Atlantic County Freeholder John Carman is facing backlash over a Facebook post he shared Saturday during the Women’s March on Washington.
Carman, a Republican, posted a meme of a woman cooking soup with the caption, “Will the woman’s protest be over in time for them to cook dinner?”
The post quickly elicited criticism from Democrats across the state.
“On Saturday, millions of women all across the country and the world stood up to hate, intolerance and misogyny,” Atlantic County Democratic Committee Chairman Mike Suleiman said. “That same day, Freeholder Carman embraced the very hate, intolerance and misogyny just to get a few shallow ‘likes’ on Facebook.”
Carman, who is up for re-election this year, said Monday the post was meant as a joke.
“I fully support women’s rights and issues,” he said. “I thought it was funny. People need to lighten up.”
Freeholder Amy Gatto, a Republican who was elected to the board in November, said she was disappointed by Carman’s post.
“As someone who truly respects his wife and daughter, I know he didn’t mean it. But that doesn’t excuse it,” Gatto said in a statement. “Now let’s see how many women the Democrats run for office this year. It’s easy to critique a stupid Facebook post. The real test is whether they will commit themselves to electing more women the way our Republican party has.”
Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, D-Atlantic, condemned the post, calling it misogynistic and hateful.
Both Suleiman and Mazzeo, who is running to replace retiring Sen. Jim Whelan in this year’s election, are calling for Carman to apologize.
New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, also condemned the post and said women across the state will continue to “fight for a society that cherishes inclusion and equality.”
“The post wasn’t even funny, but perhaps, worst of all, gave us insight into the freeholder’s thought processes,” Weinberg said in a statement. “I hope that Atlantic County women attend the next freeholder meeting to let Mr. Carman know that not all women cook, but they probably do vote.”
The next freeholder meeting is 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Stillwater Building in Northfield.
Freeholder Chairman Frank Formica and Atlantic County Republican Committee Chairman Keith Davis declined to comment.