A Republican candidate who hopes to unseat a female Democratic senator in Missouri is drawing criticism for a statement he posted about women’s rights in which he called feminists “she devils” and said that he expected his fiancee to have dinner ready for him every night at 6 p.m.
“I want to come home to a home cooked dinner at six every night, one that she fixes and one that I expect one day to have my daughters learn to fix after they become traditional homemakers and family wives,” he wrote of his fiancee, Chanel Rion, saying he wanted his world to be more Norman Rockwell — the painter known for his depictions of classic American life — than the feminist Gloria Steinem.
The candidate, Courtland Sykes, wrote that “radical feminism” has a “crazed definition of modern womanhood.”
“They made it up to suit their own nasty, snake-filled heads,” he said. “Men and women are different and gender-bending word games by a goofy nest of drugstore academics aren’t going to change anything — except the fantasy life of those confused people in ivory towers.”
Sykes, who is one of several Republicans planning a run against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), posted the remarks on his Facebook page this week, though they were originally from an interview in September.
Of the daughters he envisioned himself having in the future, he wrote that he wanted them to build “home based enterprises.”
“I don’t want them [to] grow up into career obsessed banshees who [forgo] home life and children and the happiness of family to become nail-biting manophobic hell-bent feminist she devils,” he said.
Hillary Clinton’s loss, he wrote, showed that radical feminists had been defeated.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Sykes said that he fully supported women and that he didn’t believe his statement was demeaning to them.
“I clearly state that modern women can be anything they want,” he said. “No one is in a position to tell women what they can and can’t do.”
He said that he did not intend the statement about “feminist she devils” to be an indictment of women with careers, noting that he counted some women he used to work with as mentors.
“There are amazing women with amazing careers,” he said. “You take Kellyanne Conway or Sarah Huckabee Sanders. These women absolutely should be celebrated.”
And he said he supported his fiancee, a conservative illustrator, and her work. In fact, she doesn’t even make dinner for him every night, he said; the two live in separate parts of the state — Sykes in Independence, near Kansas City, and Rion, his fiancee, a few hours south.
“That was just a pushback, maybe a brash pushback,” he said. “That was basically me saying we want to support traditional family values moving forward.”