February 10, 2012

Santorum on women in combat: What "other types of emotions" was he talking about?

Jennifer Rubin thinks he may get in trouble for saying:
"I want to create every opportunity for women to be able to serve this country... but I do have concerns about women in front-line combat.

"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. It already happens, of course, 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."
What "other types of emotions"? I'm guessing that Rubin is worried that he's stuck on some stereotype about women — they're too "emotional" — but I think he's referring to an argument about the way men feel — that is, an urge to protect women that would skew decisionmaking and performance.

Rubin quotes something Santorum said in 2005 the crux of which is: "The radical feminists succeeded in undermining the traditional family and convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness." Rubin exclaims "Yikes" and pronounces the statement "badly off-key." Is Rubin succumbing to the kind of emotional reasoning that is so typical of... journalists?

Feminism succeeded dramatically in making women feel that life outside of the workplace is stultifying. (Read "The Feminine Mystique," the 1963 rant about how horrifyingly small life is for a homemaker.) Here's the book Santorum was promoting when he called the "radical" feminists to account: "It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good." I'm going to read it, as I've been reading "The Feminine Mystique" lately, and it's worth understanding what happened in American culture. You can care about equality without jumping to the conclusion that everyone needs a job! What's so wonderful about a job? If 2 adults can found the economic and emotional unit we call the family, they are most free if they realize that there are many different ways to structure their lives and find happiness together.

I read Santorum's 2005 quote as saying no more than that: You don't need to buy into dogma about "professional accomplishments" as "the key to happiness." What's "yikes"-worthy about that? Is it that women will flip out if you say anything that even sounds like you'd deny them full access to the workplace? Ironically, that thought is the stereotype that women are emotional to the point of irrationality.

ADDED: Here's the passage in Santorum's book about feminism (and the only place in the book were the word "feminism" appears [though the word "feminist/s" appears quite a few times, but I'll leave that to another post]):

Children of two parents who are working don't need more things. They need us! In far too many families with young children, both parents are working, when, if they really took an honest look at the budget, they might confess that both of them really don't need to, or at least may not need to work as much as they do. Some are working because they think they must buy their kids and themselves more things they “need”—instead of giving of themselves to their kids. And for some parents, the purported need to provide things for their children simply provides a convenient rationalization for pursuing a gratifying career outside the home. But in this world, at a time when it is increasingly difficult to raise children well, we should all recognize that our kids really need fewer things and more mom and dad.

Many women have told me, and surveys have shown, that they find it easier, more “professionally”gratifying, and certainly more socially affirming, to work outside the home than to give up their careers to take care of their children. Think about that for a moment. What happened in America so that mothers and fathers who leave their children in the care of someone else—or worse yet, home alone after school between three and six in the afternoon—find themselves more affirmed by society? Here, we can thank the influence of radical feminism, one of the core philosophies of the village elders. It's ironic. Radical feminists have been making the pitch that justice demands that men and women be given an equal opportunity to make it to the top in the workplace. But they refuse to acknowledge, much less value as equal, the essential work women have done in being the primary caregivers of the next generation. It seems to me that justice demands both fair workplace rules and proper respect for work in the home.

Respect for stay-at-home mothers has been poisoned by a toxic combination of the village elders' war on the traditional family and radical feminism's misogynistic crusade to make working outside the home the only marker of social value and self-respect. Both have been communicating to women that motherhood is not only confining and frustrating—which it sometimes is—but also that it is also completely unnecessary in the modern world. Sadly, the propaganda campaign launched in the 1960s has taken root. The radical feminists succeeded in undermining the traditional family and convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness. As for children? Well, to paraphrase The Wizard of Oz, “Pay no attention to those kids behind the curtain.” But like it or not, the children are there—and our society has let them down by not being supportive of mothers, and even fathers, who dedicate their time and often their lives to their children. 
Notice the attention to equality. He refers to the traditional role of mothers in the home, but he also acknowledges that fathers may perform this role too and that both deserve respect and encouragement.

