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Rick Santorum, Boy Gender Fascist

| Apr 2, 2012
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©2012 by Dallas Denny

Rick Santorum, Boy Gender Fascist

 Over the past few weeks it seems Rick Santorum has accused anyone who even remotely gets under his skin of being a bully. He called Mitt Romney a bully back in February. Earlier in the week, at a campaign event in Wisconsin, he called unions bullies. And he accused New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny of trying to bully him.

But an incident at a campaign stop at a bowling alley yesterday betrays that Santorum is so obsessed with bullies because he looks at one one every morning in the mirror.

According to Reuters reporter Sam Youngman, who tweeted what he heard, Santorum had some advice for a little boy who was reaching for a pink bowling ball: “You’re not gonna use the pink ball. We’re not gonna let you do that. Not on camera.”

— Michelangelo Signorile, 2012

Dwight David Eisenhower wouldn’t recognize the Republican Party of today. It has devolved into a crass political theater, nationally and state-by-state blaming Barack Obama for everything, even his birth; robbing working men and women of hard-won collective bargaining rights; dismantling environmental protections by limiting the EPA and denying global warming; playing brinksmanship with foreign policy; attempting to dismantle Social Security, Medicare, and other social welfare programs; eliminating regulations on the nation’s corrupt megabanks; keeping taxes on corporations and American’s wealthiest men and women low while punishing the middle class; promising to dismantle the entire national government; and making up the most outrageous lies — for instance that there were no terrorist attacks on U.S. soil during George W. Bush’s administration.

It would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic. But worse are attempts by Republicans to roll back a half-century of social progress by women, gay men and lesbians, and transgendered and transsexual Americans.

Flying under cover of the Bible, Republicans are stripping women of their reproductive freedoms, requiring them to have humiliating and invasive medical transvaginal ultrasound procedures; empowering rape and rapists by requiring women to carry rape fetuses to term; and even attempting to require women to stay in marriages to abusive husbands. Then, when called out on their war against women, they blame Democrats, claiming negative attention called to their antics is the actual war on women!

All Republicans aren’t like this, of course, but most of those who aren’t are marching in lockstep with the craziest and even trying to outdo one another by ratcheting up the insanity. It has become a national tragedy, a circus of lunacy that needs a few courageous Republicans to step forth and say, as Joseph Nye Welch said to Senator Joe McCarthy in 1954, “Have you no  decency sir, at last? Have you no sense of decency?”

In terms of fake piousness, Presidential candidate Rick Santorum is one of the worst offenders. He has likened sex between gay males with bestiality and pedophilia and sex with inanimate objects and has even blamed the economic crisis on gay Americans. If elected President, he promises, he will annul all same-sex marriages. He has promised to appeal all federal funding for contraception and wants the state to outlaw birth control. He has claimed abortion exceptions like incest and rape are phony, thinks health insurers should discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, and advocates profiling of Muslim Americans (see this).

In 2003 Santorum’s homophobia caught the attention of writer Dan Savage, who held a contest to define the word santorum. Here’s the winner: “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of gay sex.” Savage created the website spreadingsantorum.com, and for years it came up first in search engines when Santorum was input. It still comes up first after the paid placements.

It’s hardly surprising, then, that Santorum is a gender fascist. He showed his true colors last week in that bowling alley when a young boy started to pick up a pink bowling ball and Santorum said, “You’re not gonna use the pink ball. We’re not gonna let you do that. Not on camera.”

One can only imagine what went through Santorum’s fundamentalist head. ZOMG, it’s a dreaded evil pink bowling ball! Pink is a color associated with girls, and the boy might get cooties or something if he touches it. And cooties are horrible! Girls are weak and inferior and the boy might get infected and lose his masculinity. He might even become a fag. And what could be more horrible? Nothing! That’s the most horrible thing in the world, except for losing his penis. And speaking of that, the poor boy might even want a sex change or something after touching that ball. So for god’s sake take that frigging bowling ball out of here and paint it black and disinfect that kid with Lysol!

This is amazing reasoning from a man who wears sweater-vests. I mean, Santorum looks and acts like a three on the Kinsey scale, and that unfortunate choice of clothing they make Santorum bumps him all the way up to six!

The misogyny and homophobia Santorum showed with those few words is just overpowering: he said by his words that a boy who is associated with anything even remotely feminine (even a neutral object like a bowling ball if it’s painted a color associated with femininity) is somehow contaminated, demasculinized, derailed from his god-appointed right to be a man, sissified, demeaned, diminished, possibly forever.

There is, of course, nothing inherently feminine about a pink bowling ball. After all, less than one hundred years ago pink was the color associated with boys and men and blue was the color for girls and women. Nor, of course, is there anything wrong with a boy being feminine. In fact, some people think it’s a good thing — a boy is a better boy for embracing his femininity.

