We are not on the house floor today because of just one callous incident. Unfortunately, what brings us to this moment are the structural and cultural conditions and, yes, the very men that have normalized the marginalization of women and specifically women, of color since this nation’s very inception, madam speaker patriarchy, it is a tool of oppression, that’s very much at home. In the halls of this powerful institution, not unlike the hostile working environments and harassment experienced by countless women across the nation who dare to speak truth to power today, we rise for every woman that has dealt with these dynamics as a conflated part of their walk in Life, every woman that has repressed the painful rhetoric inflicted on our bodies and our lives, so suffice to say that these tire tactics, tactics to debase and marginalize are familiar, and yet still we rise, our former fathers and our foremothers, rather the trailblazing women elected to congress. Before us equipped us to take on a world that was built on contradictions and injustice because of them, we have learned how to walk with our heads held high, our legacy defined by the laws we write and the good we do on behalf of those we serve. I first set foot in this institution at the age of 19.. My mother poured into me a sense of reverence for this institution of the awesome power that it held. I walked through hallways and still do flanked by the statues of men that enslaved my ancestors in a building built by my enslaved ancestors, madam speaker, while there may still be some specters in this hallway set on upholding oppression and misogyny.

I know that when my 12 year old daughter walks through these hallways today, she sees my name embossed on a plaque outside the door and lit up on the voting board above this house floor. And she sees chile and omar and chu and jayapal and escobar and trahan and underwood. Our very existence is proof that progress has been made and yet, although in some instances we are better than we used to be, we are still not who we can be, and so, with my eyes, fixed clear on the challenges of the moment, but clearer still on The promise of the future, i speak to our daughters, for they are watching and carefully taking note of how we respond in this moment. So in this moment i say to my korah and all our daughters, you are powerful, you are limitless. Your contributions to this world are brilliant needed and, uniquely yours, your ideas are substantive. Your lived experiences, your kind heart and your critical eye belong at every single table where decisions are being made, you deserve a life free from fear and filled with dignity and love. You are not defined by your productivity or your chosen work. We affirm. These truths should be self evident, that women are the backbone of every family of our communities and we are nation builders. We believe in you fully without reservation. You have a right to show up in the world exactly as you are and who you are is always enough.

Cora. You belong everywhere and i will close with the words of reverend william barber, who aptly points out that we find ourselves as a nation. In a moment of reckoning, a reckoning which calls for reconstruction old fights, but this is a new day: let’s build the world that cora and all girls and women deserve, and let us begin with this very institution. Thank you. Thank you. So much representative presley and i now yield to representative judy chu of california, leader representative ilhan omar of minnesota. Madam speaker, i am here not only to defend my friend and colleague, alexandria, ocasio cortez i’m, here on behalf of women around the world. This is not just about one woman, one incident or one purple assaulter. This is about respect and fundamental equality. Like alexandria, i was raised by a dignified man who told me that i didn’t deserve equality, that i deserved equality, because i was an equal human being to my brothers. I am appalled. Often like alex was when we hear men say i would never do this because i have a wife. I have a daughter, i have sisters, you don’t only respect women because they could be your mother. They could be your wife, they could be your sister. No, you respect women because they are an equal human being to you, that’s. How my father raised me and that’s how alexandria’s father raised her? Nearly every woman in the world has experienced verbal abuse, not just once, but since they were little girls, we experience it on playgrounds.

We experience it on workplaces, we experience it on our social media feeds. We see it coming regularly from the president of the united states, and now we see it coming from his partisan lockheeds from birth, little girls are sent the message that they don’t matter in this body. We have seen men who are afraid of muslim women. Like me and rashida talib, because we say proudly that you cannot ban us from this country because we pray differently than you, they are afraid of women everywhere, fighting systems of recession and sexual harassment through the metoo movement. They are afraid not just of us but losing their own power. It is no accident that alex was verbally abused for speaking up for poverty in her district and its relation to unrest, because when you push power, power pushes back the people from marginalized community. When we speak for people from marginalized communities, we understand as people who come from those marginalized communities, and that is a threat to those who wield power against marginalized communities. So we are not. We are here to say that we will not allow sexism misogyny and patriarchy to hold us back. We will not apologize for advocating for women everywhere. We will not apologize for claiming the power that women deserved for centuries and we will send a message to our daughters and their daughters that they deserve fundamental equality. I yield back. I am belittle women. It was an attempt to dismiss her her role in this body and her position all together.

All women have experienced this to some degree, but so often it is women of color who are singled out when we hear comments like this men and boys think it’s, appropriate women and girls expect it. Today we stand with our colleague. We will not accept this behavior anymore. We will not be made to be feel less than this is our house and we are claiming our space. I yield back. Thank you, representative clark and i yield to representative rashida talib of michigan. Thank you, madam speaker. I rise today as a proud member of this body and as a woman of color, as a sister in service to my colleague, congresswoman alexandria, ocasio cortez, who was verbally assaulted by a member of this same chamber gaslighting, my colleague in our country, won’t work here. I rise to tell my sister in service. I believe you, i believe you not just because reporters happen to be standing there to hear the sex attack, but because i believe women across our country when they tell us of the violence they experience at the workplace. Violence against women in politics specifically, is a global problem. I know i would invite any of my colleagues across the aisle to answer the calls into my office for just one day to hear the vile sexist remarks made about me and other women serving in this chamber. When my colleague from florida made the remark in question, he echoed and perpetuated those sexist violent calls.

Madam speaker, we must condemn in the strongest terms possible this kind of violent sexism sexism, so that women and girls across the country know that there is no room in any workplace, not in congress, not anywhere. Thank you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox-7o6cnt58