AND: The term "village elders" is used throughout the book. Here's where he introduces it:
Who are these big, powerful forces upon which so many rely to shape our economy, culture, society, values, and learning? They are what I call the “Bigs”—big news media, big entertainment, big universities and public schools, some big businesses and some big national labor unions, and of course, the biggest Big of all, the federal government. When I hear that catchphrase of the liberals, “It takes a village to raise a child,” I hear Big. It's a homely image, a village, but when you get past the metaphor, what do you really see in the details? Top-down, elitist prescriptions imposed by those who believe they are the postmodern kings of the masses—particularly of the supposedly ill-informed “peasants” of red-state America.

The people who run the Bigs I like to call the “village elders.” They are the liberal elite who think they know what is best for individual Americans and how best to order (or rather, re-order) our society along the lines of their ideological abstractions. They see any institution that stands between the Bigs and the isolated individual as an annoyance or hindrance. In fact, in the view of the Bigs, it is often just these intermediary associations that are responsible for what the Bigs understand to be our social problems. The liberal answer to the “problem” of intermediary institutions is to “liberate” individuals from them—whether individuals want that or not.

And what are these problem-creating associations that liberals believe harm people? They are the “Littles”: local government, civic and fraternal associations, clubs, small businesses, neighborhoods, local school districts, churches and church ministries—and of course, the greatest offender of all and the greatest thorn in the liberals' side, the iconoclastic traditional family. Liberal ideology promises a utopia of freedom and equality, if only the Littles can be engineered out of existence.

So where do we conservatives look for answers to the social issues of such widespread concern to Americans today? Why, to the very associations that the village elders distrust. And we ought to start with what has been the foundation of every successful civilization in history: the traditional family.

62 comments:

chickenlittle said...

What does Obama make of women in combat? Isn't that the comparative measure of things?

David Gray said...

Rubin is a well known Romney promoter and is simply falling in to provide fire on Santorum now that he has been judged a threat. That she is a bit tone deaf as to what will play as legitimate criticism has at times limited her utility to the Romney campaign.

Jay said...

Is it that women will flip out

Um, yes.

Fen said...

When women are introduced into a Victor Unit, the men stop relating to each other as brothers and start vying for the female's attention.

That gets people killed.

Segregated units? No problem. I've fought and trained with female Marines. Nothing would make you prouder than the way America's daughters handle themselves in combat.

Sorun said...

...but I think he's referring to an argument about the way men feel

Yes, like how men are going to react when half of their squad is always screaming and crying.

But, I've seen enough TV shows to be certain that women are going to kick ass on the battlefield, especially sassy ones with tatoos.

Scott M said...

because of other types of emotions that are involved

From when I was in, one of the common refrains of the senior NCO's (who tend to know their troops better than the officers) was that men in front line units will react differently when women with them are in danger. The other emotions he may have been talking about are the instinctive protectionism a man may feel for women (and children...though we've not gone far enough to put THEM in front line combat units).

There are a number of issues in front line combat units that have nothing to do with emotion, but if that's what he was talking about, it is a real aspect and must be considered.

I ♥ Willard said...

The radical feminists succeeded in undermining the traditional family

Exactly! Rick Santorum hardly ever gets anything right but he really nailed this one!

Peter said...

If women were in front-line combat their backpacks would contain ammunition, signalling equipment, a first aid kit, emergency rations, and a razor.

The Drill SGT said...

She's wrong about the context. I too think he was talking about emotionally impaired decision making by Men...

I haven't seen the list of MOS's or the policy yet, so I can't say I'm for or against it yet.

Having said that, as I have said before, if it is a choice between force effectiveness and individual careers, I'm 100% on the side of a policy that fields a more effective force.

What I saw was a limited set of enlisted MOS's that already were available to women opened up in smaller units. e.g. a female mechanic now allowed in a tank company rather than a Brgade maintenance company.

I think its going to be an unpleasant assignment for a woman, but am ok with it, IF, it's not optional. By that I mean, if you open up those positions, then women if assigned, fill them, they don't get to pick and chose.

David said...

