Bleats

A Gentle Reminder From AOC That Being A Dad Or Husband Doesn’t Make You A ‘Decent Man’

“B*tches get stuff done.”

If the name Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (or AOC) is not one you’re familiar with, I’d suggest getting to know it a little better. The New York congresswoman is the youngest ever woman to take a place in the United States Congress (she was 29 when she took office) and has since become a powerful voice in the political space.

AOC proudly fights for progressive changes to policy at a tumultuous time in America’s history. And as recent events have highlighted, the congresswoman will not allow petty political colleagues to silence her.

As The Guardian shares, according to reports from a Washington journalist and AOC herself, the congresswoman was approached by Florida Republican congressman Ted Yoho earlier this week. Reportedly, Yoho was displeased that Ocasio-Cortez had made recent statements linking poverty and crime.

In response to AOC’s statements, Yoho is said to have told her she was “disgusting” and “you are out of your freaking mind”. Ocasio-Cortez told Yoho he was being “rude”. And from here he is believed to have called her a “f*cking b*tch” – as an educated, mature adult does…

Following the (natural) backlash, Yoho responded by saying he never uttered the “B” word, that his words were “misconstrued” and that he is “cognizant” of his language because he’s been married to a woman for 45 years and has two daughters – as if that’s relevant.

It was not long after this non-apology that AOC served Yoho, and the world, the truth bomb that was so sorely needed here.

US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), speaks with a voter near a polling station during the New York primaries Election Day on June 23, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking on the floor about being accosted by Yoho, Ocasio-Cortez made a point to highlight that no, having a wife and daughters does not get you a free pass. It does not automatically qualify you as someone who treats women well. In fact, it proves nothing about how “decent” a man you are.

“I will not wait 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 behaviour,” she said.

“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.”

She continued “…when you do that to any woman, what Mr Yoho did was give permission to other men to do that to his daughters”.

You can watch the complete clip here:

The moving speech stands as a poignant reminder that people in positions of power and privilege do not get to use their family members or friends or partners as “proof” of their decency. Frankly, it’s pretty appalling to even consider it. And this idea doesn’t only apply to gender; it’s relevant for any marginalised group. Author, academic and activist Rachel Cargle has spoken many times about how having Black friends, kids or partners does not mean a person is not racist.

In the end, the only way to show you’re a good and decent person, as AOC pointed out in her speech, is by “treating people with dignity and respect”.

Anything less than that is lip service.

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Here’s How Much Hotel Quarantine Costs For Aussies Still Making Their Way Home

What a colossal mess.

Australians at home and abroad have been waiting anxiously this week after the announcement from Prime Minister Scott Morrison that the country would be capping international arrivals and introducing quarantine fees Australia-wide.

In the days that have followed, details have been sparse, leaving those Australians attempting to get home feeling abandoned and powerless.

In an update to Facebook, smartraveller.gov.au offered unclear guidance, telling Aussies that:

“Your flight into Australia may be affected. You may also need to contribute to the costs of quarantine when you return.

“We know this is a stressful time for many Australians overseas who are trying to get home. Our embassies, high commissions and consulates will continue to provide you with assistance and information during this time.”

The language coming from ScoMo and other members of government is less understanding. The general vibe has been “you had your chance to come home, now sort yourselves out”.

In a recent press conference on the new approach to hotel quarantine, the PM said:

“They’d be actually solely within their rights to do that [charge returning Australians]. I think that would be a completely understandable proposition for people who have been away for some time and there’s been many opportunities for people to return. If they’re choosing to do so now, they have obviously delayed that decision for a period.”

Yes, they have delayed that decision to move countries in the middle of a pandemic. Possibly because they had work up until this point. Or health care up until this point. Or needed to figure out what to do with their leases? Or possibly because they were waiting until the rate of transmission in the country they’re living in dropped somewhat and it became safer to fly/less likely they’d infect other Aussies or their family members.

Just a few possible factors, you know?

In any case, the cap on returns is happening (though I can tell you there are airlines in the U.S that were none the wiser up until at least a couple of days ago) and fees are being implemented. Here is what we know so far.

As the SMH reports, currently Sydney has capped international arrivals at 450 per day, Brisbane is taking in 500 per week and Perth 525 weekly arrivals. Melbourne is not currently receiving international arrivals.

Presently, the cost of a mandatory stay in a luxury hotel for your quarantine experience is looking to be about $3,000 for a single adult. I.e. more than some people’s monthly rent.

As SBS shared, Queensland implemented fees as of July 1st. One single adult will be charged $2,800, two adults: $3,710 and $4,620 for two adults and two children.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that anyone flying into Sydney will now be responsible for the cost of their stay, also. According to the SMH anyone who purchases a flight into Sydney after 11:59pm on July 12th AEST will be asked to pay the following:

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JULY 08: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks to the media at a press conference at Sydney Olympic Park on July 08, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Single travellers will be charged $3000, then $1000 for each additional adult. The fee for children over three is $500 per child. Kids under three can stay free.

The SMH shared that considerations will be made for families who cannot afford the cost. The details on that plan are unclear, however.

Remaining states and territories are yet to confirm their pricing process, but the PM has said there is an intention to see some uniformity with costs across Australia.

Ultimately, the Australian government has based its decisions on a desire “to protect the health of Australia and Australians”… just not all of them, it seems.   

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Can Scott Morrison Bake A Piano Birthday Cake? Because Jacinda Ardern Sure Can

Queen of all things.

If you’ve been in reach of a WIFI connection for the past few months, you’ll be aware that New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has been going from strength to strength as a leader.

Not only has she been able to rise to every challenge she’s confronted with grace and a considered approach, but she’s succeeded in almost completely ridding her country of COVID-19.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Jacinda Ardern, one of the world’s youngest heads of government, is also seemingly finding the time to kick goals in the mum department. The NZ leader celebrated the birthday of her two-year-old daughter, Neve, by busting out the Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book (remember that beauty?) and making a cake in the shape of a piano.

In an Instagram post commemorating the achievement, Ardern wrote:

“Cake making lesson number two- don’t focus on making the cake look in proportion with little to no attention on structural integrity….there is a jar of lentils propping this thing up. Happy Birthday Neve! Thanks for ignoring all of the imperfections in life and just being a joy”

Meanwhile, Australia’s Prime Minister is over here, getting his country’s history wrong. In case you’re wondering, we’re referring to ScoMo’s recent statement suggesting Australia has no history of slavery.

Morrison has since acknowledged the offensive error he made and apologised for his words. But it is worth considering the kind of response someone like Ardern would have received if she had taken a misstep like that.

Soz ScoMo, but no one is matching Jacinda Ardern’s brilliance right now.
Credit: Warner Bros. Television

Historically, we expect our female leaders to be brilliant, effective, and compassionate – all while being able to deliver as the “perfect” mother. And in cases like Arden, they somehow deliver (even if the cake lacks structural integrity). Do we ask the same of the men? Something to think about, perhaps.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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