Conservatives are jumping in to defend Mike Pence’s weird behavior around women, and in the process, they’re showing their own warped attitude toward sexuality.
Mike Pence’s Fear of Women
Mike Pence famously refuses to allow himself to be in the presence of a woman without an escort. Apparently, the practice is meant to prevent infidelity.
For most of us in the modern world, the idea is absurd. We’re adults with self-control.
But conservatives are rushing to defend Pence, framing his fear of women as a way to “respect” his wife. (Either that, or “respect” is the name for whatever model of chastity device Pence and his Mother-Wife use.)
Trying to understand why people are upset that Mike Pence respects his wife? Mutually agreed upon marital boundaries are a good thing.
— Drenda Butler (@duhdrenda) March 30, 2017
Feminists are so confused. They march to demand that men respect them. Then Pence publicly respects his wife & they ridicule him for it
— Joe the Dissident (@joethepatriotic) March 30, 2017
Because the only way to respect your wife is to treat other women like they have a contagious disease, we guess.
The Federalist Steps Up to Defend Pence’s Honor
Right-wing blog the Federalist ran multiple pieces defending Pence, both overtly and covertly. One piece was straightforward about Pence, saying, “Men and women are sexually attracted to each other, and alcohol lowers inhibitions… Good on Mike Pence for acknowledging these truths and knowing his limits.” Unspoken is the acceptance that Mike Pence’s limits are so strict — that his limits suggest he doesn’t trust himself to keep it in his pants.
Another piece didn’t call out Pence by name, but it clearly alludes to the situation. Its thesis is that men and women can’t be friends (and therefore can’t spend time together) because men are insatiable horndogs all the time.
The Federalist columnist writes, “Women must accept the following truths: you don’t have any guy friends and, in fact, you can’t have any guy friends.”
This is how this Federalist columnist defines friendship, by the way: “Friendship is a good that people acquire in exchange for the currency of their time.” We’re starting to understand why this man does not have female friends.
But, he asserts, men can never be friends with women, because men always want to date their female friends. Always. (Because unattractive women don’t exist we guess?)
Has this columnist ever head of the gays? Does he think gay men have no male friends, and lesbians have no female friends? And what are bisexuals supposed to do — hide in the forest?
It’s a goofy editorial, but the fact that the editors of a major conservative publication saw fit to publish it suggests that it’s not a fringe opinion to the Right. And the opinion is this: women are good only for their sexuality. Their other qualities don’t matter.
Here’s another, alarming opinion: every social interaction is a terrifying minefield of sexual doom. It’s an unhealthy way to look at the world, but it explains a lot of their anger at Planned Parenthood.