Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the internet launches into hyper-reactionary overdrive and openly mocks a man for simply cherishing and treasuring his wife. Mike Pence is taking considerable heat online today with many labeling him a sexist, thanks to his commitment to a basic courtesy most spouses or significant others would understand and appreciate.
The controversy ignited over one simple line in a Washington Post feature on Mike Pence’s wife, Karen:
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.
If you’re wondering how in the world a man committing to only going on dinner dates with his own wife could be controversial, buckle up. You’re in for a real treat – the mental gymnastics you are about to witness are olympic level gold.
Some are comparing Pence to radical Muslims:
Mike Pence sounds a lot like the Muslim Brotherhood officials I've interviewed. https://t.co/xSkHtbIrHo pic.twitter.com/F9mEhnqK0W
— Gregg Carlstrom (@glcarlstrom) March 30, 2017
From Mother Jones Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery believes Pence will be unable to interact with women:
1/ If Pence won't eat dinner alone with any woman but his wife, that means he won't hire women in key spots.
— Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) March 29, 2017
Salon believes showing this sort of respect for a spouse is “retrograde” behavior:
Others are simply a hard time grasping the concept:
It really shocks me how many ppl think having lunch with a woman is likely to be a first step towards an affair https://t.co/cXzx6Gkn1W
— Isaac Chotiner (@IChotiner) March 29, 2017
The list goes on. Search and you’ll likely find many new gems.
Only someone hyper politically focused, on the prowl for some reason to criticize the current administration, would be able to make heads or tails of this logic. The leap from not going on dinner dates to misogynistic jerk who refuses to speak to women at work is impossible to make, though that obviously didn’t stop many from trying.
Here are a few thoughts for those vilifying Pence today to (hopefully) help them walk back from the cliff. Sad that we even have to explain it, but here goes:
1 – Pence strictly mentioned dinner dates. Most jobs do not require going out to dinner with the boss in order to complete them. Most companies communicate with one another at a place called an office, a place where employees of a single company often gather to conduct work related activities.
2 – Yes, Pence is still permitted to speak to women. Even the slipperiest of slopes in this scenario don’t come to rest anywhere near a refusal to speak to women. This tidbit doesn’t reveal a dismissive, superior attitude towards woman. Quite the opposite. In fact, this action is rare in today’s world and reveals that Pence truly values and respects women. Only someone with a preconceived notion of Pence and Christians in general could arrive at this conclusion.
3 – You Don’t Know Pence. Maybe there’s been incidents in the past that have caused mistrust? Maybe they’re worriers? Maybe they don’t want people talking? Whatever the reason, this is clearly an attempt to honor his wife and that is something that should be celebrated no matter what side of the political aisle you operate under.
4 – Alone time is precarious. Many are mocking the idea that being alone with a member of the opposite sex will automatically lead to sexual encounters. No, of course it’s not automatic. But it is possible – just ask Hillary Clinton if she wishes her husband would’ve followed this rule during his time in public office. Obviously, a little alone time with some interns led to some big problems. Connecting emotionally is the quickest way people are misled into adulterous relationships. The first step to connecting emotionally is being alone together. Anyone refusing to see this obvious reality is purposefully blinding themselves for the sake of politics.
5 – Karen Pence has a brain. Seth Mandel points out the tendency of some to portray women of faith as mindless prisoners being held against their will.
This is a common feature of left-wing hot takes on religious people: The assumption that religious women are forced into it.
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) March 30, 2017
Critics often point to the word “submissive” in the Bible, without ever giving the full context. They always leave out the command to the husband in marriage, which is daunting to say the least. Men are commanded to love and cherish their wife just as Christ loved the church. That is quite a bar to attempt to live up to. Think about it – Jesus loved the church so much, he laid down his life so they may live. No domineering, controlling man bossing around a woman even remotely reflects the image portrayed by critics who claim women are trapped in religion.
Pence is doing his level best to live up to this standard, has a healthy relationship to show for it – and he’s being criticized heavily for it. Quite a revealing reaction spilling out on social media today. A man tries to do the right thing, but because of partisan politics and the inability of people to see each other as human first, even the simplest decent act is derided as something it’s not.
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