If you, like I was, were watching the 2012 Presidential town hall debate last night eagerly anticipating any signs of a new meme, boy were you not disappointed!
NEW MEME! NEW MEME! SOUND THE ALARM! WAKE THE TASKFORCE! CALL UP GANGNAM STYLE, TELL HIM HE’S OUT! WE GOT A FRESH NEW MEME OVA HEAH!
In an answer to a question about women in the workforce, Governor Mitt Romney said he requested more female candidates for his Massachusetts cabinet and was delighted to receive “binders of women.” BINDERS OF WOMEN. It practically memes itself!
The tweets were out of control, the hashtags had begun (#bindersofwomen, #bindersfullofwomen) and a new meme was off and running. I was on Twitter watching the debates and it was one of the first times I’d ever seen a meme happen in real time. I was astonished by how quick everything happened, like the internet’s massive collective conscience just heard that term and IMMEDIATELY knew what to do. They keyed in on a specific, strange phrase and it illuminated everything people found suspect about Romney and his views on women.
Also, for anyone familiar with the internet, you do not want to eff with the ladies on it. We are a vocal, intelligent bunch by and large.
Here’s a round up of some post-game articles and insights on “Binders of Women:”
Binders Full of Women: A Meme That Means Something, The Atlantic
Mind The Binder, The Phoenix
Binders Full Of Women, Tumblr
Binders Full Of Women Sets Internet Ablaze, The Daily Beast
Binders of Women Sparks Reaction Online, The Boston Globe
Most of these articles fact-checked Romney’s claim, and found it to be untrue. He did not request the binders out of concern for a diverse Cabinet. They were actually given to him by a concerned bipartisan women’s group. And though I found “binders of women” funny — I even tweeted: “Hey, don’t be so hard on Romney. It’s like when you say “a gaggle of geese” or “a murder of crows.” #bindersofwomen” — I was more interested in his earlier comment that women in the workplace should have flexible schedules so they can get home to cook dinner, or the one where he said that marriage will solve gun control problems.
But oh, those aren’t meme-worthy! Those don’t have that perfect ring, that concise eloquence, that strange phrasing that makes a beautiful baby meme. And so to sum everything up from that long, contentious debate, we get “Binders of Women.” That’s our takeaway.
Memes are fun and fast. But let’s not forget what “Binders of Women” stands in for; it’s our way to process the views we disagree with, parse out the candidates’ stances we find objectionable and express what’s wrong with the way women are viewed by one of the men trying to run our country.
That, and you shouldn’t mess with anyone who is good at Photoshop. That’s just like, the rules of the internet. #bindersfullofwomen!