The liberal left is appalled. A paragraph in a Washington Post article about Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen, revealed, “In 2002, Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.”
“The reaction was swift and extremely polarized,” according to a later Washington Post story.
Mike Pence never dines alone w a woman not his wife, nor does he attends events w alcohol, w/o her by his side. https://t.co/BxfS0JzbAc— Ashley Parker (@AshleyRParker) March 29, 2017
The Post chalked it up to it being all about a Christian thing where the religion demands establishing such boundaries separating women from men. The liberal news outlet explained how many of its media allies were appalled about “the Pences’ arrangement,” explaining how many out there are calling such an arrangement “one that reeked of sexism and a bygone era—an impractical code in the modern age of men and women working alongside one another. And how could the vice president of the United States not be trusted to dine alone or attend parties with women without it venturing into unholy territory? Some even wondered (perhaps seriously?) whether this would prevent him from meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May or German Chancellor Angela Merkel.”
Yahoo News offered, “The response was immediate. Many were quick to mock the couple for their old-fashioned values.”
An unemployment lawyer at VOX wrote that Pence’s rule is illegal. “The Twittersphere lit up like a Christmas tree with jokes and rants about Pence’s wife-rule. It’s not clear whether Pence still adheres to this practice, but there are men who do…the practice described by Pence in that 2002 interview is clearly illegal when practiced by a boss in an employment setting, and deeply damaging to women’s employment opportunities. Title VII, which governs workplace discrimination, does not allow employers to treat people differently on the basis of certain protected characteristics, one of which is sex. This means that an employer cannot set the terms and conditions of employment differently for one gender than for the other. This includes any aspect of the relationship between employer and employees—extending to benefits like equal access to the employer.”
The Atlantic offers a headline that does not beat around the bush about what they think regarding Pence’s personal rule. “How Pence’s Dudely Dinners Hurt Women.” They go on to tell us, “In the end, what suffers is women’s progress…Doesn’t that cut an entire gender off from a very powerful person at roughly 8 p.m.? To career-obsessed Washingtonians, that’s practically happy hour‚Äîwhich, apparently, is off-limits too…An anonymous survey of female Capitol Hill staffers conducted by National Journal in 2015 found that ‘several female aides reported that they have been barred from staffing their male bosses at evening events, driving alone with their congressman or senator, or even sitting down one-on-one in his office for fear that others would get the wrong impression.’ One told the reporter Sarah Mimms that in 12 years working for her previous boss, he ‘never took a closed door meeting with me. ...This made sensitive and strategic discussions extremely difficult.’...this practice extends beyond politics and into the business world, and it can hold women back from key advancement opportunities…64 percent of executive men are reluctant to have one-on-one meetings with junior women, and half of junior women avoid those meetings in turn. Perhaps as a result, 31 percent of women in her sample felt senior men weren’t willing to ‘spend their chips’ on younger women in office political battles. What’s more, ‘30 percent of them noted that the sexual tension intrinsic to any one-on-one relationship with men made male sponsorship too difficult to be productive.’...men hold more than 85 percent of top management positions in big companies. Because of that, when men avoid professional relationships with women, even if for noble reasons, it actually hurts women in the end.”
The solution? The Atlantic suggests, “normalize men and women interacting professionally, in a non-sexual way. ‘If you always saw men and women meeting together for dinner…people wouldn’t see it as suspicious.’”
The Atlantic, and all of these other upset and appalled media-types are unwilling to live in the world of reality - but we’ll get to that in a minute.
“Many wrote that Pence’s rule directly impacts job opportunities available to women hoping to work under the vice president.
“The revolting thing about Pence’s no-meals-with-women rule isn’t prudishness. It’s that he’s limiting key professional opportunities to men,” wrote Ian Millhiser, an editor at ThinkProgress.
Echoed Mother Jones Editor in Chief Clara Jeffery in a Twitter thread, “If Pence won’t eat dinner alone with any woman but his wife, that means he won’t hire women in key spots.”
“There are a zillion threads out there about the Pences extra suffocating habits, but the key one is this,” she continued. “If Pence won’t eat with a woman alone, how could a woman be Chief of Staff, or lawyer, campaign manager, or… Would Pence dine with Ivanka? Or KellyAnne? Or are they too relegated to second class citizens. For that matter, how would he ever even interview a woman. With a chaperone?”
First, they are leaving out the likelihood that Karen is willing to join Mike Pence at all of these potential meals. Of course, then they would scream that by demanding she be by his side, he’s probably holding her back from pursuing some other career, other than being Pence’s wife, and dinner-mate at all of his functions.
Cosmopolitan says that Pence’s rule offers an insight into what he “thinks about women.” They offer an it’s-all-about-the-good-ol’-boys-club kind of viewpoint, going off about men’s weekends, men’s mentorships, and men’s golf outings; and “how these systematic disadvantages privilege men’s careers and hurt women’s, even if no one is intentionally trying to screw women over.”
