Isn’t Mike Pence a jerk?
That is what many people would have us believe, after it was revealed that the Vice President will not dine alone with women who are not his wife or attend events without her when alcohol is being served. Somewhere, Angela Merkel is kicking over a table in a feminist rage.
The collective Internet basically lost its mind over these revelations, because apparently that means that Pence hates women. The reaction was so strong that almost every mainstream news outlet devoted attention to it. People magazine ran an entire montage of Twitter reactions. The Atlantic ran multiple pieces on the “news,” including one with the simple headline, “How Mike Pence’s Refusing to Eat With Women Hurts Women.” The Washington Post had a piece with the sentence, “We’re All Shocked” in the headline. And so on, and so forth.
The crux of the argument of those freaking out is that his dinner policy discriminates against women, who are then cut out of important solo face time with powerful men like Pence.
This is not just wrong and idiotic, but it’s sexist and reveals just how myopic a view the left has of women.
It’s wrong because there are eight million other ways a woman can get face time alone with a powerful man who is her senior or peer, starting with meeting in his office or just, I don’t know . . . taking a walk?
It’s idiotic because it ignores human nature and reality. Men and women are not the same. If we were, we’d be able to grab dinner with a coworker without it having a decent chance of winding up as an extramarital affair. Instead, because we are different, some eighty-five percent of affairs happen with a co-worker. As one website for professionals advises:
In most cases, a workplace affair begins with infidelity that leads to adultery. Psychologists have credited the foundations of these risky involvements to “emotional affairs”: inappropriate gestures, thoughts, text messages, and conversations that drive platonic friendship into romantic love.
I’m guessing there is something about candlelight and martinis that help take workplace conversations from the “platonic” to the “romantic” realm. Which would be why that same website suggests “Bring a Third Party” as one of five ways to help professionals prevent affairs from starting. Sexist jerks.
But actually, it’s sexist to think that Pence’s personal rule is unusual, because the implication is that only men can have this policy and that only men are in positions of authority over women. There are a lot of female bosses in this country, and a lot more women who are professional peers with men, who have the same policy. I am one such woman. While I will meet in a busy spot during the day with a man if it’s truly necessary (I have no office) and give my husband the heads up, I will not on principle have drinks or dinner alone with a man who is not my husband, mainly because the mere appearance of impropriety feels disrespectful to my husband.
But above all, the hysterical reaction to Pence’s policy shows how myopic a view our culture, especially those on the left, have of women. Their reaction makes sense only if women are nothing more than vehicles for professional success and not also wives—wives who, deep down, would prefer their husband not be out having drinks with another woman. Wives that would secretly admire their husbands for so gallantly putting them above all other women, even if it costs them professional opportunities. Wives who want to be happily married. We are just supposed to deny that part of ourselves, because it’s weak. Or something.
The reality is that affairs are straight up impossible if a man and a woman are never left alone with someone of the opposite sex who is not their spouse. People are free to conduct their professional matters how they choose. But marriages everywhere are constantly crashing and burning into the ground, with infidelity as a frequent cause, and yet one of the most watched men in the world just wants to protect his, and somehow he’s an aggressor towards women?
It’s insanity, and goes to show that it’s often the cultural “progressives” that obsess over how other people live their personal lives, not the rest of us, especially those of us who just want to take commonsense measures to respect our spouses and preserve our marital happiness. “Laissez fare!” they scream about all things personal, unless you are Mike Pence trying to respect your wife.
So Mr. Vice President, this professional woman and wife thanks you for your noble example. And Mrs. Pence, there are a lot of faux-angry feminists who are secretly jealous of you!