US Politics

Binders; Please, Don’t Put Me In Them

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Yeah…couple things about this.

1.The question being asked was about equal pay for equal work; How do your “binders full of women” solve the gender gap, exactly? Maybe, a good debate tactic at this point would be to discuss legislative items that can enact lasting change for millions of women across the country because, quite frankly, not all of us got the chance to be profiled in your three rings.

2. The most concerning part of this comment is that it does not actually address inequality at all, which shows the equity value of a Romney administration. Where you spend your time and energy reflects priorities; there is no evidence that Governor Romney has, or plans on, spending any time or energy on gender inequality. Merely having women in leadership positions does not answer the constant disconnect in male-to-female representation, and it certainly does not give us a picture of your ideas at eradicating the pay gap.

3. If your office ended up having more women in senior leadership positions, you should probably look into what was initially wrong with your hiring process that made it completely unattractive to women in the first place.

4. How can you expect women to take you seriously with regards to gender inequality when you just told them that you and a group of bros spent your time going through binders of them? Considering that one of the most loudly chanted complaints against your potential as President is being out of touch, this was probably not the best use of time.

5. The worst part? Governor Romney, you were obviously very pleased with your answer to the question.

Update;

6.  As it turns out, not only was the binder story false, but “…a UMass-Boston study found that the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration, from 30.0% prior to his taking office, to 29.7% in July 2004, to 27.6% near the end of his term in November 2006. “

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About the author

ML

I am a Montanan, fisher-person, and a passionate progressive. My political interests lie within political ethics, economic justice, and the responsiveness of government to the needs of real people.

13 Comments

  • My problem with his whole schpeel is how he specifically took time to say that you have to be “flexible” if you employ a woman, because the woman he had on his committee had to be home by 5 to make dinner. It’s like the man is incapable of think outside of gender stereotypes. Heaven forbid a woman would be able to manage her career and home life without having to “inconvenience” her employer. And it doesn’t even occur to him that a man could need these same concessions. He’s completely out of touch with…well, everything, but his lack of understanding for what women are going through in this country is truly staggering.

    • I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I doubt Governor Romney spends much time at all thinking about gender stereotypes. But, I thought that comment was also very concerning in that it encourages employers to consider how “inconvenient” women will be to their work environment, rather than the assets that they provide. Apparently no one told him that men are also legally granted work leave when their children are born and are capable of placing equal value in spending time with their families. Considering his emphasis on two-parent families and how they solve the issue of crime rates, you would think that he would be concerned with a man’s role in a child’s life and how that affects his employability, and not just a woman’s.

  • Apparently Romney’s “binders full of women” story isn’t even true. Even if it was a failed attempt to show a concern for hiring women, he never asked for the binders. An outside group had decided (before the election) to present the next Governor with potential qualified women.
    Given that Romney apparently didn’t know any qualified women from his time in business, there likely would have been many fewer women in a Romney administration if this group hadn’t given him binders.

    • Thanks for this! My favorite part, though? “…a UMass-Boston study found that the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration, from 30.0% prior to his taking office, to 29.7% in July 2004, to 27.6% near the end of his term in November 2006. “

  • Another softball hit out of the park.

    BY: Andrew Stiles
    April 11, 2012 2:52 pm

    Female employees in the Obama White House make considerably less than their male colleagues, records show.

    According to the 2011 annual report on White House staff, female employees earned a median annual salary of $60,000, which was about 18 percent less than the median salary for male employees ($71,000).

  • Nice Post. I thought “The Binders” comment was kind of funny, but I didn’t think it lended itself to that many conclusions. I agree with Julia that the most offensive part was his implying that you have to make concessions when hiring women, as opposed to men. Mitt said,

    “I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible.”

    This most certainly is a statement in contradiction with a belief in equality. As you pointed out, the roles of men and women are no longer as rigid as his behind-the-times view. Paternity Leave is not a myth, I’ve seen it. He continued with,

    “My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school.”

    This statement alone would not be enough to assume Mitt Romney views women as more needy, and more in need of employers being “flexible”. But when you consider the context of what the question was, what he had been talking about, and the statement he made right before he said this, I think it’s safe to assume Mitt Romney sees a difference in the amount of assumed friction between an employer and a woman employee, as opposed to an employer and a male employee. That doesn’t necessarily mean he thinks women don’t work as hard or as intelligently, but it does mean he thinks women are “more work” for an employer to have as employees. This is a view of inequality.

    You have to wonder about those that oppose equal pay regardless of gender. Through misunderstanding, they either they don’t believe the problem exists, or they believe the “problem” is justified.

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