Women flip out. They are emotional. (Whoops.)

We men? We just flame out, for no apparent reason.

Scott M said...

When women are introduced into a Victor Unit, the men stop relating to each other as brothers and start vying for the female's attention.

You do realize that if women are allowed into front line combat units, the physical requirements for those roles cannot, at all, be relaxed. The sort of women that will be able to match our men in those roles with those physical requirements are going to be as far from feminine as it's possible to be and still possess xx chromosomes.

There won't be much "vying" for their attention. Indeed, my time in the military told me that those types of women wouldn't be interested should that attention be given in the first place.

I'm not arguing for female inclusion in front line units, but the point needs to be made so people don't have false ideas about the realities involved.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Amazing how the Republicans allow themselves to get sidetracked onto social issues. It's the economy stupid!

I don't think Obama deserves reelection (I voted for him last time). But I will not vote for Santorum because he is a big government social conservative.

DADvocate said...

but I think he's referring to an argument about the way men feel — that is, an urge to protect women that would skew decisionmaking and performance.

I agree. For any feminist to suggest women don't need special protection would be disingenuous at best. Feminist demanding laws such as the Violence Against Women act, special laws to protect the accuser in rape cases, sexual harassment laws, etc all go to show that feminists think women need protection far beyond what men need.

Jay said...

"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.

Gasp!

Horror!

He's talking about nature!

Remember, nature is good when we pretend gays have a gay gene.

But nature is bad in all other instances.

Anyway, interesting to note:

President Bush (Sr.) called for the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces (PCAWAF) in order to determine whether women should be placed in more combat positions. According to the study, women did not meet the physical requirements of ground combat positions, and their presence could also be detrimental to unit cohesion for a number of reasons. The commission also determined that if women were allowed into combat positions, there would no longer be any legal standing to prevent women from being included in the next draft. With a 10 against and 2 abstentions, the commission voted against allowing women to serve in ground combat positions.

Fen said...

Yes, like how men are going to react when half of their squad is always screaming and crying.

Half the squad being the men? I remember being paired up with a female at Sergeant's School for a land nav course. It was a full day of hiking and her MOS was admin pog (ie. not a field Marine).

By midday, she had acquired 3 stress fractures in her legs. Pain that would have sent most Marines into the fetal position. But she wouldn't give up. She wouldn't even let me carry her pack or rifle.

Sarcastic comments about women in combat? Too ridiculous for me to even get worked up about.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

The sort of women that will be able to match our men in those roles with those physical requirements are going to be as far from feminine as it's possible to be and still possess xx chromosomes.

There won't be much "vying" for their attention


Beer goggles.

Point. Set. Match.

Next?

Tim said...

"Ironically, that thought is the stereotype that women are emotional to the point of irrationality."

One need not look any closer than the excessive (and completely unnecessary) drama over the suspended Komen grants of $700K to the multimillion dollar Planned Parenthood for confirmation of that stereotype as emphatically true.

Feminism succeeded dramatically in making women feel that all aspects of life are fodder for politics.

Fixed.

So why should they be surprised when their is push back from a contrary political view? The victim card has spent itself.

Jay said...

Bill,

Santorum was asked about this because the Pentagon just changed the rules and announced said rule change yesterday.

Tim said...

their = there.

David said...

Fen makes the precise point I have heard my military vet friends here in S.C. make. They also believe that the men are more likely to break discipline to rescue the women from a real or perceived threat.

I have no idea whether these arguments are correct, but they come from men who know what combat is.

Fen said...

If women were in front-line combat their backpacks would contain ammunition, signalling equipment, a first aid kit, emergency rations, and a razor.

And tampons for sucking chest wounds. You did hear about that incident, yes?

Dave said...

I don't think it's the emotions of the women necessarily , but those of the men in response to the presence of women. I don't see any controversy at all here or any political fall out. Only a feminist will care, and since nearly all feminists vote left the impact is essentially nil.

Lyssa said...

AA said Is it that women will flip out if you say anything that even sounds like you'd deny them full access to the workplace?

