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Dinner for three for Mike Pence

Illustration // Madalyn Drewno

VP ALONE REFUSES TO DINE WITH OTHER WOMEN

The White House under the Trump Administration has seen many bizarre instances coming from his staff, from caricatures like Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway starring in controversies on a weekly basis. The latest gossip comes directly from Vice President Mike Pence, the closest man to the president himself.

In a resurfaced article from 2002, Pence told The Hill that he’ll never eat alone with another woman who isn’t his wife, and he won’t attend events where they serve alcohol without her, either.

When looking at the situation from the level surface, it doesn’t seem bad. The Pence family are practicing Evangelical Christians, and they are incredibly devoted to one another. For them, that includes adopting restrictions for themselves as a way to express their devotion; for Mr. Pence, avoiding alone time with other women is his preferred method.

Pence clearly loves his wife Karen, and given his status, he probably doesn’t have time to sit down and have a full-course meal with her every night. However pleasant the intention, though, it’s incredibly unrealistic and damaging for someone who holds a government job.   

Not being able to be alone with a woman, even with the door open, is questionable. Working professionals can’t avoid spending time with an entire gender. Although everyone has a different comfort level that should be respected, gender is an irrelevant factor in the professional world. This practice sacrifices equality and opportunity the sake of personal comfort and insecurity. 

If one has social anxiety issues, that’s another story. Still, learning how to work with different types of people is important. Seeking treatment is the first step in learning how to hold a professional job and learning how to handle day-to-day situations.

What’s most concerning is why Pence can’t be left alone with another woman. Does he think he’ll have sexual urges and act upon them? Beyond how disgusting and uncomfortable that thought is, lets not forget Pence’s current  job: Vice President. He works closely with Conway and other female White House staff members and discusses high profile and confidential issues, while representing the values of the nation. How can he possibly do that without her in an open setting? The short answer is that he can’t; It’s not possible. 

Switching roles showcases how ridiculous Pence’s decision is. What if women were uncomfortable with working with men, who mostly dominate the workplace? If a woman were to refuse to drink alcohol or eat dinner without her partner by her side, it would read as someone with a lack of self-control. This behavior would be questioned and ridiculed by her employer and fellow employees.

With Pence refusing to be alone with a woman, it hinders the potential success and growth in the workplace. If men find working with women so difficult, it’s a personal problem. Women entered the workforce a long time ago.  Pence should’ve adjusted by now and learned how to work with everyone he encounters. It really isn’t that difficult.

Although Pence’s devotion is admirable, not being able to be alone without your wife in the room sounds like a marital problem and maturity.

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