A Louisiana state senator went off on her colleagues, accusing them of being misogynistic, after one colleague was given a birthday cake made to resemble a woman in a bikini.
According to Mashable, Louisiana state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson walked into a break room at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge prior to a budget hearing on Nov.18, when she saw a birthday cake on the table for Rep. Mark Abraham, along with a note that read, "Happy Birthday Mark Abraham. He likes his cake and eats it too!!!!"
The cake was in the shape of a woman's torso, wearing a bikini. It included a purple unicorn tattoo above the bikini bottom and candles coming out of the breasts.
Peterson spoke to Abraham about the cake and eventually learned that it was a gift from Rep. Jack McFarland and his wife.
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She told Abraham that the cake is "rather offensive."
"I said some language I'm not proud of using," Peterson told Mashable. She said she later apologized for using the inappropriate language.
Peterson says Abraham told her to cover up the cake if she finds it offensive, so she responded by smashing the note into the cake and throwing it in the garbage. She then took to Twitter to air her frustrations.
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"The LA St Cap not a "locker room"!" she wrote on Twitter. "If folks want to celebrate days like this, don't do it here! #offensive #lalege"
Two male representatives involved in the controversy say that the whole thing was just one misunderstood joke, but their female colleagues disagree. According to The Advocate, Rep. Helena Moreno of New Orleans started a Twitter campaign called "It's No Joke," which is intended to draw attention to inequalities faced by women in areas such as health care, representation, and economic opportunities.
"I didn't feel it was offensive," Rep. Jack McFarland, whose wife made the cake as a joke, told The Advocate.
"I would never want to do anything that is offensive to this body or anyone else for that matter," Rep. Abraham said.
"If they choose to celebrate a birthday that way, then they should have done that off site in another setting," Peterson said.