Yes. At least, liberal women will.

Ironically, that thought is the stereotype that women are emotional to the point of irrationality.

In my experience, at least with liberal/"feminist" women, it's more than just a stereotype. It's very similar to the idea that not forcing someone else to pay for something is "denying access" even though you're a "strong, indepedent women."

Scott M said...

Beer goggles.

Point. Set. Match.

Next?


I served with those women as well, Fen. There's not enough beer in the entire world.

Fen said...

I remember being paired up with a female at Sergeant's School for a land nav course. It was a full day of hiking and her MOS was admin pog (ie. not a field Marine).

By midday, she had acquired 3 stress fractures in her legs. Pain that would have sent most Marines into the fetal position. But she wouldn't give up. She wouldn't even let me carry her pack or rifle.


BTW, we were one of the few teams to finish the course. Sadly, the stress fractures ended her military career. She was medically discharged.

Telling her story is the least I can do to honor her.

Scott M said...

BTW, we were one of the few teams to finish the course. Sadly, the stress fractures ended her military career. She was medically discharged.

This seems to argue against your case. Perhaps one of those fetal male marines wouldn't have finished the stupid land nav course that particular day, but gone on to remain active duty and, thus, continued the overall mission.

This one sounded like she allowed herself to severely impact the general mission by having an active duty marine removed from service.

slarrow said...

You can care about equality without jumping to the conclusion that everyone needs a job!

Old, bad position: a woman's place is in the home.

Reactionary bad position: a woman's place is NOT in the home!

Suggested improved position: a home is wonderful with a woman in it. And so is a workplace.

Thesis. Antithesis. Synthesis.

Scott M said...

This one sounded like she allowed herself to severely impact the general mission by having an active duty marine removed from service.

And, Fen, it sounds like you let her do it.

X said...

a career ending hike? sounds combat ready to me.

wyo sis said...

When we can't have a realistic discussion of any subject without risking our political lives we're in a dark place.
As far as how men behave on a battlefield, many soldiers are and have been killed because of political decisions made by their "superiors." This is more of the same insanity.

Fen said...

And, Fen, it sounds like you let her do it.

This mission was to finish the course. At any cost. And she did it.

Fen said...

a career ending hike? sounds combat ready to me.

A "hike" that 20% of the males failed. True, none of the failures were from line units, but every Marine is a rifleman.

Failing the course = failing NCO school = career ending.

edutcher said...

After the Gulf War, the media was full of stories of men trying to keep women out of harm's way, so, presumably, this is the issue he means.

The other thing, outside sex, of course, would be the issues raised during the mess when sexes were given basic training together. I leave it to the vets among us to comment.

I ♥ Willard said...

The radical feminists succeeded in undermining the traditional family

Exactly! Rick Santorum hardly ever gets anything right but he really nailed this one!


They certainly did their part, stigmatizing the stay-at-home Mom.

The Drill SGT said...

I haven't seen the list of MOS's or the policy yet, so I can't say I'm for or against it yet.

I got the impression from what I saw that they might end up in the artillery (the item said infantry, armor, and spec ops would be the only exclusions...).

You may have seen something different.

Sorun said...

Half the squad being the men? I remember being paired up with a female at Sergeant's School for a land nav course. It was a full day of hiking and her MOS was admin pog (ie. not a field Marine).

Nice anecdote. I love going backpacking with women. But isn't the issue ground combat?

ricpic said...

From an article in the Jewish Daily Forward:

A study of women soldiers in Israel has found that for the IDF to attract more women to combat roles, it is going to have to make changes to more than just the design of military gear.

The IDF thought that it had eliminated the problem of women soldiers getting stress fractures by designing a new, lighter vest with narrower straps especially for them. But just a couple of weeks after the introduction of the new vests a study showed that women suffer disproportionately higher numbers of stress fractures from the physical exertions required of combat soldiers.

MadisonMan said...

Now that the Gingrich threat has been neutralized, Santorum is getting the Gingrich treatment from the Press.

Bender said...

