Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” gaffe at last night’s debate set off a viral firestorm of gender-themed parodies, including a Tumblr, a Facebook page with over 200,000 likes, a string of Twitter jokes, and was the 3rd most searched term on Google for the debate. In response to a question on gender equality, Romney said that he requested lists of qualified women for his cabinet while governor, and was given “binders full of women.” The odd verbal imagery immediately went viral. Tumblr, as per usual, became a magnet for overtly silly image mashups, while the unofficial Facebook page posted anti-Romney op-eds written in response to his answer. Before we display the Internet meme-explosion in all its glory, it’s only fair to the Governor to post his full response:
ROMNEY: Thank you. And important topic, and one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as governor of my state, because I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men.
And I – and I went to my staff, and I said, “How come all the people for these jobs are – are all men.” They said, “Well, these are the people that have the qualifications.” And I said, “Well, gosh, can’t we – can’t we find some – some women that are also qualified?”
ROMNEY: And – and so we – we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. 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. I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my Cabinet and my senior staff, that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states, and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.
Almost instantaneously, the Twitter peanut gallery turned into a full-fledged counterattack. Google searches for “binders full of women” skyrocketed
A rudimentary Facebook page started racking up likes, culminating in over 200K likes by midnight Pacific time. The page started posting anti-Romney op-eds, like with this scorching attack from The Guardian, garnering 8,000 likes and 1,700 shares.
Twitter had its own fun, like these priceless tweets from a Big Bird account made famous by Romney’s threat to cut Sesame Street funding from the first debate.
“I don’t always use binders…. But when I do, I like them full of women”#bindersfullofwomen— Big Bird (@BigBirdRomney) October 17, 2012
Injustice.— Big Bird (@BigBirdRomney) October 17, 2012
Binders full of women sold for $0.77 at Staples.
Binders full of men selling for $1.00.#bindersfullofwomen
Tumblr, while necessarily less cerebral, takes the cake for speed and virality. We end with a compilation of the best posts below:
[Image Credit: Zazzle]