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.”

binders 3binders

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.

binders 2

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.

binders 4


9 thoughts on “Binders Full of… What?

  1. I think people will exploit anything that they can find to mock a person (especially a famous person) and I personally find these memes to be entertaining. I also understand that it is sort of taken out of context, but even I laugh at myself when I say something that I didn’t verbalize the way I wanted to. I wonder if Mittens laughs at himself or takes these jokes seriously.

  2. I also automatically knew that after he said that line that it would be taken out of context. I just think that political candidates should be used to the satire by now because they are putting themselves in the spotlight. I think even Mitt Romney knew he would receive flack after saying that. I think it is definitely a humorous topic and one that can fit toward any meme. I guess it got taken a bit too far, but really caused no harm.

    I liked all of the different memes to fit the topic, nice choice!

    correction: very minor but in the greater relevance section potential female candidate’s information needs an apostrophe on candidates.

  3. I think the whole “binders full of women” issue is much more relevant than you might think. Romney lives in an elite world where they still dream of women staying at home, barefoot and pregnant. They seem to have no respect for women at all and his comment, even if taken out of context, reflects a bit of that – almost referring to women as objects and not people. I love, love, love the last two memes in this post. because they show how ridiculous Romney’s comments actually are.

  4. Just a comment… I think this was a really good idea to write about because this one line didn’t just make one meme but it was used in many different memes which have their own voice. (My personal favorite being the Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” meme regarding Romney’s comment). I wouldn’t call it a political ad against Romney though. He didn’t think that one through all the way and people on the internet are always ready to pounce on a mistake. I think the lesson to be learned from this meme is to make sure that candidates carefully choose their words because the second they say something that can be taken out of context it will be.

  5. Yes, people over think what others say, and many people say things that come out wrong, however, the average person doesn’t run for president and doesn’t have people looking over what they say and even writing it for them. This wasn’t the only comment that was made by Mitt Romney that could be taken the wrong way. I guess I’m trying to say that if you are running for any important position, especially president, you should stop and think about what you say before you say it and how you think other people might take it.

  6. I agree with this meme. I really like how you chose to include several memes that related to the same topic, rather than just one. For individuals that have followed the presidential campaign, many may think these memes or quite comical. I agree in the fact that the ad portrays Governor Romney in an awkward, sexist, or creepy way.

  7. I think Romney is a champ at giving the social-verse meme fodder. This binders full of women one was just one of them. I don’t think there was any big conspiracy to single him out in a meme, it’s just that he’s one of those people who put his foot in his mouth over and over again. By the time this one came about, there had been a whole collection of Romney memes preceding it. Big Bird. I Enjoy firing people. I know there are some out there about Joe Biden, as he has a similar disposition, but when you’re in the political spotlight, you have to expect it these days. It might make an interesting study of the impact memes have on politics. Heck, there are even Obama memes, which down right get racist at times.

  8. I think that its great how you used the overall idea of the meme and found many different examples. I do find these memes to be funny and I liked your approach. I feel like these memes could also be to persuade and influence peoples opinions about Mitt Romney. I liked your idea, great job!

  9. I have to agree with Bob, I think the comments, or the way it was originally stated, unfortunately, says a great deal about Romney’s possible view of women. (It does seem to suggest that he’s saying/thinking: “rather than hire the best person, we better hire a women for this job.”) But regardless, it also speaks to what several of the later commenters suggest: that memes may be influencing political elections in a significant way.

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