Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Why Mitch McConnell's "She Persisted" Quote About Elizabeth Warren Is So Important

Ad failed to load

In a highly-controversial move, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was formally silenced by the Senate during her floor speech Tuesday night after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell claimed she "impugned the motives and conduct" of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions ahead of his confirmation vote Wednesday. The decision to oust Warren from the Senate session led to widespread public backlash, and in an attempt to defend his actions, this viral quote about Elizabeth Warren from Mitch McConnell inadvertently became a battle cry for anyone who felt the Senate had acted unfairly — and for any woman who has continued talking or fighting for something after being told by a man to be silent.

As they did Monday ahead of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' confirmation vote, Senate Democrats took to the floor Tuesday to argue against Sessions' nomination for attorney general. When it was Warren's turn to speak, she skewered Sessions' immigration views, calling him a "particularly vitriolic opponent of commonsense immigration policies," according to C-Span, and argued that Americans couldn't expect that he would "stand up to the president's campaign of bigotry" if he were attorney general. It wasn't until Warren chose to read a 1986 letter about Sessions by the late Coretta Scott King, however, that McConnell and Senate Republicans formally took issue with her speech.

Warren initially received a warning by presiding Montana Sen. Steve Daines about reading King's letter, according to The Washington Post, and when she continued, McConnell moved to have her voted off the floor. He later argued that his actions were justified, and said, "She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Ad failed to load

As anger over the Senate's decision spread through social media, the hashtag #LetLizSpeak quickly began trending on Twitter, according to CNN, resulting in countless messages of support for Warren, and condemnation of the GOP Republicans who moved to silence her. But once McConnell's quote began to make the rounds, comments began to pour in highlighting what many saw as yet another example of misogynistic "mansplaining," echoing a message that strong, boundary-pushing women have been subjected to for generations.

Using another powerful hashtag, #ShePersisted, Twitter users repeated McConnell's words, turning a message that was intended to criticize Warren and prove that she was out of line, into a sharp rebuke of Senate Republicans, acting as further fuel for the growing resistance against the GOP and Trump at large.

Ad failed to load
Ad failed to load

For many, McConnell's comments were also a reminder of all the brave women who fought their own battles against inequality, and served as an inspirational reminder to not forget those important legacies, or back down from continuing the fight:

Ad failed to load
Ad failed to load

The notion that Warren wasn't just silenced for her dissent against Sessions, but for dissenting while reading King's own words seems to give the quote even greater significance. After all, King's entire argument in 1986 hinged upon the idea that Sessions shouldn't be appointed as a federal judge due to his record on civil rights, alleging that, as Alabama Attorney General, Sessions used “the awesome power of his office to chill the pre-exercise of the vote by black citizens,” according to The Guardian. Ultimately, Sessions was denied the appointment, making him "only the second nominee in 50 years to be denied by the Senate for a federal judgeship," according to The Washington Post. Sessions office hasn't responded to Romper's request for comment regarding racism allegations, but he has denied many of them in the past.

Ad failed to load

It's not exactly a stretch to assume that this was definitely not the reaction McConnell hoped to receive when he spoke about silencing Warren, as it seems to have only further mobilized the public's anger and frustration over what many feel has been the unfair actions of the GOP. But now, anyone who may have been needing a reminder of why it's important to keep fighting amidst that unfairness has certainly found one — and from one very unlikely source at that.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack