Binders Full of Women

Real progress is not a woman getting up in the audience and asking, “Romney and Obama, how in the fudge to we get more equity for women in the work place?”  That’s not real progress.  Real progress would be if a man asked the question.




Yep, at the old debates the other night, a woman got up and asked a question about improving wages and working conditions for women.  Likewise, an African-American man got up and asked Obama, “Why should my black ass vote for you?”  Okay, it wasn’t exactly phrased that way, but the intention was the same.


Obama responded by defending the right of women to do whatever in the hell they want with their vaginas.


I’ll take that because my vagina has a mind of her own.  She is an unwieldy, literate, vagina.


“Stop staring at me and get me my Kindle!”


Romney got up and spoke to the women question as well.  He said, “When I was running for office in Massachusetts, zero women applied for the jobs in my cabinet.  So, I said where are the women?  I turned to my staff and said, BRING ME THE BINDERS FULL OF WOMEN.”


Okay, that’s my paraphrase, so the text may not be verbatim, but the sentiment was the same.


Honestly, though, I was not initially offended by anything Romney said.  There was a dearth of women applying for these governmental positions, so he said, “go out and find the women.”  Nothing wrong with that.


Granted, “bring me binders full of women” sounds akin to “bring me those 72 virgins” or “bring me the eunuch!  The eunuch is always the funniest when I have to make a stressful decision.”  There’s something very “lord of the roman empire” about that turn of phrase, “binders full of women.”


I watched the debates and then minutes after, I turned to CNN for the re-cap.  That’s where you can witness the play by play.  The whole, “who won?”  “Who scored?”  CNN is the post game show, debate-wise, after all.  Right there, was the first time I saw it, “binders full of women.”  Romney had said it in answer to the “woman” question and CNN pulled it out of context.  I had to admit, it was funny.


What was not so funny was what Romney said after it.  It was something to the effect of, “Women need flexible schedules in the workplace, so they can come home and cook dinner for their kids, pick their kids up from school…”


There was something about that statement that sounded to me like, “Bring me a turkey pot pie.”


Yes, of course, women need daycare and flex schedules and time with their kids.  But, don’t fathers also?  Why is the question never addressed towards dudes?  Couldn’t we just as easily say, “Working fathers need time to make dinner for their families after work and time to take their kids to soccer practice.  So, we need to have better telecommuting or flex schedules for our working dads.”


But, alas, that’s never where the emphasis is put.  It’s always put on the moms.  I’m not sure that will change.  However, I’m happy to report that there is an upside.


There is a woman who wins in this “binders full of women” debacle.  She is the Brooklyn, NY woman who heard the Romney phrase and literally moments later had the magical idea of registering “binders full of women” through tumblr.


Genius.  Pure genius.


Of course, the site has gone viral.


Today, I submitted my own images for inclusion:


When one is given binder clips…make binder-ade? Copy credit: Sm, binder clip dress – kevin rolly, dress by – link below.

It could’ve been worse…


These are my lukewarm contributions to the conversation.  There are others on “binders full of women” that are even more brills.  (The featured “trap her, keep her” image above is one.)


I suggest you spend a few moment out of your glorious day over HERE today at BINDERS FULL OF BROADS.


It’s worth it to peruse the galleries before this all goes the way of “lesbians who look like justin beiber” or “paula deen riding things.”  I say get there while the binders are still hot.


To the creator of “binders full of women,” listed as Veronica on the tumblr site, I’d say – don’t worry about unemployment or which president will protect your vag the most – the social media job of your choice will be available to you once this meme winds down.


There are a lot of brilliant women out there in my experience – more than a manilla folder’s worth, more than a one-sheet document’s worth – my guess is a whole library full of binder after binder’s worth.  Now, if only we can get more kings to call for them.  Then we might be on to something.


Sweet Mother, signing out.



Sweet Mother is updated daily-ish.  If you’d like to follow this blog, you can do so by clicking the “follow” link in the upper, right hand, corner.



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The Baby Man



Photo creds:

feature, grinder, clip-dress, vag-plants


binder-clip-dress credit


68 thoughts on “Binders Full of Women

  1. From what I have read, Romney even lied about this….he did not ask to have the “binders full of women” to consider for these positions, they were offered to him when complaints arose as to the small number of women being appointed.
    Politics…..if you can’t find something to laugh at, it would drive you nuts. That binder clip dress might have saved my sanity.

    1. oh, lawd. i wouldn’t be surprised. i wouldn’t be surprised. romney saying not enough women were applying (which i interpret as ‘we weren’t lookin’) and then he went out to ‘find them’ falls on numb ears with me. it’s like telling a black person you think that racism still exists. duh. his response didn’t totally bother me tho. at least he looked, even if it was because people complained. i don’t care how it happens, just that it happens… xo, sm

    2. Yeah, that was the part that really got me. It’s one thing to say another awkward comment, but the outright lie about how the binder came to him is shameful. Sadly, one thing it’s not is surprising.

  2. I don’t think these kind of things will be resolved until people no longer feel the need to ask these types of questions. I think this statement may be too “duh”, but how do you fix it? How do you change the thinking from “we got to have equality” to it just being second nature, like lighting up a smoke as soon as you start your car. Would you rather work for a person that picked you cause they thought you were the best, or that picked you because they think society expects them to?

    Good post. And I agree about the men having equality too, when it comes to taking care of kids and the home and dinner.

    1. as usual, you make great points, jon. but, unfortunately, i do think some affirmative action works because people’s perceptions are carved from hundreds of years of ‘this is what we’ve always done’ sometimes. for example, if you google it, you will find a study about blind auditions that were held for a symphony orchestra. when the auditions were ‘live’ meaning you could see the auditioner and their gender, far LESS women were picked. the minute the audition was ‘blind’ meaning only the musical piece was heard and the gender of the musician was not scene, a far GREATER amount of women were given slots. that says something to me about what we equate to what. if everyone has a pervasive belief, say…’women aren’t as funny as men,’ then of course, a woman on stage is going to have to fight against that perception for the first couple of minutes whereas a male comedian never even has it imposed on him. you could also talk about women in sports, in this regard. i know without a doubt, that i would NOT have played college level sports if it were not for title 9. so, unfortunately, sometimes -like integration- change has to be forced and then, over time, it can switch to – the best, merit only, is the pick – gender and race aside. that’s my opinion anyway. much love, sm

    1. now if i could only somehow wire my kindle purchases to wifesy’s kindle receiver so we could share them. yes, every ridiculous reference intended! lool. i have hit your ‘seneca’ turning point btw. and let me just say, ‘the future looks bright…’ hopefully that won’t give it away to any comment stalkers. loool. xoxo, sm

  3. The girl who created that Tumblr is kind of my idol. She said that there was no political motivation behind the creation of the site, but I think it’s a testament to her savvy that the instant those words came out of Romney’s mouth, she recognized them as something that people were going to jump all over. It’s gotten to the point where whenever Romney says ANYTHING about women, he inserts his foot in his mouth. Even though I’m hesitant to ever paint nominees with a broad brush stroke – that makes it all look easier than it actually is to pick who you’re going to vote for – this is the picture we often see when we think of Romney and the state of his party. You are so right; she has a job waiting for her the moment the meme winds down.

    1. i heard her story on npr and i went, ‘nooo, NOOOOOO, that is brilliant,’ before even seeing the site. i mean the fact that she thought to immediately translate that into a tumblr – well – it’s the queen of savvy, if i can make such a statement. she seems pretty cool too. i’ve tweeted or twooted (what’s the past tense of tweet, twote?) with her a little bit and she seems great. romney sounds decent in the debates. unfortunately. it’s the policies behind what he says that i don’t like. sigh. xoxo, sm

      1. I heard that NPR story on her too! I should follow her on Twitter because I want to be her protege.

        Meant to tell you, I’m having a little party over at my blog today, so I’d love for you to pop in for a sec if you have some time 😉

      2. oh very cool. i will most definitely. yep, follow her on twitter. she posted my binder clip pic re-hash on the tumblr blog and i got like 100 views in ten seconds. literally… heading over to your blog! xo, sm

  4. What strikes me is that in 2012 such questions still have to be asked by anyone at all, be they in regards to women, minorities, or whatever. Why is the US the only western, democratic country that has not had a woman as head of its government? I think it’s actually a sad commentary on the quality of our democracy.

  5. I blurted out your same question about Romney’s assumption around gender roles.
    I’d demand that you get out of my head…but it just feels too damn good.

    1. looooool. wifesy pointed it out first and then i said, ‘mmmmhmmmmmm, testify!’ like we were at a baptist service… so, i suppose you and i are just holding up the revival tent…. loool. xo, sm

  6. I reared a daughter with no partner. I arranged for my work and social life to flex around my parenting responsibilities. I look forward to the day when it is family and parenting responsibilities and commitments that take precedence and work responsibilities move to the back seat. For everyone. xoxoM

    1. so well said, margarita, so well said. i feel that they do this better in europe. i truly do. they have reasonable maternity AND paternity leaves, among other things… xo, sm

      1. I agree with you, SM, that they do have a better handle in Europe. And then my jaw drops when I hear people in this country belittling the “lazy” Europeans, who have 6-8 week vacations, hold fast to their social benefits, and value themselves as workers..oh, wait, that’s another soap box! xoxoM

  7. I do not like the idea of affirmative action for women simply because it only delays and pushes us away from the problem we deal with—years and years of socialization that certain functions are assigned to people of a certain gender. I think women should create a hue and cry every time they think they have been discriminated against—write articles, create memes, start companies that pay employees equally. What we shouldn’t do is force employers to make accommodations for the fact that we are women. Our value to the employer should do it on its own.
    As far as discrimination goes, if we try and make the selection as gender neutral as possible, like they did for orchestra auditions, I am sure things would improve.
    This issue is very close to my heart, and as always u’ve hit upon some great points.

    1. then what about sports? because if you throw sports over to the gender neutral idea then women lose. because women’s sports NEVER sell as many tickets as the men. they NEVER sell as much advertising and as such in a ‘fair’ free market, ‘let the best person win’ type of situation women would lose, every time, when it came to sports. and that would be a sad day because then young women wouldn’t get all of the benefits that team sports offer – comraderie, treating your fellow woman as a teammate and not as competition, working together, instead of working for one’s self, etc, etc. it is unfortunate that affirmative action is needed, but needed it is. when things are subjective – like comedy – for example people will just go, ‘men are funnier.’ because a woman can not disguise her voice whereas she can disguise the playing of the violin, for example. i agree that it sucks, but until things change, i’m sorry, but you either save a few slots for the women or you have none at all….

      1. True. It is unfair, and it hurts me too. But, we cannot force somebody to buy tickets for women’s sports just because they are underrepresented. What we can do is encourage women, spread the word and persuade people to take notice. We could make pitch ad campaigns to women entrepreneurs or even men who are in the market just to do business. Because, if we have the talent, a good entrepreneur would only stand to lose money by not tapping into it. Same goes for peoples’ perceptions. If they think men are funnier—which I think is ridiculous, and primitive—giving preference to women wouldn’t change these perceived notions. Making our presence felt will. Albeit slowly. I am not against promoting women. I will promote the hell out of any woman who inspires me, and whose contribution I respect. I will encourage my family and friends to do the same. I think everyone—women and men alike should do exactly that. They shouldn’t need a government mandated policy to do that for them.

      2. i think unfortunately we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. if someone hadn’t ‘forced’ professional baseball leagues to give an african american a slot, there would still be negro leagues. things, imho, have to be forced until perception changes. same thing with gays. the gay marriage issue is going to have to be legislated upon because until it is, what is now the case will hold – a double standard for a minority. it’s unfortunate, but true.

  8. actually credit for the binder clips of lady bits binder clip dress should go to kevin rolly, the dress is by

    1. hey there, made the change, but just an fyi… that psychogirlfriend link you gave me goes to nothing… if there’s another one, please let me know, so i can credit correctly. all the best, sm

  9. I would have responded to this sooner, but I had to fix my husband dinner and then rave about the cleaning power of Pledge. I have a few minutes before I start massaging his feet, but I just wanted to tell you this post made me wish I could stick you in a binder and bring you out when I need a laugh, which is all the time.

