Imagine a conscientious vegetarian – someone who has always enjoyed red meat but who has become convinced by the moral arguments that killing animals for sustenance cannot be right. Now imagine someone that knows this person well sitting down in front of them with a perfectly prepared steak. I would imagine the vegetarian would not bite, but it would still be a potentially cruel and insensitive thing to do.
So what of men, who have distinct bodily appetites, and in the best of whom there is a wrestling with those appetites in order to function well in society and generally be a blessing to women not a curse?
In a perfect world all men would be in such control of their appetites and drives that women could say or do whatever they wished without risk of any adverse consequences of the relevant sort. That especially applies to what is worn.
However, we do not live in such a perfect world. We men are simple creatures of flesh and blood, and will therefore tend to react in certain very obvious and understandable ways when our buttons are pressed.
As with the dog food and the vegetarian, this can sometimes be manipulated for cruel purposes.
For my part, I actually think that Mike Pence has a good point. In the context of an increased awareness of safeguarding issues, this sort of chaperoning is clearly the way forward. More than this, I suspect that the medium-term answer – that is, for so long as men struggle with their own sinful desires – is to segregate sinful men from all possible temptations. We need a return to male-only spaces, within which men can do their work without any risks to women.