Santorum on Feminism: “I can’t remember the woman’s name. It’s terrible.”

A friend of mine pointed me to this interview of Senator Rick Santorum by George Stephonopoulos, which demonstrates why his railing against “village elders” (by which he means liberal media and intellectuals) is so much fear-mongering to make the right look like the underdog when they have majority control of the U.S. government.

Santorum falls into the trap of believing the ideology over viewing the reality. He’s part of the group, which the Bush camp is part of, that instead of trying to see what the world is like, wants to just change it all in their own way, regardless of the reality of the world (see the war in Iraq for further examples). The interview is largely Santorum speaking about his views we’re familiar with, and refusing to apologize for implying that liberalism in Boston made priests sexually abuse children (a statement that was easily refutable, even when he made it in 2002). However, he is stopped dead in his tracks when it comes to his views on feminism and the “radical feminists” who are responsible for a “war” and a “crusade” against women who don’t work. Stephanopoulos asks him one simple question: who are these feminists. Read on to watch Santorum demonstrate the idiocy of his own position:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s talk about something else in the book, radical feminists. A second quote from the book, you say, 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 mysogynistic crusade to make working outside the home the only marker of social value and self-respect.

Let’s get specific here. Name one or two of these radical feminists who are on this crusade.

SANTORUM: Well, I mean, you know, you have — you go back to, what’s her name, well, Gloria Steinem, but I’m trying to remember — I can’t remember the woman’s name. It’s terrible. Anyway. . .

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it’s kind of an important point. Because you paint this broad brush: radical feminists, village elders. Name one.

SANTORUM: There’s lots of — no, there’s lot’s of — well, Gloria Steinem. There’s one. I mean, there’s lots of writings out there. . .

STEPHANOPOULOS: She’s been on a crusade against stay-at-home moms?

SANTORUM: There’s lots of writings out there, and there is an opinion by the elite in this country across academia, across the media, that stay-at-home motherhood is not adequately affirmed and respected by our society.

SANTORUM: And if you don’t believe that, get a panel of stay-at- home moms here on your show, and you ask them whether they feel affirmed by society, whether they feel affirmed by the culture.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Listen, I can go home. My wife Wendy both works and stays at home at various times. And sometimes, when she’s not working, you know, she gets upset, but it’s not some message that’s being driven by. . .

SANTORUM: Isn’t it?

STEPHANOPOULOS: . . . specific people.

SANTORUM: Isn’t it a message for us? I mean, where does this come from? Does this come from the ether?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I’m asking you. Where are these radical feminists?

SANTORUM: It comes from an elite culture, dictated, again, from academia, dictated, again, from the Hollywood culture and the news media, that says, the only thing that’s affirming, the only thing that really counts is what you do at work.

And that goes for men and women. And it’s wrong. It’s wrong to tell that to fathers. It’s wrong to tell that to mothers. And we need to value mothers and fathers spending time with their children much more than we do in America.

I’d like to call your attention to the last quote from Santorum, which is the party line response in this situation. He claims that “It comes from an elite culture, dictated, again, from academia, dictated, again, from the Hollywood culture and the news media, that says, the only thing that’s affirming, the only thing that really counts is what you do at work.”

Has he actually heard what feminists are fighting for these days besides pro-choice issues? Does he know that Steinem herself pushes for the recognition of childrearing as equivalent to working? Has he watched movies lately? Has he seen the number of films that represent contemporary feminist views, i.e. women can work or take care of children and both are legitimate choices? Probably not. He’s spending too much time creating spectral liberal boogeymen to scare women who raise their children into following his lead. How startling. Using fear to gain control. It should be a Republican campaign slogan.