No Facts? No Problem: Feminists Attack VP Mike Pence And United Airlines For Sexism
Feminists took March Madness to the next level, trivializing their movement and further diminishing its credibility in the last days before April.
Vice President Mike Pence and United Airlines were strange bedfellows this past week, having both been the target of feminists’ weekly outrage quota.
Pence told The Hill in 2002 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.”
This allegedly horrific sentiment resurfaced in The Washington Post in White House reporter Ashley Parker’s March 28 profile of second lady Karen Pence and the vice president. She mentions it in a one-sentence paragraph halfway through the profile as an example of how close the couple is.
Parker promoted her story with a slew of tweets, each including a snippet from the article. One of those tweets mentioned the above interview with The Hill.
Ever the bastion of social justice, Twitter lost it. Users were horrified, describing his behavior as sexist, degrading and misogynistic. News outlets quickly picked up the story, with most approaching it from the same must-be-sexism angle as Twitter.
“How Pence’s Dudely Dinners Hurt Women,” The Atlantic wrote.
“Vice President Pence’s ‘never dine alone with a woman’ rule isn’t honorable. It’s probably illegal,” Vox screamed.
WaPo’s opinion section even fretted that, “Pence’s unwillingness to be alone with a woman is a symptom of a bigger problem.”
“Mike Pence May Be Extremely Close to His Wife Karen, but That Doesn’t Mean He Respects Women,” Slate argued. Slate followed up with a post a day later titled, “So What if Mike Pence Won’t Dine Alone With Women, Say a Surprising Number of People.”
In an age where outrage peddling is for some people a full-time job, maybe it is surprising that there’s still people in the world who are able to objectively look at that paragraph and say, “I understand what he means.”
So, what does Mike Pence’s statement mean?
It means he respects his wife. He adheres to a personal code of conduct that limits any chance of something going wrong.
Part of the way he shows her he respects her is by never dining alone with women or drinking when she’s not present at an event. He’s not worried the situation could end up inappropriate, he’s simply concerned with even the appearance of it.
To the first point, feminists argued that he’s holding women back by refusing to eat or be alone with them one-on-one. None of them seem to consider this point: American men live in a society where they are labelled as, and assumed to be, sexually aggressive and predatory. Some men are and a lot more aren’t. So, how does a man avoid allegations, fake or otherwise, of sexual impropriety? He never allows himself to be in a situation where someone could later claim it’s her word against his. An overabundance of caution bordering on paranoia is now the norm.
It’s not too far fetched to imagine a fake news story spinning a tale of a closed-door dinner he spent with, say, his “favorite assistant.” If he were to dine alone with a women, and was accused of unscrupulous conduct, his innocence is irrelevant. Merely the accusation itself is proof of wrongdoing.
There’s also a good chance that meals shared together are an important time for the couple. This could simply be a personal way he chooses to express how meaningful those moments are to him — by only spending them with his wife. Take this portion of Parker’s profile: “He hollowed out two loaves of bread, placing a small bottle of champagne in one and the ring box in the other for her to discover as she tore off pieces, according to local news reports. (They later got the bread shellacked, as a keepsake, a local paper noted).”
To the second point: It doesn’t seem like people are upset about him refusing to drink if Karen’s not present as it stands alone, although WaPo did combine it with the first portion and compare his behavior to Sharia Law. To that accusation, I’d ask WaPo to make up its mind as to whether it thinks Sharia Law is good or bad for women.
Perhaps he never wants to be in a situation where he drinks too much and his wife isn’t there to tell him, “Hey, maybe switch to water.”
Perhaps Mike Pence is significantly stricter with himself than most people, and instead of viewing that as sexually repressed and sexist, it was viewed as intense but understandable. If it works for him, it works for him, right?
Well, he’s not liberal, so no it doesn’t.
United Airlines faced a similar social media beating earlier in the week. The airline refused to let two teenager girls board a flight March 26 because they were wearing leggings. A liberal activist happened to be present when the girls were refused entry, and shot off tweets calling United sexist.
“Since when does @untied police women’s clothing?”
“This behavior is sexist and sexualizes young girls,” Shannon Watts also tweeted.
United tweeted back at Watts that the pair were “United pass travelers” that adhere to a dress code because they represent the company when they fly. United spokesman Jonathan Guerin told CNN Money there’s a “neat and professional” dress code policy for United employees, their families and guests when they travel for free.
The logical explanation of a commonplace policy — which was simply United asking its employees to dress nicely when they fly for free — fell on the deaf ears of a furious Twitter mob.
Watts never contacted United for an explanation. She never apologized for crying wolf, assuming the worst without evidence and then tarnishing a company’s reputation. The only thing she accomplished was lessening the impact activists can have when someone actually does something sexist.
Her failure to acknowledge her error allowed Twitter to run roughshod over United.
Comedian Seth Rogen accused United of having a sexist company culture. Model Chrissy Teigen admitted she didn’t “really care” what United’s explanation was, she was still going to “stop giving them money.” A slew of other celebrities, including William Shatner and Sarah Silverman, also took shots at United.
Other Twitter users speculated that the company doesn’t apply the same sexist standards to men, which is ironic considering nobody would care if a man was denied entry to a flight because of his clothing.
Watts created a problem where there was none and reveled in the chaos under the guise of “feminism.”
It’s important to note who Watts is. She’s the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a Michael Bloomberg-backed anti-gun group. Watts specializes in tossing around meritless claims she fails to back up when confronted. She called Bass Pro Shops sexist for liking an NRA tweet about Second Amendment rights; claimed the NRA is hypocritical for not allowing guns at its headquarters (an NRA employee was quick to note that Watts was wrong, and the NRA does allow guns); and alleged TheBlaze’s Dana Loesch of being paid by Magpul Industries and the NRA. When Loesch approached Watts and asked her to correct the record, Watts said she was mean and refused to answer. The anti-gun activist was then escorted away by armed security. Loesch is now a spokeswoman for the NRA, but at the time of Watts’s accusations, she was not.
As with the vice president, a Twitter mob doesn’t care about facts once it sinks its teeth into a good story. Facts are not reality. Allegations of sexism in and of themselves have become truth. Even though United wasn’t being sexist, and proved it, the idea that someone thought it was sexist was enough to condemn the airline.
Both of these incidents are, quite frankly, ludicrous. We are all capable of independent thought, and should exercise it to better understand a situation before blindly following a clarion call in the vague name of some higher moral good.