Alaska Rep. Don Young, a curmudgeonly strip mall Santa Claus imitator, is the latest dude in Congress to prove he doesn’t know how to work with women. During Thursday evening’s House debate on government spending, he repeatedly scolded Washington Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal with derision after she opposed his amendment on wildlife management.
Rather than calling her by her proper title—Congresswoman—or “my colleague,” Young spoke to Jayapal like she was an insolent girl, saying, “young lady” throughout his missive. “You may not know me, young lady. But I’m deeply disturbed,” he said, before proclaiming that the young lady “doesn’t know a damn thing what she’s talking about.”
Jayapal, like pretty much any woman of color surrounded by old white men, was prepared for the moment and not about to let this fuckery pass. “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.” she said.
Moments later, Young apologized—but still failed to refer to Jayapal as anything but “lady.”
“To the lady, I do apologize. I get very defensive about my state,” he said. “I recognize it was out of order, so I hope you accept my apology.”