Connie Schultz: Greetings from this ‘career-obsessed banshee’
Thanks to recent national coverage of Missouri Senate candidate Courtland Sykes and his self-declared expertise on “nail-biting manophobic hell-bent feminist she devils,” we’re all getting a glimpse into the darker recesses of his mind.
It’s as if he threw open the doors to his cranial cellar and yelled, “C’mon in, folks!” I’m here to lead you on the tour, but it’s a dank and musty place, so let’s walk in twos — and do hold hands.
Last September, Sykes, who is a Republican, gave a wide-ranging interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which included a section on his views about his version of feminists. He is apparently so proud of these comments that he decided to trot them out on his Facebook page last week. The man has the judgment of tree moss.
His post reads: “In light of recent questions regarding my views on Women’s Rights, attached is my full statement from September 2017.”
The question, he adds, is this: “Do you favor Women’s Rights?”
Why is he capitalizing Women’s Rights? No idea, but this Woman likes it, and that’s my Right as a “career obsessed banshee.” (Isn’t he adorable.)
Sykes starts by explaining his culinary demands of his fiance. Her name is Chanel Rion. As the Washington Post reports, she works as a conservative illustrator. One wonders if Sykes knew about this job of hers before the Washington Post reported it, as he sure has a lot to say about us Women’s so-called careers, and it ain’t pretty.
But first, he wants us to know about his dinnertime demands.
“Well — Chanel, my fiance, has given me orders to favor them (Women’s Rights), so I’d better,” he writes. “But Chanel knows that my obedience comes with a small price that she loves to pay anyway: I want to come home to a home cooked dinner at six every night …”
As the wife of a United States senator, I just want to interrupt here to say:
He plans on arriving home at 6 every night? As a U.S. senator? Well, this Woman is going to be talking to her husband, you can bet on that, because for the last 11 years somebody who looks just like mine has spent a lot of our dinner hours on the Senate floor. If I want to see him most weeknights at 6 o’clock, I watch C-SPAN.
By the way, that’s a boatload of work Sykes is planning to miss, starting with the 30 percent of votes that are scheduled around his mandatory home-cooked meal. Somebody needs to watch Schoolhouse Rock’s “How a Bill Becomes a Law.” It’s only three minutes long. It’s animated, too, so there’s that.
Sykes expects his, as yet nonexistent, daughters to fix dinner, too, but only “after they become traditional homemakers and family wives” — as opposed to oil tanker wives, I guess.
“(T)hink Norman Rockwell here,” Sykes added, “and Gloria Steinem be damned.”
Ignoring for the moment that Sykes thinks 83-year-old Gloria Steinem is the only living feminist activist, let’s talk about some of the Women and girls in Norman Rockwell’s paintings.
There’s “Girl With a Black Eye.” She’s sitting outside the principal’s office, scraped, bruised and rumpled, and wearing a smile of victory. “Girl Returning Home From Camp” is waiting for her ride home with a bandage on her knee, a turtle on a string and a snake in a jar on her lap. “Election Day” depicts a wife making clear to her shouting husband that she is voting for her candidate, not his.
Yes, by all means, be a Norman Rockwell girl.
But don’t mind me. I could just be engaging in what Sykes calls “gender-bending word games by a goofy nest of drugstore academics.”
I have no idea what a drugstore academic is, but Sykes apparently does, which may explain why he thinks feminists have “nasty, snake-filled heads.” The things they teach you at Walgreens.
Could it be that Sykes was thinking of Medusa? You remember her, from Greek mythology. She was a Woman with wings and a head of snakes instead of hair. One look at her face and you turned to stone.
Somebody go tell Sykes we Women can do that, too. Take video.
Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and professional in residence at Kent State University’s school of journalism. She is the author of two books, including “…and His Lovely Wife,” which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate.