Opinion: Why GOP Ladies Love Cool Rick

In the world of high school politics, the alpha asshole reigns supreme. Teenage girls tend to flock to any guy who treats them like dirt and this migration is respectfully translated into culture-speak. As always, we have the legacy of The Breakfast Club: towards the end of the movie, redhead chic queen Molly Ringwald falls a bit for the disturbed tough guy Judd Nelson, who calls her every A-word, B-word and C-word in the book. Something about this brash masculinity charms the vulnerable feminique; it is one of those mysteries of the universe that people like Stephen Hawkings and John Cusack spend their lives trying to answer.

The same perturbed principle of ying and yang applies to Rick Santorum and Republican women. In recent weeks, the ex-Senator from Pennsylvania has surged amongst the ladies of the GOP, cementing a solid 57% of their support with the biggest jump happening last week as flashes of his social conservatism soaked up media spotlight. All of which, coincidentally, had to do with degrading that very same female strata, who are loveless and confused in a post-Palin GOP, in some way or another.

In Santorum’s America, the macho government represents a weird hybrid of 1950s values with a strong oomph of God that puts women in their “I Love Lucy” place. On matters of the workplace, the candidate wrote in his 2005 book that “radical feminists” are to blame for “convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness.” On the topic of sex before marriage, Rick stated in an interview that contraceptives are a gateway drug: “it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed be.” And who could forget G.I. Jane, whose dedication to protecting our country, according to Santorum, would “not be in the best interests of men, women or the mission.”

Republican chicks love these Home Economics class views and Rick’s attempts to defend them against critics from the left and his own party are swooning the ladies left and right. But this is no surprise if we look back to the hallways of high school.

Santorum has all of the characteristics of the mean (yet dashing) bad boy: ego, power and coolness that derives from an insensitivity towards authority. Ego? All of the above. Power? The increasing likelihood that he will go against President Obama (who, in this scenario, could be the president of Key Club) in the general election.

And his coolness? His refusal to back down from his sexist views would be like if he talked back to the principal for giving him detention for smoking cigarettes in the second floor stairway. In this classic case of stereotypical adolescence, the right-wing gals play the group of star-eyed girls who exclaim somewhere nearby about how “dreamy” Rick is for standing up for himself.

Once we have this foundation of the teenage hierarchy established, it is evident why the other Republican candidates are not getting this much love from the ladies. Newt Gingrich is the distrustful guy that cheats on you with your best friend. Ron Paul is the too-mature-for-anyone party pooper, who complains about everything and never has fun at social gatherings. And shady, flip-flopping Mitt? Although he still has a majority of Republican women on his side, this support remains fragile and for good reason: as a friend of mine advised, “no one wants to date the guy in high school who can’t decide what team he plays for.”

But high school does not last forever. College is the place where personalities like that of Santorum come to die. Women move on and mature, leaving behind the verbally abusive guy  for a decently moral boyfriend who will buy them flowers and remember their birthdays. And that’s what will happen to Rick if he wins the nomination. In Maureen Dowd’s words, the platform that Santorum is spear-heading is “living post-humously, fighting battles on sex, race, immigration and education long ago won by the other side.” His campaign is living out a high school dream for the time being but, as we all know, nice guys tend to finish last.

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14 Comments

  • Kaitlin Kelly
    February 28, 2012

    “Teenage girls tend to flock to any guy who treats them like dirt and this migration is respectfully translated into culture-speak…”

    “His campaign is living out a high school dream for the time being but, as we all know, nice guys tend to finish last.”

    Oh, cultural scholar now, are we? I guess since you opened with blatantly bitter, sexist dribble about how feminine girls can’t get over the “bad boy,” I shouldn’t be shocked that the rest of your article followed in the same vein. Sorry you were “friendzoned” one too many times in high school and now want to project those views onto Republican women, many of whom, I might add, cannot stand Rick Santorum or anything he stands for.

    You might be trying to be snappy and hilarious, but you’re not. Cut the vitriol, and maybe then you’ll learn how to write without offending a major demographic.

  • Andy Heriaud
    February 28, 2012

    I’m going to preface this by saying that I’m not a fan of Rick Santorum, based on everything I’ve heard him say in interviews and speechs, I’m pretty confident that he’s a moron. Not because we don’t share the same views, but because I think he has fundamentally misread a lot of texts by the founders of this country.

