Mike Pence Won't Dine Alone With Women. Here's Why

Only time will tell how history will judge Vice President Mike Pence. He has diligently cultivated the image that he presents to the American people, but as CBS News reported, former Trump political aide and reality show contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman said that those hoping for a more just society that doesn't, say, round up children like caged animals, "would be begging for days of Trump back if Pence became president." She called him "extreme" and "scary," the kind of politician who "thinks Jesus tells him to say things." ("Jesus ain't say that," she said.)

One of those extreme positions that Pence takes in life is his rule against ever eating dinner with a woman who isn't his wife Karen. No, not even in a professional setting. According to The List, Pence took a cue from another famous extremist, evangelical pastor and closeted anti-Semite Billy Graham, who had a similar rule himself. (Graham's New York Times obituary cited his conversation with President Richard Nixon, in which he said that "a lot of the Jews are great friends of mine. ... But they don't know how I really feel about what they are doing to this country.")

Pence won't even party without his wife around

We know it's a real bummer, but according to The Atlantic, if you want to party with Pence, you'd better hope Karen is at his side. The vice president said back in 2002 that "if there's alcohol being served and people are being loose, I want to have the best-looking brunette in the room standing next to me." The rule may not seem too extreme at first glance. The guy wants to show his wife that he loves her and is faithful to her. What's the big deal? But it's not just that he won't have a drink without his wife around; he won't even go to events that serve alcohol if Karen isn't coming. (You'd better find another designated driver.)

The New Yorker noted how not all Christians share such extreme ideals. When Christian blogger Matt Walsh tweeted that there was no appropriate reason for "a married person to go out for a meal alone with a member of the other sex (outside of family)," one married man responded that he had often planned choir practices with a non-his-wife married woman in his church at the local Chinese buffet without it leading to divorce or eternal damnation. Still, Pence's views do seem absolutely normal to many other Christians, and even those in other religions with strict marital rules, but not, however, for progressives who feel women should have the same opportunities in the workplace as men.

His policy negatively affects the careers of his female colleagues

Many women find Pence's position toward their sex absolutely appalling. Kamala Harris, the woman endeavoring to take his place, ardently disagreed with the Mike Pence Rule in a March 2019 interview with MSNBC posted on YouTube. "I think that's ridiculous — the idea that you would deny a professional woman the opportunity to have a meeting with the vice president of the United States is outrageous."

The List mentioned a now-deleted Facebook post from that company's COO, Sheryl Sandberg, who also criticized the vice president, though with not as much vitriol: "Men vastly outnumber women as managers and senior leaders, so when they avoid, ice out, or exclude women, we pay the price," she wrote, before offering a possible solution. "If you insist on following [the Pence Rule], adopt a revised version. ... [M]ake access equal: no dinners alone with anyone. Breakfast or lunches for all. Or group dinners only, nothing one-on-one. Whatever you choose, treat women and men equally."

And science backs up that advice. According to the Neuroscience Marketing blog, there is something to having a bite to eat while talking shop. The blog cited a Yale study that showed that people are more persuasive and receptive when eating. So Pence and other like-minded individuals could give workplace equality a bit of a boost if they'd just sit down and have a slice of pizza with the other sex every now and then.