No, no, no. You sexists don't get it, including that sexist pig Santorum, who only wants women to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

All units have now been incorporated into the U.S. Army Corps of Social Engineers. What is best for actual fighting ability or combat readiness is irrelevant. All decisions must be made entirely on ideological grounds.

Thorley Winston said...

The commission also determined that if women were allowed into combat positions, there would no longer be any legal standing to prevent women from being included in the next draft.

Conscription is basically a form of slavery. If allowing qualified women into combat positions helps to prevent its reintroduction, then AFAIC that’s a point in its favor.

gbarto said...

We have an enemy that is known to use gang rape as a tool for punishing women they feel are out of their place. I'm not saying that this doesn't happen with other cultures, including the darker corners of our own, but at least it's not a matter of policy.

My biggest concern with women on the front lines is that if bad things happen to a man who is taken prisoner, we grit our teeth and deal. If we start having female troops routinely abused when taken prisoner, will those who advocate for women in combat content themselves with acknowledging that war is hell? Or will our culture's emotionalism lead to weakened resolve in the face of those who most need to be pushed back against?

If you can make a case that women on the front lines will enhance our ability to push Al-Qaeda back into irrelevancy, I'll back it 100%. It seems to me more likely to create circumstances where because we're not as sophisticated as we like to imagine about gender equality we'll find ourselves less willing to do what needs to be done. And it will be the same women's advocates who said they ought to have a place on the front lines who turn around and say that the war effort is too costly in human terms when they see what our enemies are capable of.

And note that through and through, we are not talking about the emotionalism of women in combat situations. We are talking about the emotionalism of the society that produced the idea of "women and children first" and hasn't let go of it, however much they fancy that human nature is changeable and we're beyond all that.

Bender said...

This one sounded like she allowed herself to severely impact the general mission

Everyone appreciates a tough Marine. Oorah.

But foolish Marines, not so much.

And having anyone, in this case women, who are in a position where they think that they have to prove themselves, and thereby engage in reckless behavior, is not to be desired in a fighting force.

Seeing Red said...

Obama loves women in combat - he sent them out to beat up the old male priests.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

@Jay

That is my point. Obama can't run on the economy so he will keep trying to change the subject to social issues. It does two things. One it fires up his base and two it distracts the Republicans.

What Santorum should have said was something like "first we need to get Americans working again. That is my first priority. If the new rules make the military weaker I will reverse it. "

Or something like that. But the Republicans should have a mantra that they always use. "Obama made it worse" "get America working" "enough with extreme policies that hurt the economy".

carrie said...

If you are reading about the conflict between feminists regarding work inside and outside the home, I also recommend that you read "Marriage as an economic partnership: How one state made it happen" by Jo Staab about the adoption of Wisconsin's marital property act. If I recall correctly, it has an interesting discussion about why the feminists took the side that they did.

Rabel said...

I like Jennifer Rubin's column. She almost always makes a lot of sense.
But every now and then, maybe once a month or so, she'll go a little go off the rails.

n.n said...

Money is the feminists' god. Ironically, money is also the root of all evil, and ego does not lag far behind.

Don said...

Since the Obama Administration basically made anyone who applies and has served in a combat zone eligible for lifetime VA disability payments for PTSD, there is the issue of economic fairness. VA disability payments have become a basic entitlement in the military retirement package. Although women are epidemiologically twice as likely to be diagnosed with PTSD as men, to hit the VA jackpot they need to have served in a combat zone. The new rule will help spread the wealth around.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

"Amazing how the Republicans allow themselves to get sidetracked onto social issues. It's the economy stupid!

I don't think Obama deserves reelection (I voted for him last time). But I will not vote for Santorum because he is a big government social conservative."

OK - these are contradictory statements.

If it's REALLY about the economy, then you shouldn't care WHAT his position is on social issues.

On the other hand, if social issues DO matter, then it is perfectly logical that someone might agree with the economics, but refuse to vote for him on the basis of social issues.

And if that happens, then it is NOT really about the economy, is it?

kmg said...

What does Obama make of women in combat? Isn't that the comparative measure of things?

