Rep. Nancy Mace’s Bizarre Attempt To Reference A Classic Novel Left People Scratching Their Heads

On Tuesday, South Carolina Representative Nancy Mace was seen skulking about Capitol Hill wearing a shirt emblazoned with a red “A.” Why? Was it a dig at Senate’s failed dress code change? Alas, the real reason was far dumber.

Per Newsweek, Mace told reporters that it wasn’t just a red “A.” It was a “scarlet letter,” a reference to The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic of American literature, in which a woman is forced to wear the titular object after being caught committing adultery. The “A,” in fact, denotes her crime, as opposed to some other letter.

What crime did Mace commit? According to her, she’s been hounded for being one of eight Republicans to vote to remove former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

“I’m wearing the scarlet letter after the week that I just had last week, being a woman up here and being demonized for my vote and for my voice,” Mace told reporters. “I’m here to let the rest of the world know and the country know, I’m on the side of the people. I’m not on the side of the establishment, and I’m gonna do the right thing every single time, no matter the consequences ’cause I don’t answer to anybody in D.C. I don’t answer to anyone in Washington. I only answer to the people.”

It’s true that Mace was the only woman among the octet, and perhaps she’s experienced more criticism than others. That said, that’s unlikely given that it’s Gaetz, not her, who’s become the face of the McCarthy ouster.

Even if that were true, though, it’s not the smoothest comparison, is it? Hester Prynne was both a victim of religious oppression and sexism in 17th century Massachusetts, and over the crime of adultery. Mace simply did what seven men also did, to say nothing of all the Democrats who voted against McCarthy. Should Matt Gaetz wear a scarlet letter, too?

After Mace’s stunt went public, many people postulated that perhaps Grace isn’t as familiar with Hawthorne’s novel as she purports to be.

Some considered her stunt a worse adaptation of The Scarlet Letter than the disgraced 1996 film version starring Demi Moore.

Others wondered if the “A” really stood for “abortion ban,” which Mace and others in her party want to force upon the nation.

(Via Newsweek)