This Congresswoman Clapped Back at Her Male Colleague After He Called Her 'Young Lady'

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Women in Congress may be some of the smartest leaders in the country, and yet, unfortunately, they're still dealing with sexist bullsh*t like the rest of us. Case in point: one congresswoman who had to call out her colleague after he called her "young lady."

CNN reports that Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington was (rightfully) outraged while debating a government spending package with Rep. Don Young, who decided it would be appropriate to belittle her by referring to her as "young lady," saying she, "doesn't know a damn thing." 

"You know, I rarely do this, but I'm deeply disappointed in my good lady from Washington. (She) doesn't know a damn thing what she's talking about," Young said. He later adds, "You may not know me, young lady. But I am deeply disturbed."

In response, Jayapal, who is 51 and the first Indian-American woman to be elected to Congress, made the badass move of calling out Young for his demeaning language, asking for his comments to be removed from the record.

"The gentleman has already impugned my motives by saying that I don’t ‘know a damn thing’ about what I’m talking about and he’s now called me ‘young lady,’ and Mr. Chairman, I ask that he take down his words."

Young later returned to the floor to apologize, but it doesn't excuse his behavior - and this is only one more example of many instances in which female congresswomen have been publicly belittled or talked down to by congressmen.

In a statement about the incident, Jayapal told the Seattle Times, "Unfortunately, women, including women of color, face this kind of exchange far too often,” she said. "So often, we are discredited for being brown or black, looking too young or too old, or having strong opinions. I appreciate that Congressman Young apologized and I want to remind women of color out there to stand your ground and don’t ever be afraid to speak up."

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About The Author

Caroline Pirozzolo is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she is majoring in Journalism. In her free time, Caroline enjoys buying more fashion magazines and books than she can ever possibly read, being an art history nerd, consuming mass amounts of coffee and Chipotle, and fawning over pictures of French Bulldog puppies. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @c_pirozzolo.