If you liked watching the TV series Little House on the Prairie during the 1970’s, then you’ll love Rick Santorum’s vision for the future of this country. Yes, let’s return to those idyllic days when the little woman had no control over the events that occurred to her own body. Let’s return to the days when public education was not prevalent and the little woman was in charge of the children’s education. She provided readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic in the home setting, with a babe on one hip and one eye on the hearth. Little pigtailed girls and reluctant lads poured over the Good Book, because, indeed no other education was needed, save what was between those pages. No other learning’ was required since college was for the rich heathens who wished to have their morals thoroughly corrupted.
Unlike Ma on Little House, our Santorum Stepford wife, will be having a babe on the hip every year or two. Like the typical mother in the 1870’s, our perfect Santorum mom will end up with at least 10 children, unless she is unfortunate enough (or fortunate enough, depending on your view) to die of birth complications before her mission is accomplished. Health care is an option only for the wealthy in our perfect Santorum world, since the government no longer assists our hearty pioneers in any activity of a personal nature. Contraception is outlawed and if the little lady isn’t holding an aspirin between the knees to prevent yet another babe coming into the world, then it is her duty to have as many as nature and God choose to bestow upon her. Those who choose abortion or even contraception will be imprisoned, leaving the Head of Household free to take up with a more acquiescent mate.
If this bucolic scene is reminding you of current day cults of ex Mormon fundamentalists minus the polygamy, then you are envisioning Rick’s idea of heaven on earth. The little woman doesn’t work outside the home; it might give her big ideas, and anyway it’s a bit difficult to have a career with a dozen little ones at home. Yes, it’s true that the Amish have a similar lifestyle but there is one huge difference; they have a choice of whether or not to join the church and live as their fore bearers did. In Santorum’s perfect world, there is no freedom of choice for women. The men will control our bodies and when they control our bodies, they will also control our minds. Since our only profession will be educating our children and having as many of them as possible, surely there will be no need for us to vote. that pesky 19th Amendment, was pushed through by uppity womenfolk who didn’t know their proper place, so let’s eliminate it.
Unfortunately for Rick, however, we ladies do still have the right to protest, and the right to vote. Come November, we will not be voting for Rick, or for any other candidate that believes that the government has the right to determine the fate of women without consulting them. If you think I’m just being optimistic, look at what has happened recently. The Koman Foundation, after a right-wing takeover, attempted to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood and the enraged outcry from women was so loud that Komen backpedaled. Their reputation is ruined of course, and their pink-ribbon endorsed products will no longer grace the shelves of many females who previously saw them as an organization benignly focused on funding the cure for breast cancer. In Virginia, women were so incensed over the religious-right governor’s proposal to invade women’s bodies with probes if they dared to consider self- determination, that he quickly recanted and then stated he had no idea what was in the law he proposed. Now it looks like the power of women is such that his high hopes for an invitation to become a vice-presidential candidate have been destroyed. Listen up, Santorum wannabes; sisterhood still is powerful. Your attempts to send us scurrying back to the days of my great-grandmothers will only end in defeat for you. My advice is to get off the woman-hating political bandwagon before we ladies send you to the coal cellar with a swift broom to your backside, where you will have plenty of time to ponder your political exile.