everyday sexism

Louisiana Lawmaker Smashes Her Colleague’s Bikini-Shaped Birthday Cake to Protest Misogyny in the State Legislature

Ah, birthdays. A time for friends, parties, and, in the halls of the Louisiana State Capitol, a questionable birthday cake of a woman in a bikini, along with breasts, birthday candles as nipples, and a tattoo of a unicorn.

Two male representatives claimed that the cake — which was made for Republican representative Mark Abraham and came with a sign reading, “He likes his cake and eats it too!!!!” — was merely part of an inside joke. However, Democratic State Senator Karen Carter Peterson wasn’t laughing, and smashed the cake, covered it with the sign, and accused her colleagues of misogyny, the Advocate reports.

“The Louisiana State Capitol is not a locker room. If they choose to celebrate a birthday that way, then they should have done that off site in another setting,” Peterson told the Advocate.

Apparently male Louisiana lawmakers have a history of offending their female colleagues with so-called jokes. Earlier in the year, Representative Kenny Havard tried to amend a measure that mandated a minimum age for professional stripping, suggesting they also add weight and age limits — as a joke. That prompted Representative Helena Moreno, a Democrat from New Orleans, to launch “It’s No Joke,” a social-media campaign that shines a light on inequalities women face.

However, not everyone was offended by the bikini cake. Republican representative Jack McFarland’s wife made the cake, and he shared it in a private room at the state Capitol. “I would never want to do anything that is offensive to this body or anyone else for that matter,” Abraham told the Advocate.

Lawmaker Accuses Colleagues of Misogyny Over Bikini Cake