It was not a surprise to see Vice President Mike Pence win the debate against Senator Kamala Harris, a woman who threatens at times to make Hillary Clinton appear genuine and likable by comparison. But it was perhaps unexpected to see Pence — in his polite, understated, midwestern way — dominate and humiliate Harris to such an extent that the mainstream media was forced to make headlines out of the fly that landed on his head for two minutes. Anything to distract from the substance of his performance. Anything to avoid the real headline: Mike Pence Wins Big.
The fly was not the only headline to come out of the debate, according to our diligent journalist class. Mike Pence also had one eye that was a little red. This provided fodder for extensive commentary from Forbes, Buzzfeed, the Los Angeles Times, and other esteemed publications. Also, Mike Pence’s wife, Karen, appeared on stage to congratulate her husband after the debate and was not wearing a mask, which provoked indictments from the Huffington Post, Newsweek, and the New York Times. Imagine their shock and horror should they learn that Karen Pence also presumably doesn’t wear a mask when she sleeps in the same bed as her husband, or sits on the sofa next to him to watch TV, or spends much of her life in close proximity to him.
But the big news — even bigger than flies and pink eye, if you can believe it — is that Vice President Mike Pence was a sexist for committing the unthinkable sin of debating a woman during a debate against a woman. Right on cue, nearly as soon as the broadcast concluded, Dan Rather, George Stephanopolous, and others in the news media were accusing Pence of “mansplaining.” Major Garret at CBS meanwhile gushed with pride, exclaiming that Harris was a role model for women everywhere when she asserted herself against the rude man who kept arguing with her, almost as if they were taking part in an event where the whole point is to argue with each other.
NBC presidential historian Michael Beschloss noted that Pence was interrupting not just one woman but two — both his female opponent and the female moderator. This, he says, showed a “lack of respect.” Over on CNN, S.E. Cupp was apoplectic, ranting about how Pence’s alleged sexism and “mansplaining” was “infuriating” and made her skin crawl. Predictably, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez got in on the identity politics action, saying that Pence daring to ask questions directly to Harris was misogynistic and “exemplary of the gender dynamics so many women have to deal with at work.” Feminist writer Jill Filipovic claimed, bizarrely, that it was “condescending” and “sexist” for Pence to call Kamala by her name. Many publications, such as The Hill, extolled Harris’s courage in the face of these horrific attacks, and celebrated her inspirational, girl-power performance.
This is all nonsense, of course. The candidates spoke for the same amount of time, or Harris actually had more speaking time than Pence, depending on which tally you believe. But by no one’s count did Pence hog the stage and take significantly more than his fair share of the lime light. He did argue with Harris and attempt to explain his point of view, but that, again, is the entire point of a debate.
Pence approached this encounter just like he approached Tim Kaine in 2016. And speaking of 2016 debates, Donald Trump was frequently accused of sexism for talking over and interrupting Hillary Clinton, yet Trump did far more of that sort of thing against Joe Biden last week. It seems these men are just debating how they debate, regardless of the gender of their opponents. Indeed, it can be said in general that any woman who is interrupted and talked over by any man is most likely being treated exactly as that man treats other men. It is also how that woman likely treats both men and other women. It is, to put it simply, just people being people. In a word, it is equality — and that is supposed to be what feminists are fighting for.
But as we have learned time and again, feminists actually want special treatment even while clamoring for equal treatment. In a strange way, they have become our culture’s great defenders of chivalry. They pretend to hate chivalry, of course, but advocate for a version of it under the guise of trying to destroy it. And that is how we end up with a spectacle like last night. They tell us that women are strong and tough and can hang in there against any man, but proceeded to wilt like delicate flowers when a woman was subjected to mild pushback from one of the least aggressive, politest men in politics. It’s an absurd and transparent tactic, but it’s all they have. I can only hope that most Americans are too smart to fall for it.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.