3.15.2012

Women Who Sing Santorum's Praises

Yesterday, I asked my female Twitter followers and Facebook friends who might support Rick Santorum to explain why they would do such a thing.

Haley & Camille Harris, Santorum girls
After all, this is the man who said he has concerns about women in front line combat because they are too emotional. This is the man who opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest (Make the best out of a bad situation, he says). This is the man who said using contraception is not okay. This is the man who said that single mothers are creating more criminals. This is the man who accuses “radical feminists” of undermining families and convincing women that they could find fulfillment in the workplace.

Rick Santorum, despite what he may say, is not looking out for women's best interest. Rick Santorum prefers a Biblical view of women, and anyone who has read the Old Testament knows women didn't fare too well in that book.

I did not receive an answer from any Santorum supporters, which probably says more about my followers than anything. I'm still waiting for a response.

My feeling is that women supporters of Rick Santorum are responding to a few things which trump any view he has on their abilities, or their autonomy. They are likely responding to his pro-life, Biblical views, which, as many believe, eclipse this business of women's rights.

Perhaps two home-schooled daughters of an Oklahoma pastor can shed some light on the appeal.

Haley, 18, and Camille Harris, 20 have penned a song for Ssantorum's campaign. The video for the "Game On!" has become a viral sensation with nearly 1 million views as of this writing.

The girls sing: "Game on, join the fight/We've finally got a man who will stand for what is right/There is hope for our nation again/Maybe the first time since we had Ronald Reagan/There will be justice for the unborn, factories back on our shores/Where the Constitution rules our land/Yes, I believe Rick Santorum is our man."

Via Today:
Daughters of a pastor in a family of eight, the girls live on four acres with 47 pecan trees. All of the Harris children have been home-schooled, much like Santorum’s kids. The girls say they are best friends, love coffee (though Haley prefers hot chocolate), have never bought a magazine and have never had cable (according to the girls, “Mom and Dad didn’t want to raise hoodlums :)”).
Camille, 20, said she has no desire to watch TV. "Even now, if I had the opportunity, I don’t choose to because they go against my value system. My dad’s like, 'You’re over 18. You can do whatever you want to do.’”

Camille had tried to write a theme song for Santorum before “Game On,” but nothing came. “I couldn’t get anything good or catchy,” she said. “But all of a sudden on Sunday night when someone said, 'Write a song for Super Tuesday,' I said 'I’m gonna write it.' We just prayed and asked God to give us the words and that song came really fast.”
So, there you have it. Perhaps the secret to Santorum's women supporters is the fact that there are way more families like the Harrises than we thought. Those home-schooling, media-avoiding, miracle-seeking, anti-contraceptive families tend to be large, and cut off from other world views. They simply don't know any better.

I realize that sounds awfully simplistic, elitist, condescending, and crass. I also realize that it is a gross generalization.

But I think there's something to it.

Take this comment from a New Yorker reader:
About women supporting Santorum: I too find this baffling, and can only attribute it to some form of Stockholm Syndrome. As someone who grew up among born-again and evangelical Christians in Appalachia, I would hypothesize that women who have accommodated themselves to living an evangelical lifestyle have nothing to gain from questioning the premises of Christian patriarchy. Their lives are more comfortable, less fraught with domestic conflict, if they simply decide to be happy and make the most of their assigned roles. Although to a feminist the trajectory of their lives seems constrained, on a day-to-day basis evangelical women feel productive and empowered by playing a dynamic role in their churches and schools, from which they derive a potent sense of community. Nor are they necessarily barred from having a job. They have avenues for self-expression such as crafts, baking, or book clubs. (If your first reaction is to disdain these, then unless you’re a professional artist you probably have too high an opinion of your own creative outlets.) In fact, when I recall the women I grew up under, they didn’t think men were superior at all; they took the patronizing attitude that men were to be indulged in their masculine delusions. It would be elitist/snobby/condescending/wrong to view such women as passive or merely subservient. How many of us want to challenge the social constructs within which we have created active lives that are reckoned as meaningful? At any rate, this is my best effort to make sense of the women’s vote, which is otherwise unfathomable and preposterous to me.
Let's hope the Harris girls don't go off to public school, or *gasp* an indoctrination mill. They might have a change of heart not unlike another young misguided blond duo.








3 comments:

  1. Eric, I am delighted that you continue to find these mind-bending situations. After watching this video, and reading the blog, I worry for a moment that maybe it is we that are living a life of delusion, under a rock. But, that thought quickly passes when I take another sip of coffee, and clarity returns.

    What you describe as their environment is more cult-like that any other group trying to live in the mainstream I've come across lately. And folks were worried about Mormonism!

    The fact that young women--who actually have some musical talent--could be so brainwashed into thinking that all they can be is subservient to men is kinda sad. No, it is actually horrendous. This is how we get legislation in WI that seeks to make single parenting a crime and a sin. Ugh.

    Oh, and by the way, I am delighted to discover that your quip about "another misguided blond duo" is NOT about the Dixie Chicks and their kerfuffle with former Pres. Bush. I quite enjoyed that one!

    Chris Mitchell
    @CDMitchell

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  2. From my experience with the Harrises, I just want to say that there is way more than meets the eye.

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  3. I feel sorry for the girls...really sorry for them, after knowing the Harris family. I am praying for them.

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