because not only have i been spoken to disrespectfully, particularly by members of the republican party and elected officials in the Republican party – not just here but the president of the united states last year, told me to go home to another country, with the implication that i don’t even belong in america. The governor of florida, governor desantis, before i even was sworn in called me, a whatever. That is dehumanizing language is not new, and what we are seeing is that incidents like these are happening in a pattern. This is a pattern of of an attitude towards women and dehumanization of others, and i do not need representative yoho to apologize to me clearly. He does not want to clearly when, given the opportunity, he will not – and i will not stay up late at night – waiting for an apology from a man who has no remorse over calling women and using abusive language towards women.

But what i do have issue with is using women, our wives and daughters as shields and excuses for poor behavior. Mr yoho mentioned that he has a wife and two daughters. I am two years younger than mr yoho’s youngest daughter. I am someone’s daughter too my father. Thankfully, is not alive to see how mr yoho treated his daughter. My mother got to see mr yoho’s disrespect on the floor of this house towards me on television, and i am here because i have to show my parents that i am their daughter and that they did not raise me to accept abuse from men. Now. What i am here to say is that this harm that mr yoho levied it tried to levy against me was not just an incident directed at me, but when you do that to any woman, what mr yoho did was give permission to other men to do that. To his daughters, he in using that language in front of the press. He gave permission to use that language against his wife, his daughters, women in his community – and i am here to stand up to say that is not acceptable. I do not care what your views are. It does not matter how much i disagree or how much it incenses me or how much i feel that people are dehumanizing others. I will not do that myself. I will not allow people to change and create hatred in our hearts, 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.

Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man and when a decent man messes up as we all are bound to do, he tries his best and does apologize not to save face not to win a vote. He apologizes genuinely to repair and acknowledge the harm done so that we can all move on. Lastly, what i want to express to mr yoho is gratitude. I want to thank him for showing the world that you can be a powerful man and a cost women. You can have daughters and a cost women without remorse you can be married and across women you can take photos and project an image to the world of being a family man and across women without remorse and with a sense of impunity. It happens every day in this country.