Cosmo goes on to inform us:
If Pence can’t eat alone with a woman—which also implies he’s not allowed to be alone with a woman—the end result is that he’s going to work with, mentor, and promote men over women. In politics, after-work dinners and drinks are where meetings are routinely held, strategies are hashed out, career advice is doled out, information is shared, and relationships are built. If men like Pence won’t engage with women one-on-one in informal settings, it’s the women who miss out—because it’s still men who run the show. It would be awfully hard for a woman in any high-powered industry to have a same-sex-only dining rule, because there are simply so few women at the top of their fields in politics, business, technology, and law. Ladies-only lunching (or dining of any kind) would mean the inability to meet individually and informally with the overwhelming majority of leaders in your field.
That isn’t the case for men, who can surround themselves almost entirely with other men—not just because there are so many more men around in high-profile positions, but also because few bat an eye at male-only rooms. Imagine if Hillary Clinton were president and her Cabinet was 90 percent female—she would be accused of leading with her vagina. And if she had refused to be alone with men, well, it’s hard to imagine we’d even know the name Hillary Clinton. But Pence can have a whole career where he doesn’t spend time alone with women, and now works in an overwhelmingly male White House, without major backlash.
Then Cosmo goes into the “men are pigs” territory I would expect:
“Just as disturbing as the wake of women whose careers may have been stymied by Pence’s policies is the assumption underlying it: that women, simply by existing, are inherently sexually tempting.”
The implication being that Mike Pence is worried he might not be able to control himself.
Cosmo’s grand finale on this reads as follows:
“...it’s not just Pence’s female colleagues and underlings who suffer because of his ‘no girls allowed’ dining rule and the mindset that justifies it; it’s women across America.”
The New Yorker’s Headline on this reads, “MIKE PENCE’S MARRIAGE AND THE BELIEFS THAT KEEP WOMEN FROM POWER”. The female New Yorker writer goes on to explain near the end of the article:
“At play here are two basic evangelical ideas. The first is complementarianism, which finds beauty in the idea of men and women holding rigid, separate roles: men lead and women provide support for men. In complementarianism, women are intended to find worth and agency through obedience and submission. There are plenty of women, as well as men, who believe that this is a fundamental truth about human life, and they are free to do so‚Äîbut when that conviction is allowed to shape public policy the result is a repressive and theocratic state. The second evangelical idea here is that Pence and his fellow hard-liners are simply making the most honest attempt possible to reckon with human sin. The problem is that women always end up bearing the burden of that reckoning. If we are framed as temptresses, our only power is sex.”
Again, an argument posing the offering that men just can’t sexually trust themselves, so they must remove themselves from the situation.
The feminist leftwing crazies don’t understand the “arrangement” because of the foundation of their belief system. The leftists call Pence’s stance “old-fashioned values” of a by-gone era. Women strive to be equal, or so they say, and the Pence rule, from their point of view, is simply an attempt to keep women from being equal. Frankly, I’m still searching for the list of rights women don’t have in America that the feminists keep screaming they don’t have. Women can drive, are not required to wear headgear in the presence of men, are allowed to go into public without a man with them, women vote, hold jobs, run companies, run for President of the United States…please, tell me, feminists, how are the laws of the United States denying you any rights? Despite the evidence, men are pigs to these people, and in the minds of the liberal lefties, the problem must lie in the sexist world of Mike Pence, men, and Christianity.
Remember, the Washington Post had asked, “how could the vice president of the United States not be trusted to dine alone or attend parties with women without it venturing into unholy territory?”
To the liberal left, all members of the male species are potential rapists and perverts, which is why in a sexual harassment or rape case the testimonies of the women are believed without any consideration that they may be lying, despite any contrary argument by the man or men in the case, or any evidence - or lack, thereof. Just ask the Duke Lacrosse team.
Understand, I am not going the opposite extreme as the feminist leftist progressive commie Democrats, and saying it’s all women’s fault, or that men can’t be pigs, either. It’s just that Pence’s decision has nothing to do with politics, whether or not his wife is the one in control and won’t let him eat with women after dark, or the delicate fabric of the social stature of women. The Pence rule is simply a case of common sense.
My dad told me often, when I was growing up, “if you don’t want the wrong things happening, don’t put yourself into those situations in the first place.”
When my son was jumped by a gang of idiot punks and beat up to the point of it landing him in the emergency room when he was a teenager, and I found out which neighborhood it was that he went to the party he was jumped at, while concerned about his physical well-being, I was frank with him. “What did you think was going to happen if you went to a party at that location? Of course you got jumped. Let that be a lesson to you not to go to that neighborhood to party.”
Don’t put yourself in situations that could go awry unless it is a necessary part of something you are trying to accomplish. If you must, use certain precautions, like, if you are a political figure, have your wife with you. Be responsible and reasonable, and most of the time, things will turn out fine. If you do not ever side on the side of caution, eventually, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or being with the wrong person that you shouldn’t be (whether you realize it, or not), will find you, catch you, and make things very difficult for you. That is just a bit of common sense.