    1. where’s the binder? most of me may fit in the divider tabs space, but i’m not sure. we’ll have to test it out. and i may pop out of the binder and punch your nurse in the nose. i’m just saying. like a pop out card, but more dangerous…

  10. Ive said it before and I’ll say it again. Once upon a time when women didn’t work outside the home, there was nothing wrong with expecting them to do all the housework, cook the meals and raise the kids. But now, that she’s got just as much outside the home responsibility, she is STILL expected to pull more than her share of the weight. It pisses me off to no end. The only way this is ever going to change is if our entire gender start; coming home from work and putting our feet up and expecting dinner….farting in public LOUDLY, scratch our crotches and play stupid every time we are expected to think about something more deeply than required of the sunday comics.

    1. “more deeply than required of the sunday comics…” bwwwaaahhhhhaaa. honestly, your comment is so good, it had me tingling. you are 100% right. this shit has always and seems that it will always – fall on women’s shoulders. i don’t know why in the feck this is. we’ve all been working since the goddermned 40s and 50s at least. and yet, let’s all do more. it sucks. and i have no idea how to change it. it’s a bit better in a lesbian couple. i wonder how it is for gay guys? but, i will say that i watch the rest of the world and my relatives and the women are underpaid, let’s just say, in every way. xo, sm

      1. Yeah….I think the best we can do is teach our daughters to accept nothing less than a man who is willing to do his share. It’s really our fault for allowing it to happen and to continue happening decade after decade.

  11. Oh so many reasons why I hope Romney loses. Apart from being a reformed [one hopes] bully, an ex-business man with questionable ethics and someone who sees nothing wrong with typing a pet carrier with dog inside to his car roof, Romney is a sexist bastard even when he’s trying his hardest to schmooz female voters. What will he be like when the gloves come off?

    1. oh, this is so well said, meeks. so well said. and your ire is justified. i mean he really is all the things you say and i think we all know that these things are tooooooo much! ugh. but, hopefully obama can pull it out. at least a girl can dream… xo, sm

      1. You’re not alone in your dreams Mum! A lot of us in the outside world believe Obama will be remembered as a great President.

  12. When I heard the follow up for the binder remark I wondered if they paid those bindered women as much as they did their non-bondered male counterparts who had no need for flexibility.

    1. there’s another joke there… the ‘binders full of women’ costs 75 cents at staples, but the ‘binder full of men’ is priced at a 1.00. what in the feck??!! looool. and i know, artsy, the whole thing is a heaping pile of bs whether you put it in a binder or a filing cabinet. 😉 xo, sm

  13. My best friend and I were texting through the debate (she is in Seattle I am in Dallas) when Mitt the Chit said that our fingers flew.

    I will be damned, binders my happy azz. Is that like magic underwear with a safety? We just want to know.

    He lied, he did. Women organized. Women’s groups in fact organized. They presented him with qualified women. He put them in low level roles that didn’t matter.

    He is a putz.

    I love you though, you are so smart and savvy. This was grand.

    1. i wish more of the media would focus on the fact that he never actually gave any of the women out of the damn binders any high level jobs. now that would be a story worth its weight. you are the second person to tell me, it wasn’t his group that put together the binders, but rather an outside group that gave it to him… because i’m sorry, but he made it sound like he went out and had his people round up viable female candidates and that’s not what he did at all, it seems. pathetic. but, such a great phrase, “binders full of women.” it’s almost too good to be true, in fact. and the admiration is mutual. thanks for reading as always, val. and much love, sm

  14. Yeah, Mitt stuck his foot in his mouth with that one. He lied, too. I think I read at Slate that an independent group organized a binder full of qualified women who would like to work in the cabinet BEFORE the election took place, so they would’ve handed it to whomever became governor. Mitt won, Mitt got the binder, and I don’t think Mitt did much with it.

