Mitt Romney’s ridiculous “binders full of women” soundbite is certainly getting the bulk of the attention in today’s recaps of last night’s presidential debate (and, it’s worth noting that he straight up lied about requesting those binders in the first place). But it was his anecdotal focus on women in the workplace needing “flexibility” that struck me as most galling. The candidates were asked the following question: “In what new ways do you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?” After Obama answered first (you can read the full debate transcript here), Romney followed up his “binders full of women” story with the following:
“I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school.
She said, I can’t be here until 7 or 8 o’clock at night. I need to be able to get home at 5 o’clock so I can be there for making dinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school. So we said fine. Let’s have a flexible schedule so you can have hours that work for you. …
What we can do to help young women and women of all ages is to have a strong economy, so strong that employers that are looking to find good employees and bringing them into their workforce and adapting to a flexible work schedule that gives women opportunities that they would otherwise not be able to afford.” Keep reading »