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Mitt Romney’s “Binders Full of Women” Gaffe Instantly Inspires Vernacular Net Art Movement

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During Tuesday night’s second U.S. presidential debate the Republican candidate Mitt Romney, while attempting to answer a question about ensuring equal employment opportunities and pay for women, recalled that during his time as governor of Massachusetts he had been brought “binders full of women” from which to hire employees.

Romney’s ill-advised choice of phrase immediately generated a deluge of social media responses, including the Twitter hashtag #BindersFullofWomen, the parody Twitter account @RomneysBinder, and the Tumblr Binders Full of Women, where a rapidly growing trove of political Internet art is being catalogued.

Thus far many of the images being posted involve some combination of stock images of groups of women and binders, as well as female celebrities — from Taylor Swift (above) to Beyonce — images of Romney, and references to existing memes like “In Soviet Russia…” (below) and Texts From Hillary.

Though not as art historically inclined as Pepper Spray Cop or Beast Jesus — at least not yet — Binders Full of Women may be unprecedented for the astounding speed with which it has fostered user-generated digital artworks.

— Benjamin Sutton

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  1. Have you ever hired anyone?? We run a small business and when we get an application for employment we put it in (heaven forbid!) a binder!!! Most of our employees are women so I guess my husband and I have “binders full of women”.

    You all need to just GROW UP!!!

  2. This is not about growing up, it’s about being creative, Sally.

    Besides, the fact that this choice of words wasn’t optimal can’t really be argued. Except from someone without any sense of humor, I guess…

  3. When Harry met Sally did you last two commenters plan that

  4. Thanks for sharing my Hefner contribution. 1,299 tumblr shares and counting. What floors me is that in 8 years of relentlessly promoting 2 online t-shirt companies, my design business and painting career I’m not sure I’ve had that many shares or links in total. The young woman who started the tumblr (@heyveronica on twitter) is having fun with it and letting the world know she needs a job. I’m sure she’ll have offers galore today.

  5. If you don’t think these are clever, you don’t have a sense of humor. Period.

  6. Long live the internet….last bastion of freedom and creativity!

  7. This is offensive because we are talking about “artists” trying to ridicule a man who has just explained that as governor he hired more women in high echelon positions than any other governor in the country. He’s a man who cared deeply about advancing women’s rights. That part of the story is somehow insignificant and these “artists” who I would refer to as juvenile clowns, have decided to make a joke out of the words he used. Sounds like junior high school children — that level humor. Ha ha!

  8. by Jake the Snake

    Mitt wants to control a women’s vagina. Wait till he breaks out his trans-vaginal ultrasound probe!

  9. Romney didn’t call for more women in his cabinet. A bi-partisan group of women’s organizations called MassGAP developed a list of qualified women applicants for high office and public service, long BEFORE Romney was even elected. They brought the initiative to Romney, and public pressure essentially forced him to accede to their demands. Further, the number of women in his administration steadily DECLINED over the course of his term!

  10. Sorry I don’t have a “sense of humor”, of course most of us in the working world don’t think jobs and the crap economy are funny! Especially if you are a working woman!!

    I did hear something funny yesterday though: The reason liberals/democrats don’t understand “binders full of women” is because they have never run a business!! Now that is FUNNY!!

  11. There is a saying ‘The wolf can only hide until he smiles, then we see his fangs.’ This is what has happened to Willard, and yet conservatives just keep harping on what they want him to be (not an idiot who, gosh, doesn’t think before he speaks).
    Republicans aren’t funny…Dennis Miller? Seriously, the man can barely orchestrate a legible sentence…proud i’m a laughing liberal…

  12. The point is, when dealing with world leaders one must be very precise in the language and words used. Saying things that later need correcting can cause wars. I worry about Romney’s continued gaffes.

  13. Gary- hopefully only for a few more weeks.

    Sally – I am a liberal and I run a business. Your “joke” was neither funny or witty.

    RCCA – there were plenty of images that had Clinton in them also – and even those were funny. Lighten up.

  14. I have binders full of Obama’s gaffes, from all 59 United States; none more sinister than his suggestion that he will fix a less than “optimal” situation by which americans are murdered.
    Will he resuscitate Ambassador Stevens?
    Will he persuade Cuba and other countries to join the Union?

    Binders are as funny as we think they are.
    Some do and some don’t.
    “I do this for you people” isn’t funny. It’s actually as obnoxious as BP’s “little people”.
    Matter of perspective and context.

  15. by MarlinCatcher

    To Sally and other people who have taken offense to this ‘Binders of women’ joke that has taken the internet by storm, please do yourself a favor and actually research before you make up your minds this election. Mitt’s statement was not only a gaffe, it was a cold, calculated lie. Simply spend 5 minutes on Google reading about the subject. But don’t get me wrong, I know that won’t change your brilliant mind. Nothing would. If Obama were to run against a ceramic teapot, and I mean literally a ceramic teapot, you would vote for the teapot.

  16. To RCCA – and the rest of you hypersensitive Republicans who remain on the defensive …. No one needs to ridicule “Ambassador” Romney – or his communicative skills. He makes an ass of himself without any outside help!

  17. I found the “binders” gaffe meaningful because Romney never answered the question about equal pay for equal work. Instead he began to tout his pursuit of women to fill positions, which was untrue! As another has already commented, he was provided with the resumes of women by an outside group. He didn’t even ask for them. Still, he expressed shock that there were all these “binders full of (qualified) women.” “Binders full of them.” He said it several times. He dodged the question with a lie, and that is worthy of mockery. I don’t think he cares about the issue of equal pay and he has never even mentioned the word “diversity.” And, finally, I have to say, if there is one thing, for me, that distinguishes the left from the right, it is the creativity of its humor.

  18. Hey Donna–Glad you caught the sarcasm!!!

  19. And MarlinCatcher–if Obama were a ceramic teapot, literally a ceramic teapot, you would vote for him!!!

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