No, Harrison Butker, Women Aren’t Here to Serve You

The problem isn’t Butker—it’s the collective who think like Butker, who can’t imagine that women are created equal to men, that women exist to fulfill their own life’s purpose. 

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s commencement speech was full of anti-gay and misogynistic statements. (Scott Winters / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

A lot has been said (and none good) about Kansas City Chief’s kicker, Harrison Butker’s dystopian and controversial commencement speech at Benedictine College. There was a lot to dislike. He claimed abortion, IVF, surrogacy and euthanasia come from “the pervasiveness of disorder.” He trashed birth control and took a swipe at the LGBTQ community. 

What garnered the most attention was this:

“I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you. 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 children you bring into this world.”  

Mansplaining at its best!  

I can’t imagine what the women in the graduating class were feeling after working hard for four years only to be told it was all for nothing; that their lot in life is to be barefoot and pregnant.  

Butker has been in the spotlight since his speech in Atchison, Kansas, on May 11. But do we really care who said it, as much as what he said now, in the year 2024?  

The problem isn’t Butker. The problem is the collective who think like Butker, who can’t imagine that women are created equal to men, that women exist to fulfill their own life’s purpose. There’s a word for what the Butkers of the world need to do more of—it’s called “sonder.” The definition is “the feeling one has on realizing that every other individual one sees has a life as full and real as one’s own.” 

Someone who sonders doesn’t require others’ lives to be supporting roles for their own. Someone who sonders doesn’t ask others to “stay in their lane.” 

I have been fighting for gender equality all of my life. I know in my bones we are making progress, even in the face of Butker’s speech, who ironically referenced his teammate Travis Kelce’s girlfriend Taylor Swift (who brought in $331 million for the NFL and his Chiefs!) and her lyrics, “Familiarity breeds contempt.”  

Yes, it’s true, women are sick of the sexist rhetoric. The diabolical lie we have been told is to stay in our lane. Those who believe that can expect us to run you off the road.

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Jodi Bondi Norgaard is an entrepreneur, author, keynote speaker, feminist advocate, and an expert in creating change and breaking gender stereotypes. She is the founder of Dream Big Toy Company and the creator of the award-winning Go! Go! Sports Girls line of dolls, books, and apps for girls, encouraging healthy and active play over beauty and body image. Her book,  More Than A Doll: How Creating A New Brand of Sports Dolls Turned into a Fight to End Gender Stereotypes , will be released Jan. 2025.