Can I just say something about Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” thing? Maybe it’s my own buried sexism, or not sweating the details of conversation, but if 45 of my friends on various social media outlets hadn’t freaked out, I WOULD NEVER HAVE THOUGHT HE SAID SOMETHING WRONG.
Honestly, didn’t we all know what he was talking about? Hell, when I was Senior Fellow in various dot-com companies, I looked at binders full of prospective employees all the time. Whenever we cast for theater, film or TV, we get a binder for each role, full of headshots and resumés. In the case of a female lead, we most definitely have “binders full of women”.
Of course I’ve been enjoying the fallout of the “binder” meme, because anything that gets in the way of Mitt Romney being president is sauce for the gander, but in my heart of hearts, doesn’t anybody wish this was actually about sexism rather than semantics?
For a powerful body-blow in this very genre, check out Virginia’s excellently indignant take of the real problem. Point is, if all you got from the debate was a tumblr meme, then fucking social media isn’t doing its job.
To me, the very essence of Romney – and indeed, this 1% we hear so much about – was crystalized in this debate. The truly rich and truly entitled in this country believe that the rules don’t really apply to them. I mean, they “apply”… (wink, nudge, shit-eating smirk)… but at the very least, the side door will be left open, the tickets will be in a special envelope at Will Call, and this last one is on the house.
Romney steamrolled, interrupted, and broke the main rule of the debate (“no direct questions to the other debater”) within 5 minutes of the opening klaxon. He had no respect for either moderator or opponent. And one of his sons, all of whom had the murderous rage-filled faces of missionaries playing violent hoops with me on their P-days, actively thought about taking a swing at the President.
You only contemplate that if a) you’re an asshole, and b) if you fundamentally believe yourself to be above the rules, and harbor a resentment that is about twelve synapses away from using the word “uppity” and another that starts with “n”.
So if you’re going for debate decorum and true ugliness masquerading as a blunder, you can do a lot better than “binders full of women”. The Romneys just make it all so easy.
[UPDATE: fixed Virginia’s column link. Honestly, why would Yahoo put quote marks in a URL, meaning it couldn’t be pasted into another outlet for sharing? – ed.]