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Opinion

February 17, 2012

Santorum's world scary for women

In presidential candidate Rick Santorum's ideal world:

- There would be no use of contraception. Not for young people, not for married people putting off having a child for financial reasons, not for women who benefit medically by taking the pill ... nobody.

- No women would be allowed in combat situations in the military, but they're capable of "flying small planes."

- Women achieving success outside of the traditional homemaker role would be considered having fallen prey to a "radical feminist" doctrine.

In Santorum's bizarre world, "father knows best" isn't an old TV show, but rather a new idea of what America should be.

Gee, we wonder why Santorum, in his disastrous re-election campaign for the Senate in 2006, garnered only 39 percent of female votes while losing by 18 points overall.

In a 2006 televised interview, Santorum said he has voted for contraception, "although I don't think it works. ... I think it's harmful to our society to have a society that says that sex outside of marriage is something that should be encouraged or tolerated."

Tolerated?

Tolerated by whom? Who's to decide whether it's OK to have pre-marital sex or post-marital sex or non-marital sex, Mr. Santorum? You?

He has defined contraception as "a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be."

Oh really? Who decides how things "are supposed to be"?

Apparently in Santorum's ideal world, disadvantaged women should not aspire to get an education.

"The notion that college education is a cost-effective way to help poor, low-skill, unmarried mothers with high school diplomas or GEDs move up the economic ladder is just wrong," he said.

The only criterion in the workplace should be whether a woman can do a job, not whether she has a paucity of testosterone.

Santorum frets that men in combat situations would not be able to function at top efficiency because their chivalrous nature would make them overly protective of their female compatriots.

"I do have concerns about women in frontline combat," he said. "I think that can be a very compromising situation, where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interests of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved."

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell _ albeit a Mitt Romney supporter _ said his daughter in the service has faced combat situations and is doing just fine, thank you.

"She did a great job, was in some risky situations," McDonnell said, "and yet endured and led, and I'm proud of her."

Rick Santorum's ideal world doesn't make us proud, it just makes us scared.

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