The Corner


The Pence Rule

Certain political storylines get recirculated every six months, and one of those is “Republicans are weird about sex stuff,” hence the outbreak of hysteria about Mike Pence’s personal rules of husbandly conduct.

A few items for context:

This is being presented as evidence of Pence’s immersion in some sort of retrograde Christian Midwestern culture. It isn’t. In the early 2000s, I worked for a publicly traded, New Jersey-based media company whose personnel policies essentially forbade managers from being alone in a room with an employee of the opposite sex and explicitly forbade that during formal procedures such as employee evaluations, salary negotiations, and terminations. I do not think that mentoring over cocktails would have been welcome at all, and might very well have resulted in disciplinary action — which, because my publisher was a woman, would have happened in front of a small audience. This had nothing to do with any hidden corporate puritanism and everything to do with our litigation-loving business environment.

Here is the Guardian writing about mixed-sex business dinners and “chaperones” back in the dark ages of 2013.

And here is an account of a lawsuit against a law firm that prohibited male and female partners from being alone together behind closed doors at the office.


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