The Internet Roasts Mike Pence for Refusal to Dine Alone With Women Other Than His Wife

Tbh I can understand why he might have trouble finding women who want to dine with him.
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A piece in the Washington Post today on Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen, and their marriage contained a few details involving Pence’s aversion to eating in the company of other women without his wife present. Naturally, this struck some people as odd, other people rushed in on defense for some reason, and now it’s all trending on Twitter.

Pence’s strict dining rules were actually revealed way back in 2002, as the 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.” Apparently, either Mike Pence has no friends or colleagues who are women who he’s ever had reason to grab a meal with, or he’s deliberately avoided doing so—neither of which are great options.

First of all, I’d venture a guess that any woman in politics, or any other field for that matter, has had to eat alone with a man who was not her husband, because men are ubiquitous in the business world. The fact that avoiding women has apparently been easy for Pence is, on its own, pretty awful. Then, if he’s avoiding these mealtime situations on purpose, there’s the fact that he’s treating literally any woman as some kind of temptation rather than a human being who should be treated the same as any other human being, with no special rules based on gender. Also, if this is how Pence’s rules for interacting with the world work, they’re incredibly heteronormative, but hey, we can’t act like that’s a surprise coming from Mike Pence.

The “defense” doesn’t make Pence’s stance any better, spearheaded right now by this fellow:

Charming. Here’s the fun thing about respect in a relationship/marriage: It has to be mutual. If someone it’s seen as “disrespect” to your spouse to interact with someone of any gender in the same way you would another, it might be that your spouse doesn’t respect you. It’s also bizarre to think of two people eating a meal together as a “date” just because they’re not the same gender. In case you had any doubts about the kind of person who comes to the defense of this kind of thinking, well:

The men who defend this line of thinking literally do not think they should treat women the same way they’d treat another man, and they’re proud of it. Welcome to 2017, where we’re supposed to simultaneously believe that there’s no inherent sexism in our society and that it’s not only normal but moral for men to exclude women from things as basic as friendship. All the snark in the world doesn’t make that feel any better.

(image via Dan Fleckner /

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.