By: Stephanie Mulhair
The Purpose of this Meme
Rather than focusing on one specific meme, I chose to focus on one major topic that seemed to take the meme world over by storm. I’m sure most people remember the famous line stated by former presidential candidate and Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney, when answering a question about equal pay during a presidential debate with President Barack Obama:
“I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.”
Obviously, Governor Romney didn’t mean to sound the way he did, but this catchy statement threw many, many memes into circulation with the punch line “binders full of women.”
The Greater Relevance
This meme is a classic example of using someone’s words against them. Although I do find it funny, I think that it is a little ridiculous. We have all said things that have come out wrong. We all know that Mitt Romney does not have a cabinet with binders full of women in his house. We also know what he meant when he said he asked women’s groups to find people to work for him and they brought him these binders with potential female candidates information. However, to find fault in what someone says we have to closely pick their words apart. This meme is a political ad that attempts to portray Governor Romney in an awkward, sexist, or creepy way when in fact he was answering a question with an answer that came out in an odd way.
Classic memes such as Hilliary on her phone, the “Hey Girl” meme with Ryan Gosling, and many others have all taken on the binders full of women theme. They aren’t harmful to anyone (except, perhaps, Gov. Romney’s ego and any offended women) and are fun to look at. I chose this meme to dive into because when I first heard it watching the presidential debate, I automatically knew someone was going to make something of the line because it sounded so strange. None the less, almost the next day, on Pinterest, these memes started to emerge. I thought it was funny, but at the same time I felt that it was taken a little too far, like most political things are. Yes, it kind of makes women sound as though they aren’t able to fill out a job application and have their resume filed in some binder at a women’s group, which everyone hopefully knows is obviously not the case, but in the end I find it humorous and harmless.