Well, Michelle Obama could certainly be a formidable foe on the battlefield.

kmg said...

Feminism, far from helping women, has actually exposed the full extent of female limitations far more widely than was ever possible before feminism.

The reaction to Larry Summers' truthful statement, that could have been equally been interpreted as unfair to *men*, shows this.

Women insisting that they still earn 77% of a man (despite the huge common sense gaps in this belief).

The fact that women insist they are just as good at comedy as men, yet can't get laughs. Yup.

Thanks, feminism! You have exposed the full extent of female limitations that centuries of customs were created to conceal.

Nathan Alexander said...

There were a couple of females in my squad during PLDC (Army NCO training).

One was a little bit of a whiner. One was tough as nails. A soldier's soldier. Extremely pretty, and strong. Think Sigourney Weaver, but about 10x prettier.

She insisted on doing her part to carry the SAW and the radio when it was her turn. Her back was hurting, but she pushed through it.

But while she was a good soldier, she was probably 3 standard deviations above the average female soldier in fitness, motivation, and leadership.

I have extremely mixed feelings about women in the military. It is a reality. They add some very good things. But they add problems, too.

The worst commanders I've had were all women. They were unable to separate their emotions and ego from their position. But of the best commanders I've had, about half were women...they had leadership skills, and used superior communication skills and social sense in service of the mission rather than themselves, and excelled as a result. In the same manner, the worst male commanders were those who led with their ego.

On the balance, I think having women in the military is better than not. But in combat? Dunno. It might develop to where they get their chance and it is dealt with as an unavoidable reality.

Scott M said...

But in combat?

I had zero problems with female combat pilots when they started implementing them in the AF. But direct ground forces, or, indeed, CAS units whether AF or Army (or Marines, if you must...ugh), are another matter entirely. Strength and endurance are only part of the matter. There are significant emotional and psychological problems that would be encountered.

For my part, I've observed that the main reason soldiers push themselves to perform to excellence and beyond on the battlefield is the camaraderie with members of their immediate unit. I would not be willing to risk that "ambiance" for lack of a better word, because I believe it would have a direct effect on the way the men felt about each other, let alone a female (who will ALWAYS be in the minority) among them.

wGraves said...

In 1948, my friend and former office mate joined the IDF and fought in the '48 Battle of Jerusalem. He recounted that the Army, short on manpower, briefly used women in front line combat positions, then ceased the practice. The reason he gave was that women, as a practical matter, were more likely to 'lose it,' giving away a position and getting a unit killed. While he admitted that this happened with men as well, his belief was that the likelihood of this problem was greater with women present. Women would continue to serve in advanced positions, however, and would fight if a position was overrun.

Now that was '48, and this is today. In America, young women are not raised in the same way that they were in the '50's. It's also a volunteer army. If a young woman wants to volunteer, and can qualify for the MOS, I don't see the problem. I wouldn't lower the bar, however, for fear of the above...getting everybody killed.

Rick Caird said...

Jennifer Rubin is only worried about how to bolster Romney and tear down any competition he might have.

Dewave said...

[i]Failing the course = failing NCO school = career ending.[/i]

But her career ended anyway. I do not see how this is a success story.

The goal is to finish the course so that you can become an NCO.

If you finish the course, but in such a way that you are no longer physically able to continue in military service, then that is a failure. The goal has not been met.

Was this some sort of obstacle course? Otherwise I'm not sure how you 'acquire' three stress fractures while hiking. I can see the hike being strenuous enough that you cannot complete it.

Your story reads very much like a "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" anecdote. Which is precisely the point SOME opponents of women in combat make. That you would think it is somehow a counter point seems odd to me.

I find a far more compelling point that women in the military would have a deleterious effect on the men in their unit.

How many of you have seen young men do stupid things to impress women?

Oh. All of you.

Well then, lets just put women in combat situations. What could possibly go wrong?

Even if you have a completely professional force where no one does anything stupid at any time, there is the issue that men are biologically hardwired to respond to females in distress much differently than they are to males in distress.

