Mike Pence’s policy not to have dinner with women without his wife, Karen, present is inherently sexist, argues Emma Gray of the Huffington Post. She infers that Pence views women as either sexual distractions that might seduce him or Mother Theresa-like figures. Gray theorises that this belief is based on the assertion that men can't control themselves around women, which objectifies and robs them of their personalities. Is he able to see them as professional equals? Gray wonders whether Pence is morally unable to appoint women to his staff, particularly for roles that require regular one-on-one meetings.
Criticism of Pence’s fidelity to his wife, Karen, is insensitive and judgemental, says Charles C. W. Cooke of National Review. How Pence goes about his private life should not be a matter of public scorn, adds Cooke, who admits that while Pence is more cautious than most, he is simply drawing boundaries based on his personal preferences. Apparently, Pence knows himself well and doesn’t want to risk anything that could affect his marriage. Perhaps the vice president simply doesn’t want to give the women he meets a wrong impression, and the assertion that he doesn’t trust women is unfounded, according to Cooke.