Most likely that young boy just made an unfortunate choice of bowling ball. He’s probably not gay or trans. If he were, Santorum’s words would have been soul-crushing. And if he’s not, I can only imagine how shamed, frightened, and angry he must have been to be so publicly humiliated by a Presidential candidate, no less.

Michelangelo Signorile got it right. Rick Santorum is a bully — and he certainly showed it in his unnecessary public scolding of that child!

Sources

Signorile, Michelangelo. (2012, 29 March). Rick Santorum and the pink bowling ball: A man with a bully complex.

Editor’s Note: Some reports have said that the “young boy” was a member of a young Republican’s group and may have been a teen or young adult. Some stories say he is a college student.


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Category: Legal, Transgender Community News, Transgender Opinion

Dallas Denny

About the Author ()

Much of Dallas' work is available on her website. Dallas Denny is a writer, activist, and educator. She holds a M.A. and was licensed to practice psychology for many years. She retired her license after relocating to Georgia. Dallas founded and was for eight years Executive Director of the American Educational Gender Education Service. She started the Atlanta Gender Explorations support group in 1990. She was part of the group that started the Southern Comfort conference and did programming for the conference. She has long been involved with Fantasia Fair, where she was Director for six years. Dallas was editor of the journal "Chrysalis" from 1990-1998 and "Transgender Tapestry" from 2000-2006. She has three published three books and many book chapters and journal and magazine articles. Dallas holds a number of honors, including IFGE’s Trinity and Virginia Prince Lifetime Achievement Awards and Real Life Experience’s Transgender Pioneer Award.

Comments (8)

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  1. debglam debglam says:

    Can’t wait to see what skeleton eventually falls out of this DB’s closet!

  2. Hi Dallas! I agree and have enjoyed your article!
    It is next to impossible to take on the evils of mainstream religions, traditions and politics without the risking of offending those people who wilfully subscribe to them to whatever extents they may be.
    The biggest problem is Culture indeed because the more factually well-informed people become, the better the chances that they will learn to exercise intelligent and wise Critical Thinking on behalf of themselves, their chosen codes of values and conduct.
    A the end of the proverbial day, when you really think of it… Everything that we all have learned and know comes from Language & Belief.
    So what it is left to do is to master Language & Belief well enough to manage to grow beyond its wilful ignorance, beyond its conformist herd mentality.
    Hell, we are MTF Tgirls! We can do this if we put our minds to it and keep our heads from losing themselves in the monopoly games of mainstream religion, politics and business.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Sky

  3. says:

    Santorum’s extreme religious statements are why he won’t be president. Romney will have the same problem. Romney sounds like a moderate but Mormons are anything but moderate when it comes to our issues. Obama has actually done things for our community. Let’s not forget who is on OUR side in November…Obama.

  4. Dallas Denny Dallas Denny says:

    Thanks, Sophie! Good pint, Kimberley. The pink balls ARE usually lighter!

  5. Dallas Denny Dallas Denny says:

    Timbrynt, I was taking ONE hateful man to task– Rick Santorum. It’s not about ALL Christians, for goodness’ sake!

  6. Sophie Lynne Sophie Lynne says:

    Timbryant, i am a Christian and I didn’t read into that at all what you did. I saw an indictment of a very sick man who the GOP desperately wants to elect as president.

    My mind on this topic is public record (see my piece from a few weeks ago.) Dallas does us a service by calling this incident to our attention in a well written piece.

  7. To me it is most likely that the little boy recognized the pink bowling ball as one of the lighter ones that he could handle. Santorum, keeping in character, flew off the handle at the idea that a boy might prefer to use a pink bowling ball. What a doofus!

  8. To me person like Dallas like many other activest
    like to paint all Christians with brush stroke.
    saying things like hiding under the cover of the Bible.
    While ther those from the Transgender Community and those
    of us to whom suport the Tg Community whom Consider ourselfs Christians and that we all want to uno
    year progres by the TG Community,,,,,,,,,
    Is like sameone that all Gay and alesbians and TGs
    want to do away with traditional streight marriages
    because they beleave that streight marriages will end divorce so why do away with streight marriages
    and replace them with Tg Gay Bi marriages.
    Before you try to re-butt this
    here what i just cut and paste from the above article

    Flying under cover of the Bible, Republicans are stripping women of their reproductive freedoms, requiring them to have humiliating and invasive medical transvaginal ultrasound procedures; empowering rape and rapists by requiring women to carry rape fetuses to term; and even attempting to require women to stay in marriages to abusive husbands. Then, when called out on their war against women, they blame Democrats, claiming negative attention called to their antics is the actual war on women!

    And that i mint when i s said that activiest like Dallas
    are no beeter then those Repubilicans and christians
    they’re blaiming to be anti-gay and transgendered.

    well that is my 2 cents worth

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