Maryann Tobin

Sometimes the names on the ballot are not the same as the names that shape the outcome of an election. In 2012, that shape-shifter appears to be Rick Santorum.

Santorum trailed the GOP primary field until Spring Fever infected just enough ultra right-wing voters to put him in the spotlight. And what a spotlight it was.

Santorum used his five minutes of fame to tell the most powerful voting bloc in America that they have been living their lives all wrong for years. Women, according to Santorum, should not be allowed to use birth control or have sex out of wedlock. And just to be sure that American women understood that Santorum was the third arm of Catholic Church Doctrine, he also told Americans that sex was for making babies, and nothing else.

The subliminal Santorum message to women is - we don't want you in the workplace. Stay home, serve you spouse and make babies - just like you did 300 years ago.

It is not a coincidence that the sexual revolution of the 1960s had a lot to do with the influx of women in the American workplace. As the use of birth control became more common, women were no longer solely tied to the responsibilities of child-rearing; they could now persue careers and a college education.

“For four decades, the number of women entering the workplace grew at a blistering pace, fostering a powerful cultural and economic transformation of American society,” according to the New York Times.

In 2012, women are no longer thought of as little more than baby-makers, except of course by Rick Santorum.

The truth of the matter is that American women are a vital part of the economy, contributing to more than half of all domestic consumer spending. Women are also the decision-makers in family budgets by a two to one margin. And last but not least, women make up 51% of the workforce.

What Rick Santorum wants is a return to “domestic slavery.

The Economists said back in 2009, “A generation ago working women performed menial jobs and were routinely subjected to casual sexism.....Feminists such as Betty Friedan have demonized domestic slavery and lambasted discrimination. Governments have passed equal-rights acts. Female politicians such as Margaret Thatcher and Mrs. Clinton have taught younger women that anything is possible.”

Rick Santorum also has a lot of explaining to do with his anti-woman social engineering views to men and drug manufacturing companies . In an age where Viagra and other male sexual enhancement drugs are becoming more common, sexuality in the 21st century is driving more than just corporate profits; it is changing the way Americans live on a very personal level.

There is a fitting expression for Rick Santorum that is almost as old as his insulting views toward women, their sexuality, and their right to remain a powerful influence in the American workplace. As he would have been called in the 1960s, in 2012, Rick Santorum can still be called a “chauvinist pig.”

Women have spent years fighting against the kind of sexual discrimination Rick Santorum is now promoting, so it's no wonder he has driven women voters into the arms of the the Democratic Party, and more specifically, President Barak Obama.

Since Santorum began his crusade to bring back the American chauvinist pig, polls say women have given President Obama a double digit lead against the likely Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, in the 2012 race for the White House.

So while Santorum's name may not be on the ballot against President Obama in November, his negative influence on women voters appears to have rubbed off on the Republican Party.

Democrats will likely seize the opportunity to point out the “chauvinist pig” views of the GOP in 2012 elections political advertising. It would actually be a smart move, since no president in recent history has won an election without the support of women voters.

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