Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) grabbed headlines Monday when she made a political statement at the Met Gala by wearing a gown with the words “Tax the Rich” emblazoned on it.
By Tuesday, the New York Democrat was criticizing the response her stunt received.
What did AOC say?
In responding to the uproar generated by her dress, Ocasio-Cortez decried that her body had been “policed.” Mind you, Ocasio-Cortez intentionally used her body — via the wearing of a provocative dress — to make a political statement.
Responding on Instagram, Ocasio-Cortez wrote, in part:
I thought about the criticism I’d get, but honestly I and my body have been so heavily and relentlessly policed from all corners politically since the moment I won my election that it’s kind of become expected and normalized to me. The irony is that when women in power take the prospect of criticism to be cautious in their actions, they are then criticized for being “inauthentic” and “too calculated.” Ultimately the haters hated and the people who are thoughtful were thoughtful.
In fact, Ocasio-Cortez said she received unfair criticism because she is a woman.
“I am so used to doing the same exact thing that men do…and getting a completely different response,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
Such unfair criticism of women is part of a larger problem within American society, Ocasio-Cortez added.
“Honestly, our culture is deeply disdainful and unsupportive of women, especially women of color and working class women (and LGBTQ/immigrant/etc) from the bottom up — whether it’s lack of childcare support of especially reserving pillory for elected women and femme people,” she said.
What was the criticism about?
People who voiced criticism did not find fault with the fact that Ocasio-Cortez is a woman. Instead, they found her attendance at an event that costs $30,000 to attend — while wearing expensive custom clothes — hypocritical.
Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool, summed up that criticism, “‘Tax the Rich’……But first I’m gonna go have the time of my life partying with them all at the most extravagant over the top party of the year that is essentially a celebration of richness.”
“Tax the Rich”……But first I’m gonna go have the time of my life partying with them all at the most extravagant over… https://t.co/ocgQl6d56s
— Dave Portnoy (@Dave Portnoy)1631582044.0
A government watchdog filed an ethics complaint against Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday, alleging she received “an impermissible gift” by attending the Met Gala in violation of House Ethics rules.
The American Accountability Foundation sent a letter to the House Office of Congressional Ethics requesting an ethics investigation into Ocasio-Cortez.
“Specifically, we believe Representative Ocasio-Cortez has violated clause 5 of Rule XXV of the Rules of the House of Representatives (commonly known as the Gift Rule) by accepting admission to the Met Gala, an event whose per seat costs is reported to range from $35,000 to $50,000, without having a permissible exemption to allow the acceptance of the lavish gift,” the complaint said.
“If Representative Occasio-Cortez has used campaign funds to pay for this ticket, she has also violated FEC prohibitions on campaign funds being used for entertainment purposes,” it added.