Hot Take: Mike Pence Never Dining With Women Without His Wife Violates The Law Or Something

Hot Take: Mike Pence Never Dining With Women Without His Wife Violates The Law Or Something

One would think that Vice President Mike Pence having a great relationship with his wife would be cause for celebration. Not in Liberal World, as Voxsplainer Joanna L. Grossman attempts to out-Salon Salon

Vice President Pence’s “never dine alone with a woman” rule isn’t honorable. It’s probably illegal.

This issue was thrust into the news this week when the Washington Post ran a piece on Karen Pence, the wife of our current vice president, and reminded readers of something Mike Pence said in 2002: He does not eat alone with a woman or attend an event where alcohol is being served unless his wife is present. The Twittersphere lit up like a Christmas tree with jokes and rants about Pence’s wife-rule. It’s not clear whether Pence still adheres to this practice, but there are men who do.

As the Atlantic observes, such arrangements are especially common within marriages between religious conservatives of various stripes. (It need not be only men who follow such strictures, but the emphasis is often on male temptation.) On Capitol Hill, where long days and late nights away from the family are part of the job, some Congressmen will not travel alone in a car with a female staffer, the National Journal has reported. Some politicians set gender-neutral rules that have a side effect of keeping them from being alone with women — such as excluding any staff from the office before 7 am or after 7 pm — but others clearly apply special rules to women.

From a practical standpoint, it seems like a wise idea, in order to avoid false accusations of impropriety. And those stories that are “just wondering.” It might have been a wise policy to use for Bill Clinton, especially when the women wear blue dresses. But, hey, we’re in Liberal World, where a personal policy is based on love and religious values

To be sure, a politician’s declining to dine alone with a woman does not fall in the same category as a law partner refusing to work with women (or at least musing about refusing to work with women). Nonetheless, the 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.

Title VII, which governs workplace discrimination, does not allow employers to treat people differently on the basis of certain protected characteristics, one of which is sex. This means that an employer cannot set the terms and conditions of employment differently for one gender than for the other. This includes any aspect of the relationship between employer and employees — extending to benefits like equal access to the employer.

Good grief. Liberals can always find the dark side of anything. You have a National Post writer linking the Pence’s personal policy to “rape culture.” And Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, one of the last people in America who should ever talk about morals, knocks herself out in complaining.

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