A man in a position of power blurts expletives at a colleague: a younger woman of color. He calls her “a f–ing bitch.” “Disgusting.” “Out of [her] freaking mind.”
Does this scenario seem familiar? Have you experienced something like this? Unfortunately for many of us, the answer is yes. In this particular case, the man who exhibited the aforementioned behavior is Ted Yoho: someone who has been elected — and is being paid — to represent his community. Yes, this includes women in his community and in his constituency. Yoho blatantly treated a colleague, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with such disrespect. Somehow, that’s not even the worst of it from him.
Let’s set one thing straight: the actions of this congressman alone are disgusting and reprehensible. But he later came out with what could be called an apology in the loosest sense of the word. In this short excuse for his actions, Yoho states that he has wives and daughters. Of course that absolves him of any sexist behavior, yeah?
But why can’t we come to a point where we don’t see women as wives and daughters? Why can’t we just be valued as human beings, with no implied attachment to men?
It’s not uncommon — and certainly not surprising — for women to hear that they’re bitches in the workplace.
If this worries you, men, ask yourselves, “am I exhibiting behavior like this behind closed doors? To anyone’s face?” If the answer is yes, take some time to think about why you’re making these claims. Would you say the same about your male colleagues?
If not, that’s great! But are you hearing your male colleagues and friends doing that? Are you shrugging it off, or are you calling it out?
Are you Ted Yoho, are you complicit, or are you a true ally? You get to choose.