The Republicans really only have two options going forward in the #MeToo era. They can recognize the ongoing societal shift, that women are coming forward to tell their stories, as well as more broadly demanding the equal treatment and respect they deserve, or the GOP can dig its heels in and go the opposite direction by becoming more regressive, more misogynist, and ultimately more irrelevant.
Courtland Sykes, a Republican Senate candidate in Missouri has opted for the chauvinistic latter approach. In an attempt to pander to the worst, most reactionary elements of the GOP base, he made a vile post on his Facebook page. The official statement was prefaced by Sykes saying that he felt compelled to answer recent questions over whether or not he supports women’s rights.
Sykes tries to present his opinions as if he’s advocating for women to do whatever they want. Which is to say that a woman is equally free to pursue a more conservative, homemaking life if she so chooses. Of course, that is true, but it’s also a strawman argument.
Nobody on the left is arguing that every woman should focus on their career. Women, like men, should be permitted to embrace whatever lifestyle fulfills them most. They shouldn’t be forced to raise a family, nor should they be forced to devote themselves to their jobs.
Sykes’s disingenuous complaint is really just a Trojan horse for him to take potshots at feminists and women in general. Spread throughout the typo-riddled statement are comments steeped in shocking misogyny.
Sykes says he wants to “come home to a home-cooked dinner at six every night, one that she fixes.” He wants his daughters to become “traditional homemakers and family wives” and lauds Norman Rockwell and damns Gloria Steinem. Sykes doesn’t want his daughters to grow up to be “carreer-obssesed banshees” or shrieking “manophobic, hell-bent feminists.” He also refers to feminists having “nasty, snake-filled heads.”
The Republican goes on to say that people despised Hillary Clinton because they looked at “her personal life’s wreckage” and rejected her. Presumably, he is referencing Bill’s infidelities, which women-hating men like him always fixate on, as if her husband’s indiscretions are not only her fault, but her sole defining trait. In reality, millions of women (and men) draw strength and inspiration from Hillary Clinton’s courage, as well as her distinguished service to this country as both a Senator and Secretary of State.
Sykes concludes by saying that the kind of feminism he hates is finished because Hillary Clinton lost. He’s in for a very, very rude awakening.
Read the full statement below:
In case the statement didn’t drive it home, Sykes also previously shared an incredibly sexist meme attacking women politicians:
Sykes still has to face off against a group of other Republican candidates in the Senate. But regardless of who wins that primary, it’s crucial that Democrat Claire McCaskill win reelection. Click here to donate to her.