March 31 2017
It's fascinating to watch the mocking of Vice President Mike Pence by the left because he...is faithful to his wife.
A March 28 profile of Second Lady Karen Pence by Washington Post reporter Ashley Parker contained the following paragraph as Parker described how crazy the two Pences are about each other:
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.
Oh my, did the liberals have a lot of fun with that one! Especially since both Pences are devout evangelical Christians and social conservatives--two things that make liberals reach for their smelling salts.
This from West Wing star Joshua Malina:
Mike Pence never eats solid food that his wife hasn't chewed first.
This from journalist Xeni Jardin:
Sincere question. How is this different from extreme repressive interpretations of Islam ("Sharia Law!") mocked by people like Mike Pence
And this from Elizabeth Spiers, founding editor of Gawker:
who knew Mike Pence had uncontrollable sexual compulsions so serious he can't be alone w a woman who's not his wife?
Mother Jones editor-in-chief Clara Jeffery went crazy on the Twitter machine:
if Pence won't eat with a woman alone, how could a woman be Chief of Staff, or lawyer, campaign manager, or...
Would Pence dine with Ivanka? Or KellyAnne? Or are they too relegated to second class citizens.
For that matter, how would he ever even interview a woman. With a chaperone?
I don't know/care if Pences have weird hangups. I do care if women are being denied jobs and opportunities, and that some normalize this.
No, nothing like that at all!
I have few words to say about all of this, since I'm a married lady. Here's the deal: People of the opposite sex are actually attracted to each other, and the attractions don't stop just because couples have exchanged vows that they intend to keep. I'm a reporter, and I interview men, married and single, all the time. Some of those men are--I'll admit it--cute. Women find male strength and power sexy. But I have rules about this. They're not as strict as the Pences' rules--I'm happy to have lunch--not dinner--alone with a man who's not my husband, or share a glass of wine with a man at a public function (although I'd never meet a man alone just for a drink). But they're rules. I don't flirt, and I take care to tell my husband about everything that happens, so we can joke about it.
Why do I do this? Because I adore my husband, and I want to stay married. Too many marriages break up because married people of the opposite sex find themselves spending too much time alone with each other. Think Hollywood actors and actresses, cops on the beat with female partners, college professors and their adoring grad students.
Indeed, that last temptation (along with its possible consequence, the sexual-harassment charge) is such an occupational hazard in academia that many professors take the precaution of leaving their office doors open when they're meeting with opposite-sex students. How different is that from having your wife along when you dine with another lady?
Second, how many lunches alone with Ivanka Trump would it take for the nooner rumors to start flying? Remember Kitty Kelley's insistence that George H.W. Bush was having an affair with his personal assistant?
Mike Pence adores his wife, and his way of not placing any bricks between them is to build a wall to safeguard his fidelity. It's not quite the same as the wall I build, and maybe the Pences are so devoted, or so religious, that they don't really need a wall.
But the fact that building such a wall has made Pence an object of liberal derision says more about the marital mores and marital expectations of liberals than it does about Pence himself.