Washington Post op-ed by Mary Vought is a classic of the unwitting “but some of my best friends are black!” genre. But the best part is here:
I engaged in senior staff meetings and strategy sessions side-by-side with the congressman and my colleagues, and I never felt sidelined because of my gender. My proposals and suggestions were always valued as equal with those of my male counterparts.
As time went on, I was able to prove that I could handle increased responsibilities, and so more responsibilities were provided to me. My gender never factored into how my work was evaluated, or whether my responsibilities were expanded. In fact, the congressman would sometimes send me to GOP leadership communication meetings to represent his voice —and more often than not, I was the only woman in the room. My work product determined my success — not private dinners with the congressman. When looking back on my time in the office of the man who is now vice president, I don’t consider it to be a period of missed opportunities.
Look, Mike Pence’s professional conduct towards his female employees may be exemplary; despite his decisions about dinner companions, he may take meaningful steps to ensure that those employees enjoy professional opportunities that they would otherwise be excluded from. But the overall impact of the exclusion of women from one of the primary means of professional networking and socialization is obvious from the above; there’s only one woman in the room. Vought thinks this is about Pence, and in trying to defend him she renders a crushing verdict on how the Party of the Patriarchy approaches women’s participation in politics.