Mike Pence Refuses to Eat Alone With Women Other Than His Wife

Mike Pence has enjoyed a strange space in American politics since the announcement that he would be Trump's pick for vice president. He isn't public enemy number one—Trump takes most of the heat himself. But Pence isn't quite safe from critique, and many people just don't like him. Now, however, he's under scrutiny after a Washington Post profile of his wife revealed he refuses to dine alone with women without her. The profile shows that Mike and Karen Pence enjoy a very, uh, 'present' relationship with one another. Besides the whole "eating alone with women" thing, the vice president also won't go to an event with alcohol unless Karen is there, too.

This admission might just seem like a strange-but-harmless way for two Christians to conduct their marriage, but many people see it as a sign of misogyny, especially given lack of women in Trump's administration. Has Pence's rule about eating with women stopped him from hiring women for top positions throughout his career? Elite Daily went as far as to say Pence could be doing something illegal if he refuses to meet alone with women at all, even in the course of work.

Pence and Karen have been nearly inseparable for 32 years, both socially and politically. She accompanied him on his bike rides during his campaigns for Congress. The Post profile also describes how Karen gave Pence a red phone at one point, to which only she had the number. Even now, she remains close, traveling with during his international diplomacy trips. The VP even calls Karen "mother."

Obviously, many couples are intensely close, and if the Pences are fine with their relationship, that's their business. And truthfully, if they weren't bigots hellbent on destroying reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights, this might almost be cute. But they're powerful public figures now, and Pence does have a responsibility to make sure he treats women equally in the White House. The Pences can do whatever they want at home—but when Vice President Pence is on the job, we'll be watching.