By now women should find a sense of humor, right? John Carman, a Republican member of the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders, a county legislative body in New Jersey, wondered in January 2017 if the millions of women -- accompanied by beyond decent numbers of men -- who attended the Women's March would be home in enough time to cook dinner. New Jersey resident Ashley Bennett was not amused.
"Seriously," Carman responded when dozens of women showed up at a freeholder meeting , one carrying a box of macaroni and cheese and telling Carman to "cook his own damn dinner." Professing good humor and urging women to find the same, Carman insisted that ". . . the women I'm surrounded by, my family, my friends, my colleagues are all strong, confident women, women who are sure of themselves. They didn’t get offended by this." Vox explains:
Bennett, a psychiatric emergency screener, attended the meeting but walked out when she heard Carman’s response. "I walked out because you had the entire time to sit and collect your thoughts, and hear what people were saying, and instead of apologizing and saying you could do better, you disrespect people and say the people you surround yourself are strong," she said at the time. "There are a lot of people who are strong."
Adding to Ashley Bennett's irritation was Carman's fashion choice of wearing a confederate flag over his state of New Jersey patch. Other voters agreed. So Bennett -- who had never run for a political office -- ran for Carman's seat and she beat him. The fact that Democratic US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand from New York read Carman's sexist comments on 'Lovett or Leave It' probably helped her candidacy. But bottom line, Bennett opened up her own vocal box windows and said "I'm not taking this anymore."
“People want change,” Bennett said after her win. “I am beyond speechless and incredibly grateful to serve my community. I never imagined I would run for office.”
Bennett was embraced by progressive national groups like Run for Something . “Ashley’s story makes me so damn happy,” tweeted Amanda Litman, a former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer and a Run for Something founder. Producers from the Lawrence O’Donnell show on MSNBC invited Bennett to appear on the show Wednesday night. We'll be tuning in.