  15. Mitt Romen couldn’t be a bigger d-bag if he tried. Him talking about “binders full of women” reminded me of those Slam books people had back in junior high and high school. I just imagined the pages saying, “Condoleezza Rice’s gap is bigger than the one in our nation’s budget” and “Hillary Clinton smells like beer cheese.”

      1. beer cheese!!???? oh, lawd, how i adore you. yep, i hear you and the slam book parallel is a good one. there’s something so removed about saying, ‘binders full of women’ you know? it’s like – i don’t actually know any, but i have this binder full of chicks. you’d never say, ‘so they handed me a binder full of blacks…’ somehow i don’t feel that would wash the same way, but maybe that’s just me… loool. xo, sm

      2. When he said that, I imagined all of the feminists just going to friggin PIECES over it. Rightly so, but that’s a scary bunch of mama jammas you don’t want to F with. He better hope he never meets one in a dark alley.

      3. ohhhhh, that would be so great. gloria steinem, margaret sanger, and naomi wolf meeting romney in a dark alley with shivs! loooool. he’d cry for planned parenthood then because i’m sure those broads would give him an unnecessary abortion! looool. yep, i said it….

  16. The minute I saw the title of this post I knew I was going to like it. Oh, how I’ve missed my Sweet Mother. Blogation is officially over. Nice to read you again.

    Regarding your post, there is something quite disingenuous with Mitt’s statements. I’ve noticed that there are men and there are companies for whom a woman isn’t qualified for the job unless she’s at least two to three times as qualified as the male candidates. I’ve experienced this on a personal level. I agree with you regarding a woman’s need to get home and cook dinner. Feck off, Romney. I’d be willing to bet that the man watches nothing but “Leave It to Beaver” and “Father Knows Best” at home and reads old issues of the “Saturday Evening Post.”

    1. soooooooo glad to see that you’re back. and i believe a new post came into my blog reader this morning, which i can’t wait to check out. yep, i heard he wasn’t exactly telling the ‘truthies’ about the binders full of women…that these were binders full of women who were going to be given to any governor that won, to say, ‘hey look, here’s a binder full of feckin’ women qualified for these jobs!~!!!!” ugh, it makes me crazy. and i hear you on the woman has to be 3x as qualified. i do feckin’ stand up comedy, which has to be the most male dominated profession since the chippendales and at times, just as cheesy. sigh. xoxo, sm

      1. You are right. Women do have a much tougher time in comedy. I think it’s because you often have to be physically repellent either in your appearance or your actions to be funny and men are uncomfortable with unattractive women. And I think some women are unwilling to be “ugly” on stage. I used to do a little improv and one of my teachers had that problem. I loved it though. Being ugly is so freeing, really. So I’m ugly on my blog a lot. If you don’t like my muffin top, go feck yourself! Soooo good to see you too, sweetie! Smooches.

      2. i don’t have that ‘can’t be ugly’ problem either. loool. in fact, right now i’m writing in sweat pants… i guess that’s why i’m funny. ;0

  17. I love this take on the subject – I can’t say I was initially offended either. And the mentality that women need to have flex time to go home to cook dinner for their families and spend time with their children is not an issue of politics and equality in the workplace, it’s an issue of changing the perception of the entire race of MANkind – meaning 50% of the world’s population with penises instead of vaginas…if Romney could master that CHANGE he would deserve to be the president, but it’s probably foolish to think any king or president will ever accomplish that feat.

    1. oh, skyscraper, how right you are, how right you are. it’s an entire change in perception and that is difficult indeed. i’m really glad that you liked my take on it. it was fun to say the very least. lool. much love, sm

  18. Sweet Mother, today I am posting a link to this on my FB page, my first time. I’m letting go of my FB posting blogs virginity to say this is really the best thing ever said so far about this whole Binders business. Plus, the photo of these vaginal things is almost enough to make me dress up as a big ol’ underwater vagina-like squid for Halloween.

    1. ck, that is most awesome and i am honored. truly. and thank you for making my day! and aren’t the vag-plants grand? i have such fun googling things like, ‘plants that look like vagina.’ you’d be amazed at what you’ll find. loooool. much love, sm

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