Missouri Republican Senate candidate declares war on feminism

Photo: Getty Images

 

Courtland Sykes is running as a Republican candidate for Senate in the state of Missouri. His ideas on feminism and “Women’s Rights” are a terrible carnival of anti-woman rhetoric, with so many straw man arguments you could build a Wicker Man out of them.

We know this thanks to Charlotte Alter, national correspondent with Time, who found and tweeted this bizarre screed about feminism that Sykes was apparently so proud of, he posted it to his verified Facebook page this week:

A man who considers himself a serious contender for Senate sees feminism as a “non-stop campaign… against manhood,” and that’s probably the least offensive part of this statement.

Sykes also said he favors “women’s rights” because his wife “orders” him to — but that his obedience comes at the “price” of home-cooked dinners every night at 6. He said he hopes his daughters “become traditional homemakers and family wives,” not “career-obsessed banshees” and “nail-biting manophobic hell-bent feminist she-devils.” He claims he supports women’s rights, “but not the kind that has oppressed natural womanhood for five long decades” (in other words, everything since the modern women’s rights movement began) and unfairly uses a “little broom label of ‘sexist’.” He also makes fun of Hillary Clinton, because why not.

It reads like a joke about the worst man you can possibly imagine. Unfortunately for us (and probably his daughters), this isn’t a joke. It was indeed posted to the verified Facebook page for Sykes and his campaign, and the post is still online as of this publication. (Also, for me, this confirms that “Courtland Sykes” isn’t a made-up name.)

In light of recent questions regarding my views on Women's Rights, attached is my full statement from September 2017.

Posted by Courtland Sykes for Senate on Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The header image on Sykes’s Facebook page (below) promotes his tagline of “Sykes for Real World Experience” — which seems like exactly the kind of campaign motto you’d expect from a guy who thinks it’s common sense that feminism is bad. (His other tagline is “National Security Is A Real World Responsibility,” which … let’s just say that when a Midwest Senate candidate is talking about borders and international terrorism, it sure feels like dog-whistling for another issue.)

As if this story wasn’t heading far enough down the drain, Sykes’s fiance is a political cartoonist who clearly has some thoughts on liberals, women, and liberal women:

Sure, it’s funny to drag a brutally ignorant dude for being ignorant. But why report on it?

First of all, it says something appalling about the state of our political discourse in 2018 when a national Senate candidate thinks he can kick off his campaign by throwing this kind of hostile rhetoric at half of the voting public. True, not all women identify as feminists, but I’m positive half of the population doesn’t think the word “sexist” is a “little broom label” — if only because that arrangement of words does not mean anything. Little broom label? We get what you’re going for, Courtland, but this is clumsy sexism at best.

Even more to the point, though, the race for this particular Senate seat in Missouri is important to the national power balance. Claire McCaskill, the Democrat who currently holds the position, has been personally attacked by President Trump multiple times for being an “obstructionist.” While Trump attacking her will probably rally the Democratic voter base to her defense, it may also inspire sexist pond scum to attack her much like Sykes attacked Hillary Clinton in his weird declaration of war against women.

Luckily, Sykes has competition in the Republican primary from candidates with much stronger political bona fides. Josh Hawley, the Attorney General of Missouri, is also running as a Republican. True, Hawley is currently being fined by a federal judge for multiple failures to release documents in cases involving police corruption, so he’s not exactly the best candidate Missouri Republicans can put forward. But at least he doesn’t believe that feminists are actual witches.

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