Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) spoke out against Vice President Mike Pence’s thoughts on women in an MSNBC interview Thursday.
“I disagree with him when he suggests it’s not possible to have meetings with women alone by himself,” Harris said. “I think that’s ridiculous. The idea that you would deny a professional woman the opportunity to have a meeting with the vice president of the United States is outrageous. So I have many points of disagreement with the vice president”
What has become known as The Pence Rule, comes from his decision not to eat alone with women or attend events where alcohol is served unless his wife is present. It was previously known as the Billy Graham rule, named after the late preacher who refused to be alone with women.
Many leading women have denounced the “rule,” saying that it prevents women from important networking opportunities and assumes men can’t control themselves.
“If men think that the way to address workplace sexual harassment is to avoid one-on-one time with female colleagues — including meetings, coffee breaks and all the interactions that help us work together effectively — it will be a huge setback for women,” Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg said in a post.
Pence’s press secretary responded to the comment by saying that Pence elevates women to leadership positions, which isn’t something Harris addressed in her comments, much less alleged.
“Hi, @SenKamalaHarris: I’m a female Senior Advisor to Mike Pence & am wondering why you are repeating this false claim?” asked Alyssa Farah. “He’s elevated women to positions of leadership throughout his career & relies on their advice & counsel. Get your facts straight.”
Farah didn’t say whether or not she’d met or traveled with Pence alone.
Hi, @SenKamalaHarris: I’m a female Senior Advisor to Mike Pence & am wondering why you are repeating this false claim? He’s elevated women to positions of leadership throughout his career & relies on their advice & counsel. Get your facts straight. https://t.co/oCTHKQpcdn
— Alyssa Farah (@VPPressSec) March 14, 2019
The Vice President has a long history of anti-women votes and policies.