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Well, this is starting to get exhausting. 🙂

Last summer, some men didn’t love how they were portrayed in the Barbie movie.

Then only “Ken” (Ryan Gosling) was nominated for an Oscar. (Deserved, but still.)

Then recently, some men couldn’t believe that nearly every woman on the planet said if given the choice, they’d rather be in the woods with a bear than a man they didn’t know.

(My daughter and I asked my husband what he would want FOR us in the woods, a bear or a man, and he said a bear. Sad that even as a man that was his answer. But he passed. 🙂 )

Then here we are this past week, where you may have heard about a commencement speech given by the Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker at Benedictine College in Kansas.

Now, in his speech, he was an equal opportunity offender, taking on Pride Month, Covid-19 lockdowns, abortion rights, and what he called  “the tyranny of diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Then speaking to the women in the audience, he told them to embrace the “vocation” of homemaker.

“I want to speak directly to you briefly because I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you. How many of you are sitting here now about to cross the stage, and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you’re going to get in your career?” he asked. “Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world. But I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world.”

He went on to say, “I can tell you that my beautiful wife, Isabelle, would be the first to say that her life truly started when she began living her vocation as a wife and mother. I’m on this stage, and able to be the man I am because I have a wife who leans into her vocation.”

Her LIFE TRULY STARTED…? The ego on this one. So she had absolutely no life before she became his wife and mother to his children?

He went on to praise his wife for rather than fulfilling her previous dream of a career of her own, she supports his career and is taking on “one of the most important titles of all: homemaker.”

Oh, where to start with this boy. 🙂

First, let me say that I don’t disagree with everything he said, and I too think that whenever humanly possible, it is ideal for a parent to stay at home to raise the children, and often this is the mother.

But even with this, sometimes we can’t win. I chose to stay home with our daughter until she was 7 years old. One of our friends, (a man), felt quite comfortable telling me often that I was “wasting my degree” by being a stay-at-home mom.

I took it from him until finally I just couldn’t any longer, and I said, “So is it your position that only women without a college education should stay home with their children? Is having an educated mother detrimental to a child?”

Sit down, sir. 🙂

And what’s more, this man, whose college-educated wife chose not to stay home to raise their son, had who I believe is the absolute worst behaved child I have ever met. This kid was a terror and we were always embarrassed to be in public with them because this child was such a beast. He is fairly decent now, and in college, but he had a very rough start.

I have another male friend from college who once told me that he thought it was a big mistake for women to stay home with their children because it made women so much less interesting.

I told him I didn’t completely disagree with the less interesting part, but I thought it was a big mistake for him to say stuff like that to a woman.

I’m sorry we can’t quite manage to properly entertain you with interesting repartee when we haven’t had a shower, haven’t used the restroom in peace in years, and have the Bluey theme song stuck in our heads. 🙂

My point is that I don’t think these men should have been giving me parental opinions at ALL.

And should any man be giving women directives on what they should be doing? Do they know we can even open our own checking accounts now without their approval or assistance?

Let’s look at some of the inappropriateness and ironies of this commencement speech.

First of all, not every woman aspires to have children. And guess what? That’s okay!

Because not only do you have children, but then you have to intentionally RAISE them. So if you aren’t interested in that, or aren’t cut out for what is a lifelong gig, then you can sit this one out.

There is nothing wrong with this. But in one paragraph, this guy dictated to women that they’ve been lied to and rather than thinking of careers, they should be dreaming of their true calling, that of being mothers.

One of the groups that took issue with what he said was The Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica, an order of sisters who helped found a school for girls that eventually merged with Benedictine College, where he was speaking.

The sisters responded with the following statement:

“The sisters of Mount St. Scholastica do not believe that Harrison Butker’s comments in his 2024 Benedictine College commencement address represent the Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts college that our founders envisioned and in which we have been so invested,” the sisters wrote.

“Instead of promoting unity in our church, our nation, and the world, his comments seem to have fostered division,” they wrote. “One of our concerns was the assertion that being a homemaker is the highest calling for a woman. We sisters have dedicated our lives to God and God’s people, including the many women whom we have taught and influenced during the past 160 years. These women have made a tremendous difference in the world in their roles as wives and mothers and through their God-given gifts in leadership, scholarship, and their careers.”

How offensive is it to stand up there and say that the only “true vocation” for women is motherhood? And stay-at-home motherhood, at that?

I would argue that choosing to become a sister in a life of faith and service is a pretty high calling, and it is offensive to them to suggest they did not embrace their true vocation in life.

These sisters are astute and know their worth in educating women over the years who were effective as wives, mothers, and those with careers and leadership roles.

Why can he not see this?

What about women who can’t have children? Are they just worthless as they pursue such silliness as careers?

What about single mothers who don’t have the luxury of staying home with their children? They perform heroically out in the world every day financially providing for their children. Are they out of alignment with their true vocation?

And let’s talk about this boy’s mother. She is a medical physicist in the oncology department at Emory University. She received her undergrad degree from Smith College. No small accomplishment. And she has been at Emory since 1988, according to her LinkedIn profile. He was born in 1995.

So was his mother wasting her time pursuing higher education and working as a physicist rather than focusing all her attention on her true vocation–him?

And in another part of his commencement speech, Butker referenced a line from a Taylor Swift song, referring to her as “his teammate’s girlfriend.”

Is it lost on him that to make a point, he quoted a young woman who is in her 30’s, unmarried, has no children, has a successful career, and is a billionaire?

Is she just wasting her time like all the other women who are not pursuing their true vocation of motherhood? Last I checked, she brought quite a bit of publicity and revenue to his sport this past season.

And of course, the NFL, who is like Larry Tate from the TV show Bewitched in that they side with whatever will make them the most money, 🙂 has condemned his commencement speech.

“Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity,” Jonathan Beane, the NFL’s senior VP and chief diversity and inclusion officer told NPR on Thursday. “His views are not those of the NFL as an organization.”

They’re probably thinking, “Come ON, man! We just got all these Swifties on board with football then you go and tick them all off! Have you SEEN what they do when they’re mad?”

The good news is we can all probably just sit back and relax and let the Swifties handle this for us.

If Butker and his wife BOTH chose their arrangement and are happy with it, then I think that is great. (I would like to have a few minutes alone with his wife and ask her to blink if she’s being held captive… 🙂 ) If they’re both good with it and it works for them, then that is their business.

I think each of us is allowed to have our own personal views and convictions. We do not have to agree. But I think we have to “read the room,” as they say, and many times we need to keep those views and convictions to ourselves.

And really, telling other people what they should be doing is not a good use of our time, in most cases.

And how this guy thought it would be a good idea to tell a class of young women they have been lied to and should pursue motherhood is beyond me.

And in another bit of irony that I guess escaped him, he also talked in his commencement speech about “staying in your lane.”

His lane is that he occasionally kicks a ball for an obscene amount of money. What a missed opportunity to lead by example and just stay there and not venture into a lane where he feels comfortable telling women when their life truly starts. Lean into that.

If a young woman wants to get married and have children and stay at home with them, she should do it because it is HER CHOICE. If a young woman wants to pursue other interests and have a career, she should do it because it is HER CHOICE.

Not that of some football player who thinks he knows what is best for women.

And they wonder why we all chose the bear. Among other things, the bear would never presume to tell us what to do with our lives.

 

I know thoughts vary on topics like this. I’d love to hear yours if you want to share!

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