Chuck said...

Any nation that would have it's women defending it militarily doesn't deserve to be considered civilized. It's subhuman.

Don M said...

A young lady commanded a transportation unit in Kuwaitt, and her unit was assigned to a building at the airport. The building hadn't been cleared. She led her unit, kicking open the door, and clearing the first two rooms with the lead teams. The first room had a corpse which was dragged out for collection. The second had a woman with a child, who was escorted out.

After the ladies had cleared the entire building, she reported that the building had been hit by a bomb. The engineers came down to check it out, and the building was deemed to be structurally unsound, so they were sent off to a new building.

The unusual ladies recruited by the military can handle it.

R. Chatt said...

Santorum makes arguments which typically assign blame on our societal problems on groups he doesn't like while ignoring causes from sources he favors.

Case in point, the "failures" of our contemporary life are the result of feminists, gays, and liberals rather than our liberal divorce laws, excessive materialism and consumerism, a capitalistic real estate market that prices in two wage earners, requiring two earners to get by.

I don't believe historical fact recorded families or society being perfect in the past. Men cheated on their wives either with prostitutes or full fledged mistresses; poor women, widowed or abandoned, had to work at unskilled labor to get to support their children, often children had to be sent to work, rich women never actually raised their own children but had servants and governesses for all of that while the madame pursued cultural and social activities. Women born with actual genius had to overcome societal prejudice to pursue their training and careers.

Faced with desperately unhappy but wealthy female patients, Freud asked, "What do women want?" Santorum would have said, "Must be the feminists who haven't yet been born who are causing women to be unhappy."

And decades later wealthy feminists, educated and well cared for suburbanites and Upper West NY'ers answered the question and said they wanted intellectual stimulation and careers in which they could achieve a sense of personal accomplishment, as well as a degree of independence.

What Santorum fails to acknowledge is that the institution of fatherhood has evolved as a result of all this. Men are actually caregivers, are actually becoming emotionally more available. Men are actually expected to participate more in the home.

Ken Mitchell said...

Women in combat? I have no problem with it, when their physical abilities don't get in the way of the mission. Fighter pilots? Women can probably withstand G stresses as well or better than any man. Ship handlers? Maybe not bo'sun's mate jobs, but anything else is probably fine. Infantry? Not so much, I think. When I was teaching in the USAF/USN navigator schools, back when the FIRST women were allowed to become aircraft navigators, my women students did as well as any men; quite representative, actually. (Read that as "no difference".)

JAL said...

Why is it that it seems that the women who are the tough ones are conservative/libertarians?

Like Col. McSally.?

(I remember when she rasied the issue about the abaya in Saudi Arabia.)

Women who can eat the libs' lunch with one arm tied behind their backs. So to speak.

As a military mom, I would say that women in ground combat / infantry would probably not be a great idea, but the way the recent wars are being fought, they tend to more out there than in any previous wars, and are quite competent.

These wars are no longer your father's war.

JAL said...

Another note -- if Rubin thinks Santorum has some odd "woman" baggage -- she really does need to check out Romney's theology.

Mormon women don't make it to highest state of celestial "heaven" unless their (dead) husband "calls" them by a special new names only they know.

Don't please your husband? He doesn't call your special name. Heaven is not an option. No husband? You get to be a servant.

Most of this has absolutely nothing to do with whether one can be CIC and CEO of the USA.

But be careful where you cast stones, Ms. Rubin. (And don't you think the Obama Team is busy behind their 'veil' doing their homework to go on attack if Romney gets the nomination?)

walter said...

Scott M wrote "You do realize that if women are allowed into front line combat units, the physical requirements for those roles cannot, at all, be relaxed."

Well..when career advancement is the err driving force behind the issue, have to wonder if lowering the bar (selectiveley or across the board)wouldn't be considered.
By the way, some of these issues play out in the police force and firefighters.
And there was the bar lowering to increase minority candidates in this case: http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhall/5357156-418/city-must-hire-111-bypassed-black-firefighter-candidates-court-rules.html