Ashley Bennett's NJ Win Was Even Sweeter Since She Beat A Guy Who Made Sexist Comments About The Women's March

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The past few days have been pretty great for progressives, especially after this past Tuesday's election saw marginalized politicians handily beat opponents who leveraged bias and hate. But one story's slipped under the radar as Ashley Bennett unseated John Carman off the board of Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders in New Jersey. 

To understand this win, let’s take the story back in time first. In January, freeholder John Carman of the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders, a county legislative body in New Jersey, shared a Facebook meme that mocked the Women's March: "Will the women's protest end in time for them to cook dinner?"  

According to the Philly Inquirer, dozens of women responded to Carman’s misogynistic remarks by confronting him at the next meeting. Carman responded by brushing off the meme as a joke, saying that people “need to lighten up,” as Bustle reports. Among the women who didn’t find his response humorous was Ashley Bennett, a 32-year old psychiatric emergency screener.

In response, she walked out out of the meeting and reportedly said "Instead of apologizing and saying you could do better, you disrespect people."

And she didn’t only walk out. She walked and marched forward and decided to run for Carman's seat on the board. What’s the best way to take revenge? Prove them wrong. That’s exactly what Ashley Bennett did and, as we mentioned, she took Carman's seat. 

“People want change,” Bennett said. “I am beyond speechless and incredibly grateful to serve my community. I never imaged I would run for office.”

We’re glad that she did. It’s so important that women feel empowered to make a change in their societies, whether it’s through running for office or supporting those who do. Turn your anger into action. Our communities deserve leaders and officials who respect them.

About The Author

Rachna Shah is a first year student at Dartmouth College, where she is interested in health economics and healthcare reform. As part of the Board at Bridge the Divide, she uses her words as a platform for change and responsibility, encouraging and enabling youth to stay informed and active in the political arena. Rachna is also a writer and editor for several literary and political magazines, including Young Minds, The Weekly Buzz, and Her Campus. When she is not writing, she can be found munching on almonds and listening to the news in French.