Misogyny for Jesus: Vice President Mike Pence will not eat alone with a woman or attend an event where alcohol is being served unless his wife is present.
According to a recent profile of Karen Pence, the vice-president’s wife, Mike Pence “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 profile, written by Ashley Parker at the Washington Post, notes:
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.
Writing for Huffington Post, Soraya Chemaly observes that “Mike Pence Is Why We Have To Stop Excusing Religious Sexism,” noting:
What a luxury it is for a man to decide he can’t, and doesn’t have to, be unchaperoned in the presence of a woman who might be an evil temptress out to destroy him. And what a serious problem for women.
Writing for Vox, Joanna Grossman argues that Pence’s practice is illegal “sex discrimination” under Title VII with regard to employment law and a boss-employee relationship.
[T]he 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.
By law, working dinners with the boss could be considered an opportunity to which both sexes must have equal access,” she continued. “Employers are not permitted to classify employees on the basis of gender without proof that sex is a bona fide occupational qualification for a particular job. A Pence-type rule could never satisfy this test.
Writing for the National Post Ashley Csanady opines:
The explicit reasons for Pence’s restriction are religion and family, but the implicit reason is that he must avoid alone-time with women lest his stringent religious moral code fall apart in the presence of a little lipstick and décolletage
At its core, Pence’s self-imposed ban is rape culture.
The New Yorker explains that Pence’s overt sexism is common among some extreme conservative Christians, and is known as the the “Billy Graham rule.”
Bottom line: While President Trump was fond of bragging about his ability to sexually assault women and get away with it (“grab them by the pussy”); Pence is content with simply excluding women from the dinner table, even if that means he eats alone.