DemDaily: Taylor Swift and The Tradwife

May 23. 2024

Hundreds of colleges and universities across the country have been holding their graduation ceremonies -- some with inspirational public figures, prominent officials and celebrities as speakers.

One speech, however -- that of Kansas City Chiefs placekicker Harrison Butker on May 11 to the graduates of Benedictine College, a small Catholic school in Atchison, Kansas -- undisputedly stands out among the rest.

Butker's dystopian "tradwife" speech -- referring to the "traditional" submissive and subservient wife, mother and homemaker aka the 1950s -- read like a conservative to-do list of political discourse in which he railed against “degenerative cultural values," abortion rights and working women, igniting a firestorm of nationwide condemnation online and in the media.

The Highlights
Butker, who said he had an obligation to preach the "platform" that God has given him, wasted no time in proffering a bigoted speech that bemoaned the erosion of traditