So since Pence came out and said that he would not go to meals with other women without his wife present there has been various responses. Most people are laughing about it. Some people are saying it’s no one’s business. Some are like me, it does matter, and the reasons are actually important. I don’t want to harp on this too much, but I needed to share these short thoughts. I have a lot more to say about it but here we go.
One of the first reasons is it’s implication with rape culture. There is a belief that men are not totally responsible for their actions when they sexually assault people because if they are tempted they are unable to control themselves. This turns into men actually using a degree of this as an actual legal defense, or judges being lighter on young men because they just failed to say no to temptation. This is scary. This is something people are facing. This is not something rational people should believe.
And before anyone goes there, yes, I know women rape too. However, the idea of being unable to control oneself when tempted is fairly uniquely applied to men.
The second reason is that this means that women don’t have a chance for interaction with Pence that men would. Business meals happen. Pence never explains that business associates have different rules. All women cannot be around him if he is not with his wife. For a man with such toxic views on women this is not that shocking. This is the man that mandated that women have to bury babies if they miscarry. This is the man attacking Planned Parenthood the day after being honored for respecting women. The fact that he refuses to allow women the same access to him as a politician as men is both obvious and telling.
The last reason that I feel is the most important, is that Pence does not believe that his morality is just for him. Pence is part of many conservatives that believes that his morality should apply to ALL people. If a politician who was very outspoken about individual morality came out and said this I would think it was weird and shrug it off. Pence was talking about this because he believes that not being around other women is not only the right thing for his relationship, but for all relationships. That his moral beliefs are the correct moral beliefs, and that the world would be better if we all followed them. These thoughts, these beliefs of his, his morality directly impacts how he votes and how he serves. That is very problematic.