Mike Pence Is Getting a “Working For Women” Award Because That’s the World We Live In Now

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Here’s the thing about Mike Pence: He’s awful. And he’s particularly awful for women. We’ve been over this before, but let’s just take a quick look at his track record, shall we? Just in case you’ve forgotten about the awfulness.

  • He’s the original proponent of defunding Planned Parenthood. Yup, he introduced the first-ever Congressional bill proposing the organization’s defunding back in 2007.
  • He tried to redefine “rape” in an attempt to limit access to abortion services. Under a bill he co-sponsored, only “forcible rape” would be an acceptable cause for seeking an abortion. (Quick question: WTF is non-forcible rape, Mike Pence?)
  • He’s possibly the biggest anti-choice politician in government today. He signed every piece of anti-abortion legislation he saw as governor of Indiana, including one bill mandating burial or cremation services for fetal tissue.
  • In 2002, he said that condoms are “too modern” and “a very, very poor protection against sexually transmitted diseases.”
  • So he’s anti-choice, anti-birth control, and–bet you could guess–also against women in the workforce. He once said that “day-care kids get the short end of the emotional stick” and that children with working mothers suffer “stunted emotional growth.” So women are basically just baby factories.
  • Oh yeah, he also doesn’t think women should be in the military. Because Mulan.

And that’s only a partial list of his abhorrent view of and effect on women. So how does it make any kind of sense that Pence will be receiving a “Working for Women” award this week? What kind of women’s organization would possibly give this man an award? Oh, unless it’s a prank. Is it a prank? Something Carrie-esque, maybe?

Nope, unfortunately it’s not a prank. It’s the Independent Women’s Forum. If you’re wondering what kind of group that is, know that Kellyanne Conway is on the board. (Though she’s on a “temporary leave of absence.”) Suddenly that makes a lot more sense, right?

The group’s mission is “to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty.” Members have written articles arguing that, for example, A Day Without a Woman is a “defamation of men” and that kids’ television programming striving to stay “relevant” by embracing social issues is “damaging kids.” They believe “government intrusion can lead to less economic opportunity for women” and celebrate “modern feminists” like … Margaret Thatcher?

As for the Working for Women honor,

The award recognizes an individual who values free markets, works to create a more dynamic and innovative work world, and celebrates the valuable contributions women make to society.

Free markets over free choice? (Because for some reason we can’t have both?) Sure. As long as you ignore that whole “personal liberty” part of their mission statement, that sounds like Mike Pence, I guess.

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(via NY Mag, image via Shutterstock)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.