The Pence rule makes sense not only because we should be reasonable about how we run our lives, and not put ourselves in potentially bad situations, but because while we may trust ourselves, it may not be ourselves that are the potential problem. As a former truck driver, I am a very skilled driver, but I still wear a lapbelt and drive with full alertness - not because I don’t trust myself, but because there are other factors to consider. Other drivers may not be as aware or skilled as I am. Other drivers may act in a manner when they drive that is more erratic than I may anticipate. There may be other external conditions, like weather or road quality, that may change the parameters of my task. Sometimes, it’s just good to make sure you’ve prepared for any bad thing that may poke its silly head into your situation.
My wife and I have been married for 33 years (coming up in August), we have two children, seven grandchildren, and we’ve reached a point in our marriage where there is no worries about our relationship. Because of what I do regarding meetings, public speaking, teaching constitution classes, and sometimes taking out of town trips, my wife doesn’t have the opportunity to be with me all of the time. She still works for someone else, though it is my goal to have her by my side regarding my endeavors when it comes to spreading constitutional literacy - and she’s all for quitting her job and joining me. She does not worry when I am gone, she’s not jealous, and she trusts me. It’s a wonderful thing. I trust her, as well. But, despite her trust, it’s not a good idea for me to be alone with another woman for dinner, or any other situation. It may not be me that can’t be trusted, or it may be that people seeing the dinner might get the wrong impression. I tend to work with men, or if women are included in the meeting or meal, it’s a large group. I rarely have one-on-one lunches, dinners, or meetings - largely, by design. While I am not suggesting all women or lefties are willing to lower themselves to do what happened to a friend of mine, of which I will explain next, the reality of the potentiality looms in my mind constantly.
My friend’s story carries with it a very large lesson. The information is public, but I believe a court case is pending, so I won’t use names. My buddy is a family man, happily married, has children, and is a very conservative individual. He used to be on a local city council. The towns in southwest Riverside County are fairly conservative, as was this particular council, at the time he was an elected member of it. In fact, the members of that particular city council prided themselves as being an all-republican group (though they could not say so in public, per se, since technically the area’s city councils are supposed to be “non-partisan”).
On a number of issues, my friend was much more conservative than his colleagues. So, while he was always sticking to his conservative ideals, he was also often voting against all of the other members of the council on a number of particular issues. This was especially disconcerting to his not-as-conservative-as-him colleagues when it came to “sustainability” and “regionalism.” For the other four councilmembers, their values went out the window when it came to bringing in money for the city from non-government organizations in connection to the implementation of the United Nation’s sustainability agenda. While the votes still passed, despite my buddy’s dissent, the reality was that my friend was only one man and could only influence the vote so much. He was outnumbered, but in the minds of his colleagues, he was still a threat to them, so a scheme to remove him from his position of power went into play.
While trying to practice a rule similar to Pence’s, with little kids at home his wife could not always be with him for all events. At one such event, which was very public with many people around, my friend wound up talking to a particular woman. The conversation moved from inside to the parking lot of the event in the waning hours of the evening. There was still people in sight, but the two were far enough away that a “moment alone with a woman other than his wife” occurred.
Nothing became of it, however, for a long time.
In an attempt to either jump on the opportunity of media attention and money from a lawsuit as a series of unsubstantiated allegations had emerged against my friend, or because the forces against my friend instructed her to do so, the woman accused my friend of groping her, and of other actions that could be classified as sexual harassment. There were no witnesses, and no other person could collaborate the woman’s story. While the District Attorney refused to take the case because of a lack of evidence, the city council went on to strip my friend of his position as mayor, and stripped him of many of his duties and responsibilities. He then lost decisively in the following election a year later, and his political career has been ruined. He was considered a rising star, but because of only one instance where he allowed himself to be alone with a woman other than his wife for only a brief moment, everything for him in the political world has come to a screeching halt, and his desire to be a rising star on the political scene has been completely dismantled.
Does Pence have his rule because his wife demands it, or because he thinks women are lower on the food chain of politics, or because his religion demands it of him, or because he wants to hold women back from being able to achieve political success, or because he doesn’t think he can trust himself with another woman? The answer to each and every one of those things is a resounding “no”. And, despite the argument that his decision is “bad for women,” to be honest, if I was Pence, I would have the same rule - not because of any reason other than, it just makes sense to have such rules when you are in such a lofty position.
Accusations of sexual impropriety can’t emerge if you refuse to ever put yourself in a position that would allow such things to be possible.
Douglas V. Gibbs of Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary, has been featured on “Hannity” and “Fox and Friends” on Fox News Channel, and other television shows and networks. Doug is a Radio Host on KMET 1490-AM on Saturdays with his Constitution Radio program, as well as a longtime podcaster, conservative political activist, writer and commentator. Doug can be reached at douglasvgibbs [at] yahoo.com or constitutionspeaker [at] yahoo.com.
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