The Hill reported 15 years ago that Mike Pence makes the choice to avoid situations where there is alcohol and his wife is not present, and that he does not dine alone with a woman, similar to the “Billy Graham Rule.”
The Billy Graham Rule is essentially the general etiquette employed by Christian minister Billy Graham. Graham and his fellow Evangelists created a set of rules to prevent themselves from being in tempting or condemning situations while on trips away from family. His rules included no travel or dining with women in the guidance of 2 Timothy 2:22, “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
The Internet’s immediate reaction has been to accuse him of being sexist on the argument that not being alone with a woman can prevent him from making potential business or political connections. It has also been suggested that Pence may be bringing Shariah Law to the United States.
Pence is not a fighter for women’s rights or their fair treatment.
The thought of not dining with a person of the opposite gender or even shaking their hand may seem barbaric and backwards to some; but do not let accusations of Shariah distract you from the real story.
After recordings of Donald Trump making lewd and disgusting comments about women surfaced before the election, Mike Pence still chose to be his right-hand man. Choosing to be a person’s vice president gives the impression that you are willing to support and agree with the behavior and character of that person.
It sounds fishy that Pence would choose to limit his contact with women for modesty sake, yet chooses a job that requires him to support someone proven to be immodest. Perhaps Pence’s actions are more like a pedophile choosing not to walk past a playground on his way home from work. Maybe Pence is choosing to live vicariously through Trump, letting him be caught with his hands on the cookie jar.
It is time to fess up to his own weaknesses and stop cowering behind a cloak of righteousness.
If anything, actions should speak louder than words. Mike Pence is not a fighter for women’s rights or their fair treatment. As the Senate voted on March 30 for funding for Planned Parenthood, Mike Pence was the final and deciding vote to strip away federal support for the group as they see fit. No one truly interested in women’s rights would restrict her access to affordable healthcare.
Personally, I commend anyone with enough restraint to hold relationships sacred and preserve intimacy for only a select few in their lives. However, I could hardly call abstaining from alcohol around women without your wife present chivalrous. It is time to fess up to his own weaknesses and stop cowering behind a cloak of righteousness. It sounds more to me as if Mrs. Pence is playing chaperone to keep him in check.
Absolutely agree with your statement that claiming Pence observes Sharia Law is ignorant. That said, if Pence observed these issue only in his personal life and not as part of his work life, there would be no issue.
I understand that you’re speaking specifically about Pence in your op-ed. But I think its important to acknowledge that it isn’t just Pence who observes the practice, it isn’t all about following personal religious practices, and it isn’t all about being modest. Its also important, and I think this is why this is getting so much attention, to acknowledge that women are held back because of it.
From a survey from the National Journal in 2015: One representative’s wife thought the frequent presence of a female aide was “unseemly.” A chief of staff felt a female aid appearing in too many photos with a senator was “inappropriate.” A manager feared spending too much time with young women might spark rumors. (1)
Its also important to realize how this would impact and contribute to the systematic exclusion of women in politics and their ability to reach top leadership positions. Even if Pence does not observe the practice at work, a lot of politics and a lot of what DC is, happens outside the work place at social events large and small.
Quoting a friend here: “Think of the impact this would have on a career, if a coworker – or supervisor – won’t associate with you because of your gender. Won’t mentor you, won’t learn your strengths, won’t help you overcome weaknesses, like he would a male coworker– because you’re female. He will not get to know their strengths and weaknesses like he will their male peers. Believe it or not…When you treat your female colleagues and employees like soul imperiling, walking vaginas of temptation, you thwart their professional lives. And yet these same people will be the first to swear there’s no barriers to women’s progress in the professional world.”
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