This Election May Turn Out to Be Referendum on Feminism.

Posted on February 16, 2012 by

As pro-life Catholic and father of seven Rick Santorum gains traction in the polls, further threatening Mitt Romney’s supposed lock on the GOP nomination, the attacks on his anti-woman positions are already underway. From CNN:

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum is unhappy with last week’s compromise over whether Catholic institutions should be required to cover contraception for their employees, arguing that birth control “shouldn’t be covered by insurance at all.” The issue, Santorum claims, is “economic liberty.” But in the past, he has made his real objection clear, categorizing contraception as “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

Taken with statements Santorum made in his 2005 book, “It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good,” his opposition to contraception (as well as to abortion, even in the case of rape) seems part and parcel of a deep hostility toward efforts to empower women and enhance their status. He has shown nothing but contempt for what his book called the “radical” feminist “pitch” that “men and women be given an equal opportunity to make it to the top in the workplace.”

The Christian Science Monitor has also weighed in with concerns about Santorum’s eyebrow raising statements about women and family. What’s worse, much of the criticism is emerging from within the ranks of the GOP:

Among those who have objected to his statements is Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, whose daughter served in Iraq. “I like Rick Santorum a lot. I just disagree with any inference that he might have made that somehow women are not capable of serving in the front lines and serving in combat positions,” Governor McDonnell said on CNN on Monday.

The nail in his coffin may be  that Santorum touched the holy grail of women in the workplace:

And in the past few days, Santorum has been pressed to explain some of the statements in his book – particularly the section where he wrote that, “the radical feminists succeeded in undermining the traditional family and convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness.”

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopolous, in which Mr. Stephanopolous asked him about the quote, Santorum defended himself, noting that he grew up with a working mother. He just wants women who work both inside and outside the home to feel “affirmed for the choices they make,” he said.

The narrative being crafted is that Santorum’s “stone-age” views would cost the GOP dearly in a general election match-up against the feminist-in-chief.

Hell hath no fury, and all that. For what it’s worth, I didn’t care for Santorum initially but this whole thing has raised his stock considerably in my book.