The Internet is rightfully picking apart Mike Pence's rule about not being alone with women, and they've got some killer points
We learned in March of this year that Vice President Mike Pence never dines alone with women who aren’t his wife. In fact, it’s kind of a policy of his. And though it’s problematic in many ways, the way it’s been used lately is especially concerning.
Over the last few weeks, so many powerful men have been accused of sexual assault and misconduct that it’s left our heads spinning. Harvey Weinstein was the first. Senate hopeful Roy Moore and sitting Senator Al Franken have also faced allegations. Kevin Spacey was accused by Anthony Rapp. And that’s just a few of the many (many, many). Men across several different industries have been called out for inappropriate sexual behavior. Because the issue spans across industry and party lines, it seems clear to us that it’s not any kind of surface-level issue. It’s a deep and systemic one that needs to be addressed.
But instead of examining our society and how it teaches men they are entitled to power over women’s bodies, some Twitter users have come up with another supposed solution. And that is employing Mike Pence’s policy about never being alone with women who aren’t your wife. See what we mean about being pretty concerned about this?
Check out what some have had to say about employing the Mike Pence rule.
As a refresher, The Washington Post reporter Ashley Parker brought this story to light earlier this year.
But Mike Pence himself revealed back in 2002 that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife.
He also said he won’t attend events that have alcohol without her, either. He does so to “avoid infidelity temptations” or rumors of any funny business.
Naturally, the internet shut these arguments down real quick. Sexual assault victims and allies alike responded to explain why modesty isn’t going to solve the problem.
Others argued how the Mike Pence rule would actually hurt women even more.
Someone also dropped this burn.
Regardless of your political leanings, the tweets made clear that no matter what women (or men) wear, they deserve to have respect. By putting the responsibility on the woman, we set them up to be blamed for not doing enough should someone assault them.
Writer Jennifer Mathieu explained this concept in a TIME essay. “If it’s all the responsibility of the woman to keep the man ‘in check’ through what she wears, then if he crosses the line, doesn’t that suggest she’s at fault somehow?” she wrote.
Instead of telling women, or victims, how to live their lives, here’s a better solution: Abusers, don’t sexually assault someone. And if you’re a man, don’t be afraid of women. Stand up to the men who abuse their power against them.