She came. She ran. She conquered.
Ashley Bennett was one of the few dozen women who showed up to a small public meeting earlier this year in January to criticize a Republican member of the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders in New Jersey. The politician in question had drawn the female activists’ ire by posting a sexist meme on Facebook mocking the participants of soon-to-be-held Women’s March on Washington.
The post read, “Will the Women’s March protest be over in time for them to cook dinner?” and featured a stock photo of a woman stirring something on a stovetop with a caption: “Just asking!”
When the women showed up at his office with boxed of macaroni and cheese, several takeout menus, a book titled “We Should All Be Feminists” and told him to “cook his own damn dinner,” Republican county legislator John Carman refused to apologize.
Instead, he attempted to antagonize them even further with his misogynistic commentary, as he praised “strong, confident women” in his family for not getting “offended” by his post.
It was then that Bennett decided to walk out.
“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.”
She also said she had “lost confidence” in the local government.
“I was so offended,” she told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “We are mocking and belittling — that's the part I can't get over.”
Although she is not a politician and had never run for office before, the incident changed Bennett’s mind.
The 32-year-old, who is a psychiatric emergency screener, challenged Carman in re-election bid and ran against him. Now, nine months after the male politician made the sexist joke, the Democrat newcomer successfully unseated him — even getting 1,000 more votes in a Republican stronghold.
Talk about karma.
“People want change,” Bennett said following her inspirational victory. “I am beyond speechless and incredibly grateful to serve my community. I never imaged I would run for office.”
Social media users had a lot to say about the sweet irony of Bennett knocking the male politician, who had angered her with his bigoted joke, off his seat.
John Carman mocked the Women’s March by saying “Will the women’s march end in time for them to cook dinner?”— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) November 8, 2017
Ashley Bennett responded by running against him and winning.
This is what taking charge of our own government looks like. pic.twitter.com/EGF8FO1VG2
Republican John Carman's comment that he hoped women would get home from the Washington women's march "in time to make dinner" so pissed off Democrat Ashley Bennett she ran against him in New Jersey for county supervisor. She won. pic.twitter.com/EM8Ri0Yc2Y— Scott McGrew (@ScottMcGrew) November 8, 2017
I wish I could have voted for Ashley Bennett. She defeated the jerk who hoped women be home to cook dinner after the women's march.— Helen Page (@bulkarn) November 9, 2017
Ashley Bennett is a goddamn patriot. https://t.co/6RzvSyebdG— Lily Herman (@lkherman) November 8, 2017
This is how you make history.
Thumbnail/Banner: Reuters, Dominick Reuter