Two faces of sexism: Exclusion and exploitation

by Sarah Skwire

"Vice President Mike Pence won’t meet alone with women. Meanwhile, guys like Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein won’t keep their hands off them. 2017 is the year of the strict binary. Women’s roles are no exception. Pence’s camp would have women kept in some sort of professional purdah, where important avenues to public influence and power are cut off because it is just too morally dangerous to interact with women on equal terms. Trump and Weinstein would have women brought front and center — as long as they’re showing off a lot of cleavage and getting groped—but only as signals of their masculine power and success. Which role do you want, women of 2017? You get to pick one. No. You have to pick one. That’s how 2017 works." (10/12/17)

  • Me

    Hmmm, Dumps attitude to women sucks mighty hard, then again, so does his attitude to, well, everyone…
    Pence however, is said to be reluctant to meet with women alone, not because he deems it 'morally dangerous' or because he does not regard them as professionally competent in their ability. But because he is afraid of false accusations of groping and sexual harassment.

    Professionally, this may have no discernible impact on his duties as vice president, as meetings can usually, and probably do, include a third party. Pence is unlikely to turn down a meeting with a female member of staff, regarding important state business.

    If this concern of Pence's has resulted in potential female staff members being passed up for promotion etc, then this should be discussed, but I surmise his own staff would be the least suspect for him.

    In his personal life, Pence has no obligation to entertain anyone in any social setting, ever, for any reason. Nor is any admonishment regarding his criteria really relevant.

    Linux programmer Linus Torvalds has to have an escort with him at conventions as it was revealed there were actual communications between feminists plotting to set him up! These fears are real, and provided the men in question don't infringe on the rights of anyone, they are frankly entitled to take whatever precautions they deem necessary. Too bad if it hurts feelings.

    Accusations of violent sexual conduct abound these days, sadly a lot of it seemingly true.

    If a prominent female expressed a reluctance to meet alone with men, citing her fear for her safety, would those admonishing Pence be so condemning? I wouldn't.

    A legitimate fear for someone in any high position with a lot to lose.

    It would be interesting to hear suggestions regarding alternative, perhaps better courses of action, those should be discussed and considered.