Day: October 17, 2012

What We Really Learned About Romney Last Night, Beyond the Binders Meme

In just one question last night, Mitt Romney told us everything we needed to know about how disconnected he is from everyday women. His answers reflected a shockingly retrograde view of working women, and a total lack of interest in women’s issues. Behind his answers lies the reality that a Romney presidency has no plans to do anything to rectify gender inequality in the workplace.
When asked what he would do as president to rectify the fact that women earn 72% of what men earn for the same jobs, Romney stumbled unbelievably. It became clear that Romney has never given much thought to the economic inequalities faced by women, and was woefully unprepared for the question.

Romney’s “Binders Full of Women” line that spawned a thousand memes? Not exactly true.

Remember last night during the presidential debates when the candidates were asked about pay equity, and Obama talked about concrete steps his administration had taken to ensure equality (the Lily Ledbetter Act, which he signed his first day in office), and Romney talked about how he would let a female staffer go home early because women need to cook dinner? And Romney also talked about how he was assembling his cabinet when he was elected governor of Massachusetts, and wouldn’t you know it, every single qualified person who applied was a man. Every single one! And so Big Daddy Romney, caring as much as he does about women in the workplace(?), went to women’s groups and asked them for qualified women. And they sent on “binders full of women” (cue internet memes). And then he hired a bunch of those women, and then according to a survey of all 50 states, “mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.” That is a really nice story. It turns out that it’s not at all true.