Bisexual, Arizona senator Krysten Sinema has posted a picture of herself sporting an expletive-laden ring a little over a month after she voted against increasing the federal minimum wage.
The Democrat, who is openly bisexual, posted a picture on her Instagram story on Sunday (18 April) of herself enjoying what looks like a brunch. She is seen sipping from a colourful drink while sporting a ring that bears the words “f**k off”.
In March, Sinema was one of seven Democrats who voted against an amendment introduced by Independent senator Bernie Sanders that would add a $15 minimum wage increase back into the COVID-19 relief package. The federal minimum wage, which sits at $7.25 an hour, has not been increased since 2009 so the veto was a devastating blow to Americans across the country.
Sinema drew further criticism from social media users after footage surfaced of her making a thumbs down gesture after voting down the bill.
Now, Krysten Sinema has sparked backlash once again as many people have taken her questionable fashion choices as a commentary about her political choices. Journalist and author Talia Lavin wrote on Twitter that the “f**k off” is “directed specifically at anyone who makes the minimum wage”.
Brianna Westbrook, a trans rights activist who is a vice chair and executive committee member of the Arizona Democratic Party, said she believed Sinema thought her ring was a “witty way to send a message to the people upset at her actions”.
“The reality, the f**k off ring is a gut punch to the people that worked their a** off to elect her,” Westbrook said. “Shameful.”
Author Joy-Ann Reid questioned what “message” Sinema was trying to convey and “who it is directed towards”. She continued: “Because the complaints you’re hearing are from people who presumed that you were at least progressive enough to support voting rights, infrastructure etc.
“Do you support those things or just the filibuster?”
Journalist Aaron Rupar said he was “sure” Sinema’s “constituents appreciate” her fashion choices and their messages.
Another Twitter user wrote: “If I were Kyrsten Sinema I would simply not keep reminding people of how I did a Fortnite dance while blocking minimum wage”.
One person shared a “gonna tell my kids this was” meme about Kyrsten Sinema alongside a picture of Paris Hilton wearing a shirt that says “stop being poor”.
Sinema is working on a new minimum wage proposal alongside Republican, Utah senator Mitt Romney. The Huffington Post reported on Wednesday (14 April) that Sinema and Romney are working together on a plan to increase the minimum wage, but Romney declined to share details about the proposal.
However, Democrat senator Joe Manchin told reporters he believed the measure would raise the minimum wage to $11 per hour. This would mean the wage that Romney and Sinema are reportedly advocating for is lower than the $12.15 minimum wage in Sinema’s own state.