Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Tuesday likened child-rearing to dog breeding in an attempt to make a pitch for extended paid family leave – a connection that largely fell flat on critics.
Ocasio-Cortez made the odd comparison during Tuesday’s House Oversight Committee hearing on paid family and medical leave.
“Do we know how long puppies are allowed to stay with their mothers after a dog has given birth?” Ocasio-Cortez asked.
“Uh, eight weeks,” she said, answering her own question. “So, the market has decided that women and people who give birth deserve less time with their children than a dog.”
“And I think that that at its core has shown that the market has failed to treat people with dignity and with basic respect,” she continued, adding that it is the public’s job to “redefine the rules of society” and “treat people who give birth with the dignity that they deserve”:
Thinking she's being clever at a House Oversight Committee, AOC makes a bizarre comparison between dog breeding and raising children, appears to suggest that dogs are given rights to raise their puppies for a certain length of time. Uhmm…? pic.twitter.com/tUObnX3xKP
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) December 11, 2019
The comparison fell flat on many, as dogs who have given birth are not leaving full-time jobs to do so, nor are they in need of vacations.
“How many weeks of vacation should dogs get?” one Twitter user sarcastically asked.
“The dog is not an employee and doesn’t cost business 3 months of salary for making puppies,” another added.
“AOC comparing raising children to breeding dogs shouldn’t surprise anyone. This is standard fare for the Congresswoman,” former Trump campaign and White House official Steven Cheung wrote. “Further proof that elections have consequences.”
“As a woman who has given birth to six children, I find being compared to a breeding dog with puppies incredibly offensive,” Heritage Foundation scholar Rachel Greszler said in a statement to Fox News.
“What AOC failed to point out is the reason many states require puppies to spend at least eight weeks with their mothers is in the context of them being sold to people after that period,” she added.
The New York lawmaker, however, doubled down on Twitter.
“Puppies aren’t separated from their moms until ~8 weeks. Less than that is thought of as harmful or abusive,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
“One of the most common lengths of US paid family leave is ~6 weeks,” she continued, standing by her original assessment. “So yes, when we ‘let the market decide’ on parental leave, ‘the market’ treats people worse than dogs”:
Puppies aren’t separated from their moms until ~8 weeks. Less than that is thought of as harmful or abusive.
One of the most common lengths of US paid family leave is ~6 weeks.
So yes, when we “let the market decide”on parental leave, “the market” treats people worse than dogs. https://t.co/Pc14ypHHJF
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 10, 2019
After six weeks to eight weeks, puppies are typically sold, never to be seen by their mother again. Human mothers continue to care for their child, even after going back to work – another obvious flaw, critics say, in her argument.
The freshman lawmaker also called for parental leave for “non-birthing parents,” because “it takes a village” to raise a child:
Yes! And equal paternity/parental leave is just as critical.
Non-birthing parents are JUST as important.We have to end the stigma that only birthing parents should take time off.
It takes a village. Leave isn’t only about physical recovery; it’s about starting life as a family. https://t.co/QJik9yTOV4
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 11, 2019