Criticise Pence’s politics, not his dining preferences

US vice-president Mike Pence has become the subject of another Twitterfury after it was revealed that he refuses to eat dinner alone with any woman other than his wife. Revealed in a Washington Post article last week, Pence’s dining preferences have sparked disdain and derision from feminists and liberals.

Pence is somewhat of an easy target for disgruntled, pro-Clinton types. He has become the embodiment of the worst, socially conservative excesses of Trump’s pale, male and stale cabinet – which now has the power, as well as the ambition, to implement some genuinely archaic policies, particularly in relation to abortion.

But instead of criticising Pence’s pro-life ideas, most have just jumped on the identity politics bandwagon and attacked him over his age and gender.

A few weeks ago a photo of an all-male meeting on abortion rights, chaired by Pence, went viral. Tweeters were shocked and appalled that these old white guys were plotting to undermine women’s autonomy. But what should worry us about the photo is not that they’re all men, but that they’re all anti-abortion. Would it have been any better if Sarah Palin had chaired the meeting? Of course not.

Pence has previously said that he hopes to see Roe v Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling on abortion, ‘consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs’. When he was governor of Indiana, Pence signed eight anti-abortion bills. And, in January this year, he became the first sitting vice-president to speak at the annual pro-life protest March for Life.

The fact that Pence is a white-haired bloke is the least of our worries. We should take him up on the level of politics, and discredit his views in the public forum, rather than just take snarky potshots at his gender, his faith and his strange views on mixed-gender dining.

Izzy Lyons is a writer based in London.

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