Calling out abuse

I love this response by US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (aka AOC) to Congressman Ted Yoho, who called her a “f—king b—ch” for doing her job.

He does a non-apology and claims he can’t be sexist because he has a wife and daughters. AOC rejects this and delivers a superb response on the floor of Congress.

I love how calm and measured she is in her delivery, despite the clear emotion. Take a look – it’s a few minutes well spent.

Yoho’s verbal abuse of AOC is classic stereotyping behaviour. A belligerent man is “principled” but a belligerent woman is “neurotic”. A man who cries is having an EQ breakthrough but a woman is hypersensitive (or worse, has PMT). And a determined politician, if male, is a passionate leader but, if female, is a “f—king b—ch”.

We are all complicit in stereotyping. And unfortunately, women can be as judgemental of other women as men can be. I encourage my negotiation coaching clients to monitor how they react to women who have a direct, forthright manner. Do they think those women are pushy? Can they be more accepting of assertive female styles?

According to the UN Human Rights Commission, harmful gender stereotyping is a root cause for discrimination, abuse and violence. Let’s join AOC to stand against it and call it out.