‘Binders Full of Women’ quip goes viral

This post was updated at 9:45 a.m.

“They brought me binders full of women,” said Mitt Romney during Tuesday night’s debate.

Those binders full of women brought social media users a newsfeed full of jokes. Though Romney’s remark was a response to a question about equality in the workplace, and referred to his search for employees while governor, the sound byte was a comedic gift to those on Twitter and Tumblr, who immediately went to work creating memes.

Shortly after the debate, the Tumblr “Binders Full of Women” began to make the social media rounds. It contained pictures of ladylike binders, and a play on the phrase “Trapper Keeper”: “Trap her keep her.”

“No one puts baby in a binder,” declared “Dirty Dancing’s” Patrick Swayze in one photo caption. The Tumblr joked that the binders full of women each come equipped with a pack of Bic lady pens — a feminist meme from earlier this summer. Naturally, McKayla was not impressed.

A “Binders Full of Women” Facebook page, which shares statistics about pay disparity, now has more than 250,000 likes.

“I started the page immediately after I heard Gov. Romney’s comment,” said Michael, the 24-year-old administrator of the page, who didn’t want to give his last name. “The context didn’t sound right and the quote was pretty humorous. It’s important for voters to be informed before Election Day, so I used this page to post a few statistics regarding income inequality in the U.S.”

“The page has grown tremendously,” he said. “Social media phenomena such as this one fizzle quickly, so I’m glad I seized the moment while I had the chance. Hopefully, it has served its purpose.”

On Twitter, Big Bird, the meme spawned by Romney in the last debate, got in on the action:

Injustice.Binders full of women sold for $0.77 at Staples.Binders full of men selling for $1.00.#bindersfullofwomen

— Big Bird (@BigBirdRomney) October 17, 2012

Comedian Patton Oswalt went for the hipster joke:

”Binders?I have Moleskines full of women.” -- Brooklyn misogynist. #debate

— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) October 17, 2012

Journalist Mike Riggs heard a dirty joke in there:

”They brought us whole binders, full of women!” --the second dirtiest thing Mitt Romney has ever said, after “I like wind jobs.”

— Mike Riggs (@MikeRiggs) October 17, 2012

And the Romney Binders parody Twitter account reminded people of another type of debate:

BREAKING NEWS - Donald Trump demands to see Romney’s long form binder full of women

— Romney Binders (@RomneyBinders) October 17, 2012

This Beyonce-inspired quip was retweeted nore than 2,000 times:

If you like it then you shoulda put three rings on it. #bindersfullofwomen

— Kelly Frank (@KellyFrank91) October 17, 2012

And finally, Dan Lacey, the always-topical “Painter of Pancakes” has never shied away from politics before — and last night was no exception. He made a speedy painting of Romney holding his binders of women. It’s for sale on eBay now, and the top bid so far is $67.


View Photo Gallery: A far more aggressive President Obama showed up for his second debate with Mitt Romney, and at moments their town-hall-style engagement felt more like a shouting match than a presidential debate.

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.
Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.

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