EJ Montini (The Republic) asks Must all men follow ‘Pence Rule’ to avoid sexual harassment?
[Vice President Mike] Pence has said in interviews that he follows strict self-imposed rules when it comes to being in the company of women. He has said (and he seems to actually believe it) the rules are meant to stave off any “temptations.” And they are meant to avoid any situation where there would be even a hint of impropriety.
Pence had a rule while he was in Congress that if he needed an aide to stay late in the office and work with him it had to be a male assistant.
He has a rule saying he would never dine alone with a woman who is not his wife, Karen, and that he would not attend an event where alcohol is served if Karen isn’t with him.
He refers to it as “building a zone around your marriage.”
These days, it could be the model for a man in a position of authority wishing to build a zone around his career.
The world has changed.
It’s as if, all of a sudden, America has decided the 1989 movie “When Harry Met Sally” is not a light-hearted romantic comedy but a dark existentialist allegory …
… in which all male-female friendships are suspect.
But the world has yet to change for Donald Trump
Speaking of a married women [on the Hollywood Access tape] Trump said, “I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it. … I did try and f— her. She was married. … I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there.”
A lot of people asked Pence what he thought of such talk when the tape became public, particularly the part where Trump says of women, “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. … Grab ’em by the p—y. You can do anything.”
Pence avoided the subject for several days then finally issued a statement saying: “As a husband and father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the 11-year-old video released yesterday. I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them. I am grateful that he has express remorse and apologized to the American people. We pray for his family and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart …”
What Trump showed, ultimately, is that nothing has changed. Not for him, anyway.
Weird isn’t it?
Just about every boss in America is at risk of being fired if he doesn’t follow some version of the “Pence Rule.”
Except Pence’s boss.
UPDATE:. Trump showed “what is in his heart” when he endorsed Roy Moore. I wonder which Mike Pence will have something to say about that. Alabamans are about to send Moore to the Senate. Will the Senate have the spine to do anything at all about that? Stay tuned. The answers to these and other questions start coming our way tomorrow night.