Iterability and Infelicity: Deconstructing Congressman Ted Yoho’s ‘Apology’

Iterability and Infelicity: Deconstructing Congressman Ted Yoho’s ‘Apology’

Gabriella Licata

Female politicians—particularly women of color—experience a disproportionate amount of Othering in political and media discourse. These diatribes are often ignored, dismissed or inflamed within conservative narratives that frame the United States in an era of post-racism (Alim, 2016) and post-feminism (McRobbie, 2004). On July 20th, 2021, Rep. Ted Yoho verbally accosted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the steps of the Capitol, employing a misogynistic pejorative. This paper deconstructs Yoho’s reiterations of the event, revealing inconsistent storytelling and infelicitous apologies that were largely deemed acceptable by both sides of the aisle and the media, demonstrating how violent language directed at female politicians of color is a normalized aspect of US politics.

Event details:

Topic: “Iterability and Infelicity”
Presenter: Gabriella Licata
Date and time: Feb 12, 2021 3:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

*Email Alejandro (amunera@berkley.edu) or Ernesto (ernesto.gutierrez@berkeley.edu) for the Zoom link to join the meeting.