By Jonathon Van Maren
Media figures, pundits, and commentators spend a decent portion of their time these days enthusiastically advocating for all sorts of new sexual lifestyles—their championing of gay marriage has quickly moved on to discussions surrounding the benefits of polyamory, the consensus they insist exists on transgenderism, and the rising trend of “open marriages.” So its hard to imagine what would shock these veteran bedroom journalists, who cut their teeth on reporting on Pride Parades, orgies, and unique marital arrangements. But it turns out that they have finally found something that has stunned them to their core: Mike Pence’s commitment to his wife.
Specifically, they are shocked—shocked—that Mike Pence will not eat out alone with women who are not his wife, and offended on behalf of those cruelly denied Pence’s company–because he also does not attend mixed gatherings where alcohol is present without his wife. Twitter immediately erupted with progressive journalists who suddenly forgot their dogmatic tolerance and began accusing Pence of being worse than someone who advocated for Sharia law, proving that they literally know nothing about Sharia law, which was hardly put in place to ensure a husband’s faithfulness. It also proves they know nothing about the political scene. Anyone remotely familiar with the atmosphere in political circles is aware that adultery is not infrequent—and that alcohol is often a major contributor. In a little DC restaurant a couple of years ago, for example, one long-time patron insisted on regaling me with tales of Newt Gingrich stumbling drunk from dinner with whichever mistress he was currently courting at the moment.
But reality is immaterial. The one thing we are permitted to condemn, it turns out, is somebody trying to take precautions to ensure the longevity of his marriage and faithfulness to his wife. Even a few Canadian newspapers decided to cover the story, most notably Ashley Csanady in the National Post, who announced that Pence’s policies were “rape culture at work.” Csanady was apoplectic, calling Pence’s arrangement sexist and extrapolating that the reason Pence is taking such precautions is that he holds to the notion that “men are unable to contain themselves around women” and that women were “over-sexed” and “would prey on men.” This scenario, of course, was concocted purely in her fevered feminist imagination. The reality is much simpler: Affairs sometimes happen. To avoid the temptation of an affair, eliminate circumstances in which one could occur.
Rather than noting that many women would love their husbands to have the fidelity that Pence clearly possesses, Csanady decides to set up a few religious straw men created almost exclusively out of a dreadful misunderstanding of both history and Christianity. “Centuries later,” she moaned, “we still live in a culture that produces vice-presidents who ardently believe women are a wellspring of possible sin.” And it gets even worse, she tells us: “At its core, Pence’s self-imposed ban is rape culture.” Yes, you read that right. Even trying to ensure that you don’t sleep with anyone but your wife can now be an indicator of “rape culture.” It is precisely because of people like Csanady that nobody believes in rape culture to begin with.
Working with a lack of evidence, a lack of understanding, and a lack of context, Csanady still apparently knows just how Pence’s mind works, and is there to walk us through his inner thought processes: “The explicit reasons for Pence’s restriction are religion and family, but the implicit reason is that he must avoid alone-time with women lest his stringent religious moral code fall apart in the presence of a little lipstick and décolletage. That is rape culture.” How does she know this? Well, his pro-life position obviously indicates that he sees women as lesser human beings, says Csanady, who sees the pre-born children of women as lesser human beings but does not see the irony in her own statement.
Well then. That’s a whole lot of guessing resulting in a whole lot of stupid. Again, Pence is pretty up front about what his motive for his policies are: He loves his wife, and desires to remain faithful to her. As such, he has organized his life in such a way that even the opportunities for unfaithfulness are largely removed. His wife seems thrilled with their mutually-agreed upon arrangements, but that is obviously because she has not taken the time to have progressive journalists and witch-hunting feminists explain to her that she is actually the victim of a man who is obviously perpetrating rape culture.
It’s crazy that people would actually get outraged by a husband’s decision to avoid potentially compromising situations. The same people who are constantly celebrating the destruction of sexual inhibitions everywhere are offended by someone who seeks to ensure that his marriage does not become a victim of today’s anything-goes sexual climate. National Review columnist David French, who faced scrutiny due to his brief flirtation with the idea of an independent presidential run last year, underwent the same mockery and accusations when journalists discovered that he and his wife had come up with strict rules on how each interacted with the other sex while he was deployed to Iraq. Remaining faithful to your spouse, it turns out, is the New Sexism.
This nonsensical outrage shows the cultural divide between Christians and the rest of the culture even more starkly than before. It also shows that in spite of the celebration progressives engage in each time another sexual barrier comes down, there are always going to be some things that they find uncomfortable: Stable, loving, faithful marriages where the spouses make sacrifices in order to ensure that their marriage does not become a casualty of the sexual culture the progressives created.