On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence tweeted about International Women's Day, praising women's contributions to the country and also applauding the Trump administration for working to "empower" women across the country. Pence's tweet didn't go over very well, given the policies that the Trump administration has enacted and, just as importantly, Pence's unwavering support for the "grab 'em by the p*ssy" president.
"Today, on #InternationalWomensDay - and ALL days - we recognize the countless contributions women have made to our economy, our communities, & our Nation," Pence tweeted. "The Trump Admin will continue to strive to empower women across America to keep making a profound impact."
This was a surprise to those who remember the time Pence argued that mothers who work are stunting the emotional growth of their children, or that women serving in the military is a "bad idea" because male service members will find them "to be attractive sexually" and "things will get interesting."
Moreover, when he was serving in the House of Representatives, Pence was the first U.S. Congressman to propose a bill defunding Planned Parenthood. He opposes a woman's right to choose and as governor of Indiana, he signed eight anti-abortion bills into law (that is, every one that crossed his desk).
Pence has co-sponsored bills to narrow the definition of rape and make it illegal for women with life-threatening conditions to have abortions. He currently holds a zero percent ranking from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
There is also, of course, the matter of Pence's alliance with Donald Trump. The list of misogynistic things Trump has said is too long to reiterate here, but the Guardian's Donald Trump sexism tracker is a good place to start. Here's another helpful repository of such comments. Here's another one, and just for good measure, here is one more. Let's not forget that at least 16 women have accused Trump of sexual harassment or assault; he categorically denies all of those allegations, and the official position of the White House in which Pence serves is that those women, all of them, are "liars."
When footage leaked during the campaign of Trump boasting that he can sexually assault women with impunity because "when you're a star, they let you do it," Pence stood by his then-running mate, and of course, proceeded to serve as his vice president.
Many on social media also pointed to the fact that Pence refuses to have dinner with women alone. This is an agreement he and his wife have reportedly come to, presumably because neither of them trust Pence's ability to remain faithful if he and another woman are in the same room alone together.
Finally, Pence is a member of a presidential administration that's proven consistently hostile toward women's reproductive freedom, enacting not just anti-abortion policies but anti-contraceptive ones as well. Trump also eliminated an Obama-era rule intended to close the pay gap between men and women. When a member of his administration, Rob Porter, had to resign after it was reported that his ex-wife accused him of punching her in the face, Trump responded not by denouncing domestic assault, but by bemoaning that "peoples [sic] lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation" (Porter denies the accusations, calling them "outrageous" and "simply false").
This isn't the first time Pence has drawn criticism for a tweet that appeared to be at stark odds with his actual record on policy. Before the Olympics, Pence tweeted his support for openly gay U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon, declaring that "we are FOR YOU." Pence has said that gay marriage will cause "societal collapse," opposed the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," voted against a law that would protect LGBT Americans from workplace discrimination, and signed a law in Indiana that allowed business owners to discriminate against LGBT customers.