Vice President Mike Pence probably wasn't expecting to receive backlash when the Washington Post published a profile Tuesday on his wife, Karen. The piece detailed the couple's relationship and included a statement Pence made in 2002 saying he didn't go out to dinner with another woman without his wife being present and that he didn't attend events serving alcohol unless his wife joined him.
Though this honorable and respectful practice can logically be seen as refreshing in today's society, which has divorce rates as high as 50 percent nationwide, liberals around the country and even in Canada are attacking Pence for the dynamic of his relationship.
Friday morning, the liberal "news explainer" website, Vox.com, published a story called "Vice President Pence's 'never dine alone with a woman' rule isn't honorable. It's probably illegal." The author, Joanna Grossman, argued that Pence's practice is illegal "sex discrimination" under Title VII with regard to employment law and a boss-employee relationship.
"[T]he practice described by Pence in that 2002 interview is clearly illegal when practiced by a boss in an employment setting, and deeply damaging to women’s employment opportunities," Grossman wrote.
"By law, working dinners with the boss could be considered an opportunity to which both sexes must have equal access," she continued. "Employers are not permitted to classify employees on the basis of gender without proof that sex is a bona fide occupational qualification for a particular job. A Pence-type rule could never satisfy this test."
Notably, the Vox.com article did not offer in support of their position a single instance of a court ruling that a rule like Pence's constituted sex discrimination, in any jurisdiction. In fact, the only court ruling mentioned by Vox.com was an Iowa supreme Court ruling, which held that an employer's decision to actually terminate a female employee because of the employer's wife's jealousy was not sex discrimination under the law.
Vox harshly criticized this ruling as "absurd" but offered no legal precedent that would suggest that their bizarre reading of Title VII has been upheld by any court, or by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Not to be outdone, Ashley Csanady of the Vancouver National Post actually wrote, apparently with a straight face, that Pence's care to avoid the appearance of impropriety with respect to his wife constituted an element of "rape culture."
Csanady contended that while she believes the term "rape culture" is widely overused in today's society, it is entirely applicable in this case.
" '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,' " Csanady wrote.
"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," she wrote.
She ended the opinion piece in high dramatic fashion, attempting to connect dots with no real evidence other than her own assumptions.
"So, while Pence’s marriage is none of our business, his attitudes towards women are," she concluded. "And if, in 2017, he believes they remain such fallen, lascivious things that he can’t possibly be in a room alone with them, it says less about his faith and more the fact he sees women as lesser beings."
After the outrage extended to President Donald Trump for his derogatory comments about grabbing women by the genitals, it is difficult to understand how liberals can muster the same outrage toward Pence for saying virtually the exact opposite.