NORTHFIELD, N.J. — For the second week, an Atlantic County freeholder's sexist meme about the Women's March in Washington turned a normally mundane county board meeting into a debate over women's rights, humor, and the Trump presidency.
Just one woman, Heather Gordon, 28, of Ventnor, spoke out against Freeholder John Carman, who issued an apology Thursday for posting a widely circulated meme that asked if the women marching "would be home in time to cook dinner."
"As a woman who did attend the Women's March, I can tell you I was not home in time to cook dinner," Gordon said Tuesday. She then gave a series of statistics about the dangers faced by women in their lifetimes.
"These are some truths for you. 'Will she be home in time to cook dinner?' becomes a little less funny when we consider that 38 percent of all murdered women were killed by their partner," she said.
By contrast, four people spoke in favor of Carman and defended his right to make a joke. One, Susan Diefenbeck, said after the meeting that Carman's supporters would be launching an email campaign on his behalf.
A week ago, about 30 women and men spoke critically of Carman's action and vowed to defeat the freeholder, who represents Egg Harbor Township and Mays Landing, in the next election.
Judy Niewender of Egg Harbor Township urged Gordon and the other women to put their passions into concrete action, rather than focusing on Carman. "It's over," she said. "Think about human trafficking. You're spitting out all these statistics. Why don't you work on a committee, channel the energies in an area that really counts?"
Carl Mason of Egg Harbor Township noted that the acrimony felt on Shore Road in Northfield for the second straight Tuesday evening was echoing a national tension.
"It's down to the freeholder level, but really it's against our great president, Donald John Trump," he said. "He's the first president I heard of that is doing everything he said he was going to do."