Rick Santorum strikes again, describes patriarchy in a nutshell

I’ve generally tried to steer clear of Rick Santorum’s brilliant thoughts since he converted me on gay marriage this summer, for fear that exposure to any more nuggets of Santorum genius would sink into my brain and revolutionize my worldview yet again.

But his latest wisdom is too revealing–and disturbing– to pass over.

Rich Wing Watch reports that while speaking with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins (oy), Rick Santorum argued that Republicans should work to lessen single motherhood in order to score political points against their Democratic rivals.

Why does he think reducing single motherhood would be would be such an effective strategy? Because it is the “single mothers who run a household” who have a “desire for government” that makes them vote Democrat. Obviously the way they vote has everything to do with their single mother status and nothing to do at all with their political ideologies, or values, or economic interest, or brains. So of course the solution is to throw a man into the mix by building “two parent families”, which is necessary “to reduce the Democratic advantage.”

This summer Jos explained why the paternalistic “daughter test” makes for bad public policy. I’d argue that the kind of thinking put forth by Santorum in this video clip represents a similarly off base and dangerous right-wing talking point that is as illogical as it is sexist, reducing female voters to their reproductive choices and marital status, and suggesting that they use government as a stand-in for a husband. This is patriarchy at its finest folks.

You can watch the video below (not for the easily angered). And when you’re done, feel free to show some link love to Santorum’s official website.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted October 17, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Disgusting and infuriating. There’s so much sexism and classism in what he said I can barely take it all in. The implication is that women can’t make it on their own, and they’re too stupid to vote the way he wants (because 0f course, he’s always correct), and what exactly does he mean by building two parent families and eliminating the “problem”? Does he want to get rid of single mothers, and if so, how? Forced marriage, maybe? It also seems quite possible that he thinks women shouldn’t be allowed to vote. I absolutely hate this whole anti-government sentiment too, showing him to be against all social programs (well he is a Republican, right?), acting like anyone who has ever gotten anything from those programs are just lazy and looking for a handout. I guess he thinks unemployment, all forms of welfare and social security, firefighters, and public education should be completely done away with by eliminating the “desire” for government.

  2. Posted October 17, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    I adore this website and consider myself very open-minded (never mind a somewhat radical feminist) and socially progressive. In that sense, could we stop judging EVERYTHING republicans say just because they’re republicans? It makes us look as bad as they do. Some fabulous feminists even consider themselves republicans (including myself) while maintaining an open mind and a socially progressive lifestyle. We could also stop jumping to radical assumptions…

    For Example: “Does he want to get rid of single mothers, and if so, how? Forced marriage, maybe? It also seems quite possible that he thinks women shouldn’t be allowed to vote”

    Come on ladies, is this too much to ask?

    • Posted October 18, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Hey arayah, glad to hear you like the site! It seems as if you were responding more to the commenter above you than to me (the quote you reference is from them), but it’s worth mentioning that if a Democrat suggested the same thing– that single mothers tend to vote Democrat because they are using government as some sort of husband replacement– I’d be just as offended.

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