While campaigning in Wisconsin for the upcoming primary, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum was making a public appearance at a bowling alley to spend time among voters. One man who was joining in the game, described only as “young,” apparently picked up a pink bowling ball, only to be reprimanded by Santorum, who said, “You’re not gonna use that pink ball. We’re not gonna let you do that. Not on camera.”
There are so many directions I could go with my criticism of this. The first think that comes to mind, given Santorum’s “man-on-dog” history, is that he didn’t want anyone seeing video of their game to assume that he bowls in the vicinity of anyone that anyone could assume might be gay. The extension of this thought, though, is why a pink bowling ball might lead someone to think that the person using it is gay.
In current fashion, though not historically, pink is associated with a concept of femininity. The bowling ball assumption that the man is gay is based on the idea that “real men” only use objects painted in “masculine colors.” This means that if a man uses a pink bowling ball, he must not be a “real man”- which, to someone who would make this connection, is the same thing as assuming he’s gay.
But, again, why would a pink bowling ball lead someone to believe that? Basically- misogyny. If association with an object painted a “girly” color means that you are less of a person, that leads me to conclude that Rick Santorum believes that women are lesser people than men. That’s misogyny.
Santorum clearly believes that he as one man knows better than 150 million women who they should marry, if and when they have children, how many children they should have, if they should watch pornography, if they should be valued less than a fertilized egg, if they are free to practice a non-Christian religion, if they and their partner would make good adoptive parents, if they should be taught scientifically and medically accurate information in science and sex education, or if it’s just entertainment when women speaking publicly about reproductive health concerns are called sluts and prostitutes.
Rick Santorum told that young man in Wisconsin not to use a pink bowling ball because he couldn’t stand to be caught in the same room with a man who thought that touching something “feminine” did not diminish him as a person. It’s sick. That is absolutely unacceptable behavior from someone who wants to be President. If you don’t respect the majority of the people in this country, why do you even want to be President of this country? Is it because you think you can change us? Do you think we need to be saved? This is not leadership, Rick Santorum. This is misogyny and homophobia. These antiquated notions are not helping us move forward. They are holding us back.