Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Debate Meme ~ Romney's "Binder Full of Women"


Pics via BindersFullofWomen Tumblr

Debate Transcript from ABC News
CROWLEY: Governor Romney, pay equity for women?

ROMNEY: Thank you. And important topic, and one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as governor of my state, because I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men.

And I -- and I went to my staff, and I said, "How come all the people for these jobs are -- are all men." They said, "Well, these are the people that have the qualifications." And I said, "Well, gosh, can't we -- can't we find some -- some women that are also qualified?"

And -- and so we -- we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet.

I went to a number of women's groups and said, "Can you help us find folks," and they brought us whole binders full of women.

I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my Cabinet and my senior staff, that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states, and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.

Now one of the reasons I was able to get so many good women to be part of that team was because of our recruiting effort. But number two, because I recognized that if you're going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school.

"Mind the Binder" by David S. Bernstein on The Phoenix
Mirror Site: Via Wil Wheaton on Tumblr
What actually happened was that in 2002 — prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration — a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.

They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.

I have written about this before, in various contexts; tonight I’ve checked with several people directly involved in the MassGAP effort who confirm that this history as I’ve just presented it is correct — and that Romney’s claim tonight, that he asked for such a study, is false.


Mitt on women: One Ring (Binder) to rule them all, One Ring (Binder) to find them, One Ring (Binder) to bring them all and in the darkness bind (er) them.
~ comment by Phraser_X on The Phoenix

Did anybody notice that Romney didn't even answer the question? He was asked about PAY EQUITY, not women on his cabinet.
~ comment by Dana P. on The Phoenix

Gee whilikers, where the women at?"
"In the binders governor Romney."
~ comment by Jerri on Wonkette

Mittens looks a little discombobulated, tryin' to talk about women and all.
~ comment by Tilley on Wonkette

An economy so strong that even women will get jobs.
~ comment by gullywompr on Wonkette

Can't we find some women that are qualified?_Condescending A$$hole.
~ comment by Monsieur_Grumpe on Wonkette

Mitt loves his binders of women so much he will give them $50 off their first transvaginal probe.
~ comment by EatsBabyDingos on Wonkette

ZING! There was the shot through his foot. "Binders full of women" became #bindersfullofwomen on Twitter, a Tumblr page and a Facebook page which within half an hour had over 20,000 likes. By the end of the debate that had risen to almost 70,000. Why did the phrase resonate? Because it was tone deaf, condescending and out of touch with the actual economic issues that women are so bothered about. The phrase objectified and dehumanized women. It played right into the perception that so many women have feared about a Romney administration – that a president Romney would be sexist and set women back. And it turns out the way Romney presented it – that he asked for a study of women in leadership positions – wasn't true anyway.
~ Guardian UK




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