It’s been hitting the news lately that Mike Pence has admitted that he won’t meet with a woman alone or even drink alcohol without his wife present. He practices such strict habits on the basis of a religious and moral code of ethics. Otherwise known as the Billy Graham Rule, this rule might seem conscientious and perhaps even wise, but really it’s just another dick move.
I’ll admit, I understand all the outrage online about this rule. For one thing, it sexualizes women. As everything does! Seriously, advertising, women’s magazines, Congress, President Cheeto, science fiction, Hollywood in general, and even cook books already do that. We don’t need help to feel like sexual objects. Women are more than that, but the general public only seems to see a pair of boobs. Women are more than that, yet all policymakers care about are the contents of our uterus. It’s weird, but old white guys are really concerned about our reproductive systems.
For another, this rule isolates female colleagues. Pence probably wouldn’t think twice about having a private meeting with another male in government, but he’s treating female staffers and female politicians like they’re plague and pestilence. It separates men and women even more in the workplace, and it results in fewer work opportunities for women.
This isn’t the conscientious move Pence seems to think it is. It’s the easy way out. He wants to be seen as a good husband and Christian, yet he misses out on the input of so many intelligent women in politics. Just in the last few months, we’ve witnessed excellent speeches and tireless efforts from Elisabeth Warren, Patty Murray, and Hillary Clinton (because she still rocks, dammit). There’s also the state senator from Texas Wendy Davis who held a long filibuster to stop a bill blocking abortions in Texas back in 2013–and she succeeded. Beth Fukumoto of the Hawaiian House of Representatives recently ditched the Republican party rather than conform to the dirty tactics that have become so prevalent in recent months. Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski, despite being a Republican, consistently votes her conscience rather than along party lines. She puts her constituents’ needs before those of her own party. These are women to be commended, and their input has proved invaluable during this tumultuous year.
Mike Pence is such an idiot. He might isolate intelligent women as a move to preserve his marriage, but his marriage must be pretty fucking weak for that to work. The act of a truly pious man would involve him meeting with female colleagues without making it sexual. Because these women are smart, and they aren’t there to hit on him.
As if. You’ve all seen Mike Pence. Why would anyone hit on him?
Photo from politico.com