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Posted at 12:11 PM ET, 02/10/2012

Rick Santorum and those emotional women


Rick Santorum knows emotions. Just look at his expressive face, whose expressions runs the gamut from Slightly Constipated to Extremely Constipated to Constipated, Yet Happy. (J. Scott Applewhite - AP)
Yes, those pesky women, with their other types of emotions.

When John King of CNN asked Santorum his opinion on military women serving in front-line roles, Santorum noted: “I want to create every opportunity for women to be able to serve this country, and they do so in an amazing and wonderful way, and they're a great addition and they have been for a long time to the armed services of our country, but I do have concerns about women in front-line combat.”

Really.

“I think that could be a very compromising situation, where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved.”

Ah.

I was really warming to Santorum. Maybe it was the sweater vests with their embroidered eagles.

Maybe it's his vision of an embattled America where angry, sneering people in the White House refuse to listen to Average Americans, as they have refused to listen to Rick Santorum for so many years.  

Maybe it's the fact that he's been able to open his mouth without sticking his foot in it, a rare and precious quality these days.
Until right about now.

 He seems like a nice guy. He seems sincere and family-oriented and resembles a friendly oval.

But then every so often he says something that reminds me of what he believes women should be doing, which, by and large, is — as my colleague Jennifer Rubin pointed out — staying in the home cultivating traditional families. That’s where true fulfillment lies. Perish the mistaken thought that “professional accomplishments are the key to happiness.”

Silly women. Professional accomplishments are for men. Any notions to the contrary stem from, as Santorum called it in his 2005 book, “It Takes A Family,” “radical feminism’s misogynistic crusade to make working outside the home the only marker of social value and self-respect.”

I’m glad he’s here to tell us these things.

Those aren’t what women really want. And if there’s a man out there who knows what women really want, it’s Rick Santorum.

I have no objection to stay-at-home moms. I have no objection to working moms. What I object to is Rick Santorum telling me that he knows what is really best for women — whether it’s on the front lines or anywhere else. It’s nice that he thinks the women in the armed forces are “amazing and wonderful” and “a great addition.” They are, whether he thinks so or not.

That's the trouble with these family-focused candidates. Someone has to mind the family while the man of the house runs for president. It takes two to make a home, but God had some very specific things to say about exactly who should be doing most of the home work, ever since a little incident with an apple in a garden some unspecified number of years ago. We owe men one.

It’s time, with God’s help, that we repudiated all those awful family-destroying ideas of the 1960s. “The Feminine Mystique” had it backward. That vague, soul-crushing sense of unfulfillment that overcame Betty Friedan no doubt was because she’d ingested some Pine-Sol by accident, or maybe she wasn’t praying enough.

Santorum’s here to set us straight. Fulfilled? By working? Please! That’s an illusion, stemming from the combination of radical feminism and all those “other types of emotions.”

If Rick Santorum feels more fulfilled in the home, that’s fine. If Rick Santorum would be excessively emotional on the front lines, that’s fine, too. I’ll even take a step further and say that if he has some data or evidence on the subject of women on the front lines or, heck, anything other than the vague feeling that maybe “other emotions” are going to be a problem either for the women themselves or the men with whom they serve, he should give us that data right now, before I become brusque.

Compromising situations already happen “with the camaraderie of men in combat, but I think it would be even more unique if women were in combat. And I think that’s not in the best interests of men, women or the mission,” Santorum concluded in his talk with King.

The best interests of women? He would know.

UPDATE: The day after the King interview, Santorum noted that he meant men's emotional issues. "I mean, there's a lot of issues. That's just one of them," he said. "My concern is being in combat in that situation instead of being focused on the mission, they may be more concerned
with protecting someone who may be in a vulnerable position, a woman in a vulnerable position."

That's much better.

It’s not that women themselves are unfitted. It’s that their presence in the ranks might prove dangerously distracting to men, who have traditionally been unable to focus in moments of crisis when damsels are present. So what if those damsels are also members of the armed forces? Later in the interview, Santorum suggests that women might not be able to drag the men out of danger, or something? Is this really the criterion? We’d better ban skinny people from the armed forces as well. It doesn’t matter whether the women are competent to serve. With vulnerable ladies present, men can’t possibly be expected to do their jobs. And this is the improved version of his remarks!

By  |  12:11 PM ET, 02/10/2012

Tags:  Santorum

 
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