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Blabby Abby: Harrison Butker’s speech degrades women further

Recently, there have been numerous public sexist incidents circulating the internet, from the “bear vs. man in the woods'' debates to sexist comments made to Caitlin Clark just as she started her WNBA career. However, the most recent and alarming content is the commencement speech made by the Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker, in which he spoke directly to the graduating women in the audience. 

In his mortifying speech at Benedictine College, Butker tells the women they have been fed “diabolical lies'' and their lives will truly begin not after receiving a degree, but rather as “homemakers.” All that commentary comes from someone whose own mother works as a medical physicist. 

“I would venture to guess that the majority of you (women) are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world,” he said. “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 as a mother.” 

Although that has been the biggest and most alarming takeaway from his speech, he goes on to additionally tear down the LGBTQIA+ community, calling pride month “deathly sinful” and touches on abortion, criticizing the Biden administration for allowing “the murder of innocent babies.”

While some might argue his speech was given the way it was because Benedictine College is a private Catholic liberal arts school, what most don’t know is he gave a rather similar commencement speech at Georgia Institute of Technology, his alma mater, just last year. In the speech, he tells the crowd, “Get married and start a family.” 

As someone who attended private Catholic school for the majority of my life, a speech like this is beyond anything I was ever told. At my all-girls high school, we were built up by speakers, and despite whatever faith we had, we would all grow to become successful young women. Never once was I told my role or purpose was to become a wife and child-bearer. 

It is absurd a speech like this was given in 2024. However, the audience it has brought out supporting Butker’s beliefs is the most concerning of all. The number of people coming out in agreement with Butker has been terrifying to see as a woman working toward her degree. Women are angry and have every right to be, especially when women now represent the majority of the college-educated labor force in the U.S., according to a report from the Pew Research Center in 2022.

To have gone through years of education leading up to college graduation, only to be told your role is better served as a housewife just before receiving your degree is devastating. In a time where it feels as though we continue to move backward, that is just another unfortunate example. 

In addition, Butker quoted Taylor Swift in his speech, despite her often speaking out against sexism in the music industry and beyond. He said “familiarity breeds contempt,” a lyric from her 2022 hit “Bejeweled” It is mind-boggling to think someone with such a traditional way of thinking would go out of his way to quote someone like Swift in such a degrading speech that doesn’t align with her beliefs. Furthermore, according to Butker’s logic, Swift’s life as an incredibly successful singer-songwriter has not yet truly begun because she’s unmarried and childless. 

Men like Butker should think twice, and maybe even three times before opening their mouths about their 1950s mindsets, and someone should seriously think about proofreading or looking over commencement speeches. It takes something even as small as a speech to continue setting women back further in our pursuits in the working world and with things like that continuing to happen, it feels as though there is no end in sight. 

Women continue to speak up on social media, bashing Butker for his words by showing off their own academic achievements, graduation cords and sharing their future endeavors. For someone who wants to quote Swift in a speech, there is a recent song titled “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived” that I personally think would be of great interest. 

Abby Jenkins is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Let Abby know by tweeting her @abbyjenks18 or emailing her at

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