One got the sense of Mitt Romney coming from a place where women were generally in the other room, waiting to be invited in only when the moment—or the visibility of the job—called for it. Romney was fifty-six when he became governor, with decades spent in business during which he could have made the sort of contacts that would have turned him into a resource for others looking for qualified women. The Boston Globe pointed out that Romney “did not have any women partners as CEO of Bain Capital during the 1980s and 1990s.” Where were the binders then? The Globe added that even today, only four of Bain’s forty-nine partners are women. This is a firm he built and a culture he controlled. ...Amy Davidson, New Yorker
This would have been forgivable in a man a half-generation older than Mitt. If Mitt had been old enough during the late Forties and in the Fifties (given his family's social level) he would have witnessed or been part of dinners in which men disappeared into another room after dinner and the women took over the living room and the silver tray of coffee and tiny cups.
But by the time Romney was 21, the '60's revolution was in full swing. Women were out of the living room and running or starting businesses, enjoying tenured professorships, in leadership positions. Which is what makes Romney's comments about his Massachusetts governorship so.. well ... halfway between pathetic and appalling.
There is no excuse whatsoever for Mitt Romney's narrow and self-centered outlook, whether it be about women, foreign policy, money and privilege, or even dogs for god's sake!
The binders-of-women anecdote did not answer the question, which came from a woman named Katherine Fenton and was about pay. (“In what new ways do you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only seventy-two percent of what their male counterparts earn?”) Instead, he said that he knew women would want to leave the office earlier, to make dinner for their children, and that he thought employers could help with flexible schedules. They can, and should. But it is striking that, given an opening to talk about women in the workforce, Romney described people who either had to be dragged on to the stage or would run off of it as soon as they could. They start as a rumor and end up as an echo. ...Amy Davidson, New Yorker