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

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