ATLANTIC COUNTY — Despite saying they were all in good fun, Freeholder John Carman is taking criticism for a pair of Facebook "meme" posts after national marches held across the country in support of women's rights.

In the first post, a woman is seen cooking in a kitchen, with text over the photo asking "Will the woman's protest be over in time for them to cook dinner?" A second post of Kermit the Frog drinking a cup of tea — a popular image for memes — says "There must be a large sandwich making class going on in DC today."

Michael Suleiman, chairman of the Atlantic County Democratic party, said he was alerted to the Republican official's posts on Sunday night and said he did not believe they were appropriate for a member of the Freeholder board to share.

"A lot of people on social media were very upset," he said. "Of all the times to do it, we just had one of the most historic marches in American history, and you do stuff like this."

The party then shared the two posts on its own Facebook page. The posts had been made public on Carman's Facebook page but my Monday morning they were no longer seen.

In a story in the Press of Atlantic City, Carman responded to the controversial posts saying, "I fully support women's rights and issues," and adding, "I thought it was funny. People need to lighten up."

Even if it was meant as a joke, Suleiman said, that that doesn't make it right — especially coming from a public official.

"Yes, this is a joke, but it still builds upon a decades long stereotype," he said. "How do you break that stereotype when you're using it as a joke."

Had the freeholder apologized instead of trying to defend the pictures, Suleiman said, iit could have been a different situation.

"It would have been a lot easier if the guy just apologized," he said.

With Carman up for election this year, and the Freeholders set to meet on Tuesday night, Suleiman said, "hopefully he'll do the right thing and apologize."

The Atlantic County Freeholder Board meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Tuesday at the Stillwater Building on Shore Road in Northfield.

Emails and phone calls to Carman from New Jersey 101.5 were not returned.

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