If we learned one thing about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2018, it’s that she doesn’t back down from a challenge. This week, the incoming congresswoman is facing criticism of her announcement that she’s taking the week off before she starts work on Jan. 3 in the name of self-care.
I’m taking a few days to take care of myself before what is sure to be an eventful term.
For working people, immigrants, & the poor, self-care is political – not because we want it to be, but bc of the inevitable shaming of someone doing a face mask while financially stressed./1 https://t.co/EWdWFmPwet
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 17, 2018
“I’ve been campaigning nonstop for two years: through multiple jobs, double shifts, morning commutes on the subway, etc.,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I neglected myself in the process.”
“We live in a culture where that kind of lifestyle is subtly celebrated as ‘working hard,’ but I will be the first to tell you, it’s not cute and makes your life harder on the other end.” As usual, critics were eager to call out Ocasio-Cortez for this decision. “Already taking a break. Hasn’t started working yet,” Matt Rooney, an attorney, wrote on Twitter. The Blaze, a conservative media website, echoed that sentiment, saying the lawmaker had “not officially embarked on her new career” but was already on “self-care sabbatical.”
Already taking a break. Hasn't started working yet. https://t.co/UpT5KDOR45
— Matt Rooney (@MattRooneyNJ) December 18, 2018
Others were even harsher in their criticism.
Unemployed bartender living off donor money needs a vacation before living off taxpayers. https://t.co/BZC3x99o7R
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) December 18, 2018
AOC needs a break! Whew! Job hasn't started yet, but getting a jump on the vacation. Tell her it's all good, and new term in Congress has been delayed until January of 2020, so take a longer break and get some rest. https://t.co/vGzV2jxp6F
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) December 18, 2018
The incoming congresswoman has received near-constant criticism since jumping into the national spotlight in the past few months. Every decision, from the clothes she wears to how she runs her Instagram account, draws comments from pundits.
As in all past instances, Ocasio-Cortez was quick to shut down her critics. In a tweet, she highlighted all her hard work and accomplishments in 2018, which included drawing the highest nonpresidential turnout for the NY-14 district and defeating a 10-term incumbent who outspent her 10-fold.
– Defeated a 10-term incumbent while outspent 10-1
– Travelled cross-country to build support for progressive movements where they’ve been abandoned (MI, KS) & new ideas (Public Banks, Green New Deal)
– 3 IDC defeats came from NY-14
– Highest recent non-prez turnout for NY-14 https://t.co/iJF9qkoOGe
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 18, 2018
“For working people, immigrants and the poor, self-care is political,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Not because we want it to be, but because of the inevitable shaming.” She used her platform to explain that not everyone had an equal opportunity to relax and take care of themselves before getting involved in serious work.
“It’s not okay that women subconsciously perpetuate unequal burdens for generations, just because we’re made to feel guilty if we don’t,” she posted on Instagram.
“I keep things raw and honest on here since I believe public servants do a disservice to our communities by pretending to be perfect. It makes things harder for others who aspire to run someday if they think they have to be superhuman before they even try.”
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- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls out ‘double standards’ in American politics: Paul Ryan a ‘genius,’ while ‘I’m called a ‘fraud’