Via Small Dead Animals, and Instapundit who said "How stupid are you?" we are alerted to this scandalous scandal:
The vice president—and other powerful men—regularly avoid one-on-one meetings with women in the name of protecting their families. In the end, what suffers is women's progress.
Wow! Really? How extraordinary! Tell me more!
In a recent, in-depth Washington Post profile of Karen Pence, Vice President Mike Pence's wife, a small detail is drawing most of the attention: "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."
In context, this choice is not especially surprising. The Pences are evangelical Christians, and their faith animates both their policy views and how they express devotion to one another. Eight months into their courtship, the Post reporter Ashley Parker writes, "Karen engraved a small gold cross with the word 'Yes' and slipped it into her purse to give him when he popped the question."
The Atlantic, bless its soul, actually dug up the context of the 2002 piece in The Hill. They add the details that Pence also sometimes eschews dinners and parties with male colleagues and it's "about building a zone around your marriage."...snippage...
Pence is an evangelical Christian and his faith is being used to both defend and excoriate his no-ladies-for-lunch policy. The aforementioned Atlantic piece calls it the "Billy Graham rule, named for the famous evangelist who established similar guidelines for the pastors working in his ministry."
The religious origins of Pence's self-restriction don't make it any less sexist.
At its core, Pence's self-imposed ban is rape culture.
Nor is that a label I assign lightly. "Rape culture" is a phrase so overused it's become almost meaningless, like calling someone a Nazi on the internet. But it has a very clear meaning: the notion, whether conscious or unconscious, that men can't control themselves around women because "boys will be boys."
The explicit reasons for Pence's restriction are religion and family, but the implicit reason is that he must avoid alone-time with women lest his stringent religious moral code fall apart in the presence of a little lipstick and décolletage. That is rape culture.