"Emotions": Santorum's Sexist Explanation for Why Women Shouldn't be on the Front Lines

On Thursday, the Pentagon announced it will loosen restrictions on women serving in combat, allowing females to be assigned to a battalion “as radio operators, medics, tank mechanics and other critical jobs.” Santorum then offered his two cents on CNN. 

Either suggesting that women are naturally more emotional than men, and would therefore be unable to serve, or that men and women cannot coexist (even in war) without enduring the severe emotions women induce,  Santorum said: 

I think that can be a very compromising situation where — where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interests of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved. And I think that’s probably — you know, it already happens, of course, with the camaraderie of men in combat. But it’s — but it’s — I think it would be even more unique if women were in combat. And I think that’s probably not in the best interests of men, women or the mission.

As Think Progress noted

The Pentagon announcement only formalizes military practices that were already taking place, and thus far “emotions,” as Santorum says, haven’t been an issue. 

And Santorum also happens to think the same way about gays serving in the military, saying — despite evidence to the contrary — that it “would cause problems for people living in those close quarters.” And he’s been wrong about that prediction too.

Women or not, war is pretty emotional. And there is no reason to believe adding some females to the front lines would up the emo.

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at February 10, 2012, 4:52am

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