Mike Pence and dining alone with women ...

Cato

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Mike Pence is in the news again over an interesting quirk in his marital arrangements: he revealed in 2002 that he does not dine alone with women (other than his wife). This is seems is as much out of a personal respect for his wife and for there marriage as it is about protecting him even from the merest suspicion or even suggestion of infidelity.

This arrangement has been named the Billy Graham rule.

The Washington Post ran a profile of Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Mike Pence, on Wednesday. The piece talks about the closeness of the Pences’ relationship, and cites something Pence told The Hill in 2002: Unless his wife is there, he never eats alone with another woman or attends an event where alcohol is being served. (It’s unclear whether, 15 years later, this remains Pence’s practice.) It’s not in the Post piece, but here’s the original quote from 2002: “‘If there's alcohol being served and people are being loose, I want to have the best-looking brunette in the room standing next to me,’ Pence said.”
As some have observed, if a powerful man in business or politics to adopts this policy then it may have a serious impact on the ability of women working for them to advance along the career ladder in the manner that men who do get to dine or drink alone with the boss will get to do.

From the Huff Post:

The ability to refuse to be alone with someone who is not the same gender as you and still climb the professional ladder is a privilege that is simply not afforded to women. Imagine if Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris or Nancy Pelosi refused to attend political functions where alcohol was served without their husbands in tow to supervise them. Imagine if they never took one-on-one meetings with potential campaign managers or fellow lawmakers who happened to be men. These women’s careers would have been over before they started.

To be a successful woman in an industry where men still make up the majority of power brokers means working with men. It means fighting for a spot at the table, and accepting that, sometimes, you may be the only woman there.
On the other hand, Townhall approves of his respect for his marriage:

Washington D.C. is often a sleazy, filthy town. The stories you hear about smoky backrooms are true. Go to any D.C. restaurant at happy hour and you'll see scores of married men surrounded by and engaged inappropriately with younger women who are not their wives. This city is a place where a small, but vicious and significant population of men and women crave power. They will stop at almost nothing to get it, which includes breaking up marriages. There are 50,000 Ashley Madison accounts with a D.C. address, making the nation's capitol number four in the country for infidelity. Right across the river and bordering D.C. is Arlington, Virginia, which comes in at number five.

...

And no, this isn't to say everyone living or working in Washington D.C. should be put into the same category as Newt Gingrich or Bill Clinton, but the point is that it exists and should be avoided at all costs. And by the way, it's never the men who suffer career consequences for this type of behavior--see Monica Lewinsky or Paula Broadwell, for reference.
Truth be told, I know a number of business men who are incredible careful in how they manage their engagement with female employees in particular (but not, in my experience of women in general), not so much because they are afraid they might give in to temptation, but rather to prevent the possibility of a false allegation or suspicion. While that may serve a purpose from the point of view of the men concerned, it does have an impact on their female employees and disadvantages them in comparison to their male colleagues.

Thoughts?
 


Ardillaun

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There's a certain logic to it. Were I in his trousers, I'd certainly have to do something like it to avoid disaster.
 

Analyzer

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I think in the case, this a manifestation of what he believes.

He literally only has his wife in his intimate space.
 

Cato

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That being said, he also seems to avoid situations were people might be drunk. Cautious and prudent, or constrained and puritan?
 

Dame_Enda

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Its his personal life but it seems the Second Lady can trust the VP. He will not push the button of betrayal.
 

Cato

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Some of the negative reaction from this has come from gay men decrying that his policy takes no account of them. Pence evidently feels there isn't even the possibility of the shadow of a doubt being cast on his sexual orientation.
 

Cato

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Its his personal life but it seems the Second Lady can trust the VP. He will not push the button of betrayal.
I get that it's his personal life - and as a married man, I can respect the idea of actively protecting ones marriage - but it does impact on his professional life. As several commentators have said, no woman in business or politics could adopt this strategy as it would doom their career to failure.
 

Analyzer

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That being said, he also seems to avoid situations were people might be drunk. Cautious and prudent, or constrained and puritan?
You meam he will not be inviting around former maFFia bosses......
 

Mitsui2

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In is private life it's obviously his own business, but hopefully he confines it to dining (which is the only way I've seen it referred to so far) - after all, there must be many circumstances in which an American VP would conceivably need (for security, confidentiality and/or diplomatic reasons) to spend time alone with some woman or other, whether a security operative, US politician or foreign leader.

Perhaps in those circumstances his Mrs will be given some special form of security clearance so she can chaperone them?

It all sounds a bit like Sharia-lite to me, but no doubt it's the wimmings' fault.
 
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I think in the case, this a manifestation of what he believes.

He literally only has his wife in his intimate space.
A professional dinner is not an "intimate space"
 

Half Nelson

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It works for Pence. It works for lots of men.

There's "equality" and then there's the real world, esp. in America.
 

gleeful

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Truth be told, I know a number of business men who are incredible careful in how they manage their engagement with female employees in particular (but not, in my experience of women in general), not so much because they are afraid they might give in to temptation, but rather to prevent the possibility of a false allegation or suspicion. While that may serve a purpose from the point of view of the men concerned, it does have an impact on their female employees and disadvantages them in comparison to their male colleagues.

Thoughts?
Certainly the above is a concern and we live in a world where a false accusation can end a man's career. But that seems quite different from Pense' behaviour.
 

HarshBuzz

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Interesting contrast with his bosses attitude towards the fairer sex....
 
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There's a certain logic to it. Were I in his trousers, I'd certainly have to do something like it to avoid disaster.
Then you have a very serious problem.
 

Half Nelson

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The sexism in this thread is manifest. I'm speaking of apparent sexism by men against men.
 

Cato

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If he was a Muslim people would be very upset about this.
Eh ... there's been quite a bit of 'upset' over this. Twitter and Facebook are on fire over it!
 


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