Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Grow Yucca in NYC) compared mothers to dogs in a paid family leave hearing, after treating a female Heritage Foundation expert with utter disdain for supporting free-market capitalism. AOC suggested that the free market considers human women as being of lesser value than dogs with their puppies.
AOC was questioning Rachel Greszler, research fellow in economics, budget, and entitlements at the Heritage Foundation.
“Okay. Do you believe employers should offer health care to every employee that they have?” Ocasio-Cortez asked.
“I think that as part of a benefits package, they should determine what is the best way and what do the workers want,” Greszler responded.
Naturally, AOC did not accept the meaning of her answer, but translated it into her all-or-nothing big government language. “So no, you do not believe it should be offered as a right.”
“I think it should be what workers want and what employers are able to provide,” Greszler said, unfazed.
Again, AOC interpreted the answer as a rejection of her “democratic” socialist worldview. “Okay. So the answer’s no. Um, so, and similarly, your view on parental leave is to let the market decide.”
Later on and out of the blue, Ocasio-Cortez asked the Heritage scholar about dogs.
“Um, do we know how long puppies are allowed to stay with their mothers after a dog has given birth?” AOC asked.
“I don’t,” Greszler admitted.
“Eight weeks,” AOC said. “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,” the congresswoman declared. “And so when that happens, I think it’s our job as the public to redefine the rules of society and to treat people who give birth with the dignity that they deserve.”
Hey AOC, when trying to make federal policy on complex issues, it's probably best not to compare people to dogs.
— Gloria Taylor (@glo_tay) December 10, 2019
There are many problems with AOC’s declaration, of course. She suggested that any disagreement with the radical idea of government-mandated benefits being “rights” entails rejecting the innate value of human beings, mothers in particular. If you don’t support government-mandated paid family leave for at least eight weeks, you consider mothers to be sub-human.
Yet Rachel Greszer is a mother — of no less than six children! She had the perfect response to AOC.
“As a woman who has given birth to six children, I find being compared to a dog with puppies incredibly offensive,” she said. “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.”
Dogs are kept as pets, and so people remove them from their mothers permanently at a young age. That is not a form of abuse for a dog, but it would be unthinkable for a human being.
AOC completely ignores the fundamental difference between humans and dogs — and the important reason why puppies are kept with their mothers for eight weeks. Furthermore, female dogs do not experience the burden and dignity of work. Employment is a contract between an employer and an employee, based on their mutual needs and desires. Greszler’s approach is right.
As a father, I understand the importance of time off after the birth of a child. Childbirth is a wonderful and extremely taxing process, and both mothers and fathers need time with their newborns. Current federal law requires employers to give workers 12 weeks of unpaid leave after the birth of a child, and forbids them from firing new mothers and fathers for that reason. While I personally would prefer most employers offered paid family leave, that is a decision between employers and employees.
Government-mandated paid family leave does not have the ability to determine human dignity, and AOC’s suggestion that it does is disgusting.
Whether or not Americans think mothers should receive 8 weeks of paid family leave after the birth of a child, they would be horrified if a child was removed from his or her mother after 8 weeks. Paid family leave has nothing to do with a mother’s relationship with her children. That relationship transcends any economic condition.
The most tragic thing about socialism is its reductive nature. If Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez really believe human dignity rests on the government providing certain benefits, then every relationship is soured by the resentment of economic inequality. Humanity is so much more than government-mandated equality, and human dignity exists outside any governmental system. Government can protect or hamper certain rights, but America is built on the idea that rights exist outside of government.
Human beings are not dogs, and it is shameful for AOC to make any comparison between the two. Yet her remarks also revealed another confusion — she referred to “women — and people who give birth,” as if people besides women give birth. This follows the madness that says “men” can give birth because biological females who identify as male are “really men.” This confusion has led to the death of at least one baby, and many feminists — including lesbian feminists — have warned that transgenderism undermines women’s rights.
Ocasio-Cortez needs to re-examine her premises. Women are women, and only biological women can give birth or be mothers. Humans are not dogs, and their human dignity does not depend on government. Yet all this confusion may have a silver lining — AOC should show Americans why these ideas are dangerous.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.