(Pictured: SGT Monica Brown, awarded the Silver Star for valor, an extraordinary example of women who have served in combat)
Former Senator of Pennsylvania and current contender for the Republican Nomination, Rick Santorum, recently gave his opinion on women serving in combat roles in the military, stating female warriors are “too emotional” for the rigors of combat.
When asked by CNN’s John King if women should be permitted to serve in combat, Santorum stated, “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 [re: women] of emotions that are involved.”
He then appeared to backtrack his comments, later:
“I was talking about men’s emotional issues; not women. I mean, there’s a lot of issues. That’s just one of them. So my concern is being in combat in that situation instead of being focused on the mission, they may be more concerned with protecting someone who may be in a vulnerable position, a woman in a vulnerable position. You throw on top of that just simply physical strength and capability and you may be out there on a mission where it’s you and a woman and if you’re injured, the ability to transport that person back. And you know, there’s just, there are physical limitations.”
And of course, this isn’t the first time Santorum had made his views known on equality in the workplace, let alone the sphere of military operations.
In his book, It Takes a Family, Santorum writes, “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.”
Yes, what a radical notion, indeed, that women should be treated equally alongside men.
For the record, we have two facts to establish here:
1. Rick Santorum has never served a day in his life in the military.
Coincidentally, the same year Rick Santorum started his undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania, the first class of women cadets were starting their own military careers at the United States Military Academy at West Point, going through hell and back to prove their self-worth against a mysogynistic system that believed women are inferior to men in the military arts.
To date, 280,000 women have deployed in support of the War on Terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan, 144 of them paying the ultimate sacrifice for their country and 865 being wounded.
They have served with valor, bravery, and competence against an enemy force that, while discriminating against their own women by keeping them from seeking equal rights in education and government roles, do not discriminate between men and women when pulling the trigger or detonating an IED.
So Rick, leave it to the professionals, the women who have been fighting on battlefields (legally or not) since the inception of this country, fighting while you attended law school, fighting while you ran for Congress and the Senate, and fighting to this day while you still, on the basis of absolutely no experience, feel free to comment on their abilities.