After this week’s revelation that Vice President Mike Pence prefers not to dine alone with women who are not his wife—or at least didn't as of a 2002 article in the Hill—many members of both the entire sex he has snubbed and the sex that is still afforded the privilege of sitting across from Pence at a Chili’s have expressed their dismay on social media. How could the second most powerful man in our government treat men and women so differently?
But not everyone is outraged, or all that surprised, to find out Pence never eats in the solitary presence of a woman he's not married to and won’t attend events where alcohol is served without his wife. Some even found it admirable!
Framing Pence's behavior as offensive to strange women rather than as respectful to his wife is just about as dishonest as you can get.— neontaster (@neontaster) March 30, 2017
Libs are mad that Mike Pence doesn't dine w/women other than his wife— The Trump Train (@The_Trump_Train) March 30, 2017
But it was ok when Bill Clinton slept w/any woman other than his wife
After this nonsense about Mike Pence eating dinner with his wife it is clear...Nothing Trump or Pence does will ever be okay to the left— Eric Spracklen (@EricSpracklen) March 30, 2017
Stupid Liberal Logic: Bill Clinton is a hero, because he loves WOMEN. Mike #Pence is a goat, because he loves A WOMAN.— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) March 30, 2017
Leftists have no evidence of Mike Pence denying women opportunities. So they just assume it because they hate religious people.— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) March 30, 2017
@AshleyRParker so now he's being criticized for being a decent husband? Some ppl will hate him regardless of what they read.— Jonathan Martinez (@Jcadvamlier) March 29, 2017
Other people thought the reaction to Pence’s restaurant habits also showed the disconnect between liberals and the rest of America—“the Billy Graham rule” is par for the course among evangelical Christians, a group that makes up a solid quarter of Americans, including the Pences.
I’m not weirded out that Mike Pence won’t dine alone with women other than his wife. I think this is standard for lots of religious people.— Rainbow Rowell (@rainbowrowell) March 30, 2017
Pence piece reveals how little the left understands about the structure of Evangelical families or the ideology of depravity that binds them— Stassa Edwards (@StassaEdwards) March 30, 2017
Twitter users also took care to make the distinction between “dining alone” and other activities, perhaps implying that one rule specifically about meals wouldn’t affect every interaction between Pence and women.
PSA: "Refusing to eat a meal alone with" is not "refusing to be anywhere alone with." Pence's rule is the former.— Dara Lind (@DLind) March 30, 2017
OK, some interesting points, everyone, but … Mike Pence refusing to dine alone with any women, in a world where a lot of work gets done over one-on-one meals, is a textbook example of unequal treatment of men and women. If Pence made up for it by being an extraordinary advocate for women in other ways, maybe we could let it slide. But given his tie-breaking vote on Title X funding on Thursday, if Pence doesn’t want to eat alone with women, maybe it’s because he wouldn’t be able to look most of them in the eye.
And there's no coherent argument to make that this creepiness does not seep into the way Pence views or interacts with women professionally.— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) March 30, 2017
Re the Mike Pence quote: Trying to imagine what my career would look like if I'd refused to dine solo with male editors & interview subjects— Pamela Colloff (@pamelacolloff) March 30, 2017
3/ If Pence won't eat with a woman alone, how could a woman be Chief of Staff, or lawyer, campaign manager, or...— Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) March 29, 2017
If a man wants to avoid being alone w/a woman, he should be able to. But he should have to acknowledge the logical consequences of that. /5— Amy Sullivan (@sullivanamy) March 30, 2017
Heartbroken for the women who were not given the opportunity to dine with one of the great dinner guests of our time, Karen Pence.— billy eichner (@billyeichner) March 30, 2017