Democratic senator Joe Manchin has been using the influence he has achieved as a result of a 50-50 tie in the US senate to advance the agenda of his corporate backers by thwarting efforts to pass the infrastructure bill in its present form and demanding huge cuts. When Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez pointed out his ties to lobbyists, he responded by referring to her as ‘young lady’ and she immediately called him out on it.
In a Sunday appearance on CNN, Manchin ripped progressives for threatening to sink a bipartisan infrastructure bill if he refuses to support the spending package. Singling out Ocasio-Cortez, Manchin responded to her claim that he meets weekly with oil lobbyists.
“I keep my door open for everybody,” he said. “It’s totally false. And those types of superlatives, it’s just awful. Continue to divide, divide, divide.
“I don’t know that young lady that well. I really don’t. She’s just speculating and saying things.”
On Twitter, Ocasio-Cortez suggested Manchin was attempting to dismiss a fellow member of Congress as a “young lady” because he was beginning to feel the pressure.
“In Washington, I usually know my questions of power are getting somewhere when the powerful stop referring to me as ‘Congresswoman’ and start referring to me as ‘young lady’ instead,” the 31-year-old wrote.
“Imagine if every time someone referred to someone as ‘young lady’ they were responded to by being addressed with their age and gender? They’d be pretty upset if one responded with ‘the old man’, right? Why this kind of weird, patronizing behavior is so accepted is beyond me!”
Is Manchin living in Pride and Prejudice times? How clueless do you have to be to not realize that referring to a grown woman as a ‘young lady’ is an obvious put-down. It is the language that parents use when scolding their very young daughters.
Maybe AOC should have responded to Manchin by saying “Ok, boomer“.
“I keep my door open for everybody,” he said. “It’s totally false.”
Which one is it?
consciousness razor says
If the old man had been born only a couple years earlier, he’d be part of the “Silent Generation” who still haven’t figured out how to shut the fuck up…. Has anyone checked his birth certificate?
Manchin shows arrogance, not cluelessness.
Andreas Avester says
I actually didn’t know that “young lady” is what parents say when scolding their very young daughters. It’s not like I have ever interacted with native English speakers while they scold their kids. And it appears that I haven’t read about this in any book either.
Still, I would not address any person with such words or phrases that emphasize a person’s gender or age unless said person actually expressed that they wish to be addressed like this. It’s annoying to be on the receiving end of this. For example, my boyfriend’s mother refers to me with a word that translates as “child,” and it’s not funny for me, especially now when my hair is already getting grey.
The Intercept has interesting articles about Manchin.
Lee Fang, Ryan Grim; 2021-06-16: Leaked Audio of Sen. Joe Manchin Call With Billionaire Donors Provides Rare Glimpse of Dealmaking on Filibuster and Jan. 6 Commission
Daniel Boguslaw; 2021-09-03: Joe Manchin’s Dirty Empire
Andreas @4, yes, the phrase usually goes something like: “Young lady, I told you not to eat dinner with your fingers and I meant it.” (said in a scolding tone). It is very common.
The idea, I think, is to stress that the child is expected to behave in a more adult way, so you address them as if they’re an adult. The male-gendered phrase is “young man” ( as in “You listen to me, young man, or….”) because native english speakers are too lazy to say “young gentleman”.
Like Noam Chomsky, for instance?
consciousness razor says
Yes, but he’s nearly old enough to be in the “Greatest Generation” which was never the greatest.