CEO DailyCFO DailyBroadsheetData SheetTerm Sheet

Will Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s speech end the ‘daughter excuse’ for good?

July 24, 2020, 12:48 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Susan Pompeo is a powerful force at the State Department, Taylor Swift drops a surprise quarantine album, and AOC delivers a speech for the ages. Have a wonderful weekend.

– 🔥🔥. Something tells me you have already seen the video of the speech Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave on the House floor yesterday. But, please—do not let that stop you from watching it again!

To recap: After reportedly calling AOC a “f***ing bitch” on the steps of the Capitol, Rep. Ted Yoho offered a non-apology apology, saying he was sorry for the “abrupt manner” of their exchange, but insisting that he never engaged in “offensive name-calling” and that as a man with a wife and daughters he was “very cognizant of my language.” 

In response, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez set the House on fire—well, rhetorically, anyway! In that moment on the steps with Rep. Yoho, she says, she represented every congresswoman, and in fact every woman, “because all of us have had to deal with this in some form, some way, some shape, at some point in our lives.”

AOC was clear that she’s no delicate flower, unable to handle the abuse. “But what I do have issue with is using women, our wives and daughters, as shields and excuses for poor behavior,” she said. “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. I am here because I have to show my parents that I am their daughter and they did not raise me to accept abuse from men….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.”

I’m not quite sure when or how it became a thing that having a mother, sister, wife, or daughter proved that a man could not possibly be a misogynist, sexist, sexual harasser or whatever else he might have been accused of—but I’m sure ready for it to come to an end. It’s wonderful to hear that these men have loving relationships with some women—but that fact in no way reflects on their relationships with the other 50% of the world’s population. And indeed, I have to believe that someone who would use this kind of language toward his own colleague must, at heart, believe there’s some fundamental difference between the humanity of the women he’s invoking as a defense, and the ones he deems worthy of attack.

Whether you agree with her politics or not, there’s a lot to love about AOC’s barnburner of a speech. Let’s hope her message resonates far beyond Congress and is heard by any man who tries to hide behind his female family members as a call to come out and do what Rep. Yoho has refused to do: take responsibility.

Kristen Bellstrom
kristen.bellstrom@fortune.com
@
kayelbee

Today’s Broadsheet was curated by Emma Hinchliffe

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

- Power couple? Susan Pompeo, wife of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has played a crucial role in his political rise. Known to intervene in matters as small as a misplaced comma on a candidate's job application, her level of involvement now that the couple is at the State Department has no precedent, Politico reports. Politico

- TS8. Surprise! Quarantine brought us a new produced-in-isolation Taylor Swift album, Folklore. The pop star is selling merch, including cardigans, in honor of the first single "Cardigan." Fortune

- Class action. Four former Google employees suing for gender pay discrimination are trying to secure class-action status representing 10,000 workers—or all women who worked for Google in California after September 2013. Google says the company "analyzes pay every year to make sure salaries, bonuses and equity awards are fair." Bloomberg

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: The Bank of England named Laura Wallis private secretary, making her the first woman to hold the influential role. Crown Media Family Networks, home of the Hallmark Channel, hired former TV One CEO Wonya Lucas as its new chief executive. Oakland Park, Florida Vice Mayor Jane Bolin was named chair of the global governance committee for the Entrepreneurs' Organization. Gathered Foods named Christine Mei CEO. FaceBank Group, home of fuboTV, hired Gina DiGioia as general counsel and corporate secretary. Twilio hired SAP Concur's Michelle Grover as chief information officer. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

- A bad deal. We've heard a lot about how technology can be weaponized by domestic abusers, but there's another piece of modern life that can make escaping abuse even more difficult: the family phone plan. Canceling family plans can be expensive and logistically challenging, creating further hurdles for victims of abuse. Wired

- Co-pay problems. A new rule from the Department of Health and Human Services curtails co-pay assistance, or co-pay coupon cards from drug manufacturers that provide financial help to patients. That will mean huge increases in drug costs to individuals, warns Stacey Worthy, counsel to Aimed Alliance and a partner at DCBA Law & Policy, in a Fortune op-ed. Fortune 

- Housing bubble. With the future of federal unemployment benefits unclear, advocates are worried about an "eviction apocalypse" in the fall. The burden of those evictions is likely to fall disproportionately on Black women. The Lily

ON MY RADAR

Is it safe to return to day care? 7 experts weigh in Fortune

New York Times to buy production company behind Serial podcast New York Times

Actually care about RBG? Quit it with the memes The Lily

PARTING WORDS

"We saw this problem coming."

-Rep. Lauren Underwood on the women elected to Congress in 2018, and their efforts on paid family leave, health care, and other issues that have come to the fore during the pandemic