Republican Missouri Senate candidate Courtland Sykes shook up the internet on Thursday with a statement condemning the feminist movement and endorsing traditional family values.
Following the statement going viral, the former Navy SEAL Team 5 intelligence analyst spoke to The Gateway Pundit about his thoughts on feminism and the backlash he is now facing — asserting that they are the real bullies.
The statement the candidate made was in response to questions about his feelings on women’s rights. When asked if they were something he believes in, Sykes said that his fiancée, Chanel Rion, “has given him orders to”, so he “better.” He went on to say that she “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, one that she fixes and one that I expect one day to have daughters learn to fix after they become traditional homemakers and family wives — think Norman Rockwell here and Gloria Steinem be damned.”
Sykes added that he wants his daughters to work from home, have families and not become “career-obsessed banshees.” This line in particular seemed to strike at the nerves of many, particularly on the left.
This is an actual statement.
From a Republican Senate candidate.
Not a gaffe.
A deliberate, typed out, posted statement.
Wow, Courtland Sykes. Just wow. pic.twitter.com/5UoxM6CKyT
— Sally Kohn (@sallykohn) January 25, 2018
Speaking to The Gateway Pundit as the backlash rolled in, Sykes said, “here’s the issue, we’ve seen this movement [feminism] just grow out of control to the point where they’re the true bullies. They’re influencing our schools and our colleges by using this bully tactic that you are now seeing all over my social media.”
“They’re trying to really solidify their agenda, which in my opinion is just tearing American families apart,” he added. “The point of my statement was to defend traditional families. When I was asked how I feel about women’s rights, frankly what I could have said is that women’s rights and men’s rights are the same thing — we are all equal.”
Sykes stated that there is “no such thing as women’s rights,” because there should not be a separate qualifier for supporting everyone’s equal rights.
“I believe in celebrating all of women’s achievements and talents,” Sykes said. “When I was asked that question — I have a tendency to be a bit brash and that’s when the dinner comment came out. It’s how Chanel and I want to live a traditional life when we get married. There is going to be expectations she has of me certainly and I have expectations of her. I think that is normal in a healthy relationship.”
Speaking on the backlash from feminists, Sykes admit that he “did go after them pretty hard.”
Clarifying his position on feminism, Sykes said that he does believe in it in some forms — using Kellyanne Conway as an example.
“Kellyanne Conway, in my mind, is the best example of feminism. She has a family, she sees her kids have their breakfast and get sent off for school every day, she takes care of her family and she goes to work. I think she is the best reflection of a feminist today,” Sykes said.
Sykes said that from a political standpoint he wouldn’t be legislating against feminism, “if you want to shave your head and have ten nose rings — be my guest. I’m not telling women what they can and cannot do, I wouldn’t do that.” He continued on to say that he only wants to protect his own right to live a traditional family life.
“We aren’t trying to tell them how to live their lives and we don’t want to be harassed for trying to have a traditional family,” Sykes said. “If they want to be ‘nasty’ they can be as ‘nasty as they like, go for it. Just don’t tell me what I can and cannot believe.”
Regarding his future children, Sykes said that he would support his daughters and his wife if they wanted to have careers — but he also wants them to appreciate the importance of their home life.
As far as his own run for office, Sykes previously told Gateway Pundit that he supports the president’s agenda as well as the Freedom Caucus.
“The reason that is, I see that what the president has done and his actions are more compatible with the Freedom Caucus than any other camp in Congress,” Sykes told Gateway Pundit. “I certainly supported the Freedom Caucus for years and I want to support the president’s agenda. That is what we are not seeing a whole lot of in Washington.”
Sykes is a life-member of the National Rifle Association who says that he will be the most pro-gun and anti-regulation senator in US history.