    The thing I’ll give Rick Santorum is that what you see is what you get. He is unabashed and uncompromising about his social views, even at the risk of alienating himself and losing an election. But he is exactly what he purports himself to be, and I could see how that might appeal to people who have watched candidates like Mitt Romney try to weasel his way into the job by making you like him.

    Sure, Santorum can be kind of brash and offputting, but at least he isn’t constantly revising his stance of things in some passive agressive attempt to get you to like him. I can see how Mitt Romney could be bitter too, he’s put a lot of work into being there for you, and it’s hard to see someone just swoop in and woo your electorate just by being themself, worts and all.

    The problem I have with this article is that it fails to take into account that yes, there are probably women who hold the same social views as Rick Santorum, and yes, those views may undercut their personal freedoms as women.

  • Peter Cifichiello
    February 28, 2012

    This article reflects very poorly on you and your university. I think whoever runs this outlet ought to seriously reconsider what standards they apply to the printed words they allow to appear in their publications. I stumbled upon this article while looking for a different piece and I’m a bit taken aback by it. Needless to say that by having read this article it has changed my opinion of 2 things: 1) The standards of conduct and decorum at New York University and 2) The quality of student being allowed to enter the classrooms of New York University.

  • Matt Pendleton
    February 28, 2012

    Those other guys in H.S. didn’t get the girls because they were “bad boys”. They got them because they were athletic, outgoing, and better looking than you. Furthermore, your article has no credibility since I’m pretty sure the “a-hole” of the bunch is Newt.

    “Newt Gingrich is the distrustful guy that cheats on you with your best friend.”

    Based on your comment that would make Newt “that guy”, not Rick. You contradicted your own idiotic analogy. Nicely done.

  • Cameron Shahr
    February 28, 2012

    You’re decrying Santorum’s sexism by employing sexist rhetoric throughout your entire article?

    The misogyny you express throughout this entire piece is disgusting.

  • Cameron Shahr
    February 28, 2012

    In addition, I’m extremely disappointed in NYU Local. The fact that y’all would allow such a blatantly misogynistic piece to be published really reflects negatively on you.

    Are there no editors to check these articles before they are published, or are your editors also sexist scumbags like John Surico?

  • Dayshawn DaHype
    February 28, 2012

    Hey Cameron, Peter and Kaitlin, stop being a baby aight? Andy, you doin yr thing. I ain’t mad at ya. Hey John Surico, You’re a dumb guy

  • John Smith
    February 28, 2012

    This is actually not okay. What you are saying about women with broad inconsiderate strokes is in strikingly poor taste–both at the micro & macro level..

    I mean, what you’re saying here is essentially that women like being abused? Or that they flock together in some unthinking herd? oy.

    You’re honestly not a bad writer, I think you could be legitimately witty but this is stunningly ill-considered and offensive. I hope you reflect upon what you just wrote…

  • Zoe Leverant
    February 28, 2012

    So your main argument is that women, and particularly Republican women, are too stupid and immature to know what’s good for them? You and Santorum have more in common than you seem to realize.

  • Harry Lee
    February 28, 2012

    Peter Cifichiello,
    Your comments about the article is justified, but to make the school-boy error of questioning the integrity and standard of the entire University over one mishap just reflects on your intelligence, or the lack thereof.

  • Ava Kiai
    February 28, 2012

    Holy guacamole, people. The first word of this article is the title word “Opinion.”

  • Carolina Zed
    March 1, 2012

    I stopped taking him seriously at ‘Hawkings.’
    As misogynistic and ill-informed his opinion may be, he has a write to have it. I just won’t listen to it if he’s not at least going to make sure he’s mentioned renowned physicist Stephen Hawking by his correct name.

  • Dayshawn DaHype
    March 1, 2012

    Everybody calm down. We’re all gonna die one day. Cop my mixtape at DayshawnDHype.bandcamp.com

    That’s with a D. Not DA. Somebody’s squatting on DayshawnDaHype.bandcamp.com

  • Peter Cifichiello
    March 26, 2012

    Harry Lee,
    When one publishes an article in a university publication, whether one likes it or not, that person is serving as a representative of that university. We are all members of families, businesses, universities, and neighborhoods. How we choose to conduct ourselves leaves an impression (positive or negative) about the broader organizations and institutions we associate ourselves with. It’s just a fact of life. If this young man is espousing these kinds of ideas, I question what ideas are being fostered and discussed in the classrooms he sits in at his university day in and day out. I don’t think it’s illogical to call that into question. The man is a student and is engaged in the act of learning, or lack thereof.

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