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By now, you’re all familiar with the Mike Pence Rule (a.k.a. the Billy Graham Rule) which essentially says a prominent Christian man can’t be alone with a woman who’s not his wife. While these men say it’s a smart policy for both sides — because it prevents any shenanigans or outside insinuations of shenanigans — some women would argue it prevents them from doing even basic professional tasks like interviewing the vice president or discussing foreign affairs.

Here’s what it looks like in action:

Mississippi will elect a new governor this November, and the GOP primaries will take place August 6. Because this is Mississippi, the GOP candidate will likely win the race.

That’s why journalists at Mississippi Today asked the three GOP nominees if they could shadow their campaigns in the final weeks. Candidates Bill Waller and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said yes to reporter Adam Ganucheau.

State Rep. Robert Foster (below), however, refused access to reporter Larrison Campbell. Because she’s a she.

In fact, his team refused to let her follow Foster unless there’s a male chaperone by her side.

Writes Campbell:

In two phone calls this week, Colton Robison, Foster’s campaign director, said a male colleague would need to accompany this reporter on an upcoming 15-hour campaign trip because they believed the optics of the candidate with a woman, even a working reporter, could be used in a smear campaign to insinuate an extramarital affair.

“The only reason you think that people will think I’m having a (improper) relationship with your candidate is because I am a woman,” this reporter said.

Robison said the campaign simply “can’t risk it.”

There’s nothing to risk. Campbell is a professional, as she explains very clearly, having broken plenty of news stories in relation to Foster’s campaign already. Plus she explained that she would be wearing her press badge at all times.

Foster’s team didn’t care. In a state that’s already considered the worst in the nation for women, a man running to become governor has so little respect for a female journalist, he won’t allow her to do her job unless, I guess, she stands outside a 15-foot radius. (His campaign video says he’s going to create jobs. But apparently he won’t let women do the jobs they already have.)

How little respect does Foster’s team have for the people of Mississippi that they think 1) an opponent will take a picture of a reporter near his side and insinuate there’s something sexual going on and 2) the public will be stupid enough to fall for it?

What sort of pictures could his opponents even get?!

No reporter should have to put up with this sort of Christian sexism, and I sincerely hope the demand that she bring a male chaperone in order to do her job hurts his campaign.

I mean, it’s Mississippi, so it won’t, but still. It would be nice.

(Screenshot via YouTube)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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