As accusations of sexual assault roil politics and entertainment, Vice President Mike Pence seems wiser than ever. His stringent rule of avoiding eating dinner with a woman alone drew a great deal of criticism, but avoiding even the perception of impropriety may be necessary in these turbulent times.
Saturday Night Live (SNL) didn’t see it that way, however. In its “Christmas Carol” parody mocking President Donald Trump, the show fitted in a supremely unfair jab at Pence — that wasn’t even remotely funny.
In the video, Melania Trump (played by Cecily Strong) turns to the president (played by Alec Baldwin). “We need someone to put up the manger scene. Mike Pence was going to do it, but his wife doesn’t want him playing with dolls because she’s afraid it will give him urges,” Strong said.
The purported “joke?” Liberals mock Pence, suggesting that he is afraid of spending time with women alone because he cannot control his sexual desires. Strong, playing on this theme, suggested his libido is so out of control, he’d get turned on by manger scene dolls. Sorry, SNL, that’s not how it works.
The ever-increasing list of men being accused of improper behavior with women should put all such mockery to rest. Pence doesn’t follow his rule to curb his libido, but to avoid the mere appearance of impropriety. If it is known the vice president does not eat dinner alone with women, it would be much harder for a random woman to accuse him of having assaulted her.
Mike Pence was not the first to come up with this rule. It is known as the “Billy Graham rule” after the famous evangelist. Graham came up with the rule in 1948 while meeting with other evangelists in Modesto, Calif.
“In reality, it was more of an informal understanding among ourselves—a shared commitment to do all we could do to uphold the Bible’s standard of absolute integrity and purity for evangelists,” Graham recalled in his autobiography. He and his fellows agreed on four resolutions.
When it came to sexual immorality, he wrote, “We all knew of evangelists who had fallen into immorality while separated from their families by travel. We pledged among ourselves to avoid any situation that would have even the appearance of compromise or suspicion.”
“From that day on, I did not travel, meet or eat alone with a woman other than my wife,” Graham wrote. “we determined that the Apostle Paul’s mandate to the young pastor Timothy would be ours as well: ‘Flee … youthful lusts’ (2 Timothy 1:22, KJV).”
After Roy Moore, Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken — even Sylvester Stallone! — this rule seems not just understandable, but necessary for a career in the public eye.
The storm of sexual assault allegations is not likely to abate anytime soon. Emily Lindin, feminist founder of “The UnSlut Project,” tweeted, “I’m actually not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations.”
The Patriarchy must die, and if innocents are dragged through the mud and lose their careers and reputations, many feminists consider that a fair price to pay — because they won’t be paying it.
Sexual assault is a serious issue, because countless women have been abused and scarred for life by predators. It is a good thing to bring guilty men to justice, and they deserve their reputations ruined. But when women stop caring whether or not the accusations are true, this crusade has gone far beyond reason.
In this climate, it is imperative for men in the public eye to avoid the least hint of impropriety. Contrary to liberal attacks, Pence’s rule does not dehumanize women or deny them job opportunities — it creates a defensive barrier around his reputation. When activists don’t even care whether sexual assault allegations are true, the best defense is to make it ridiculous for anyone to accuse you of sexual assault.
Rather than mocking Pence for this, SNL should be mocking all the men accused of sexual assault for not following the Billy Graham rule.
Click “Load More” to see the SNL Trump “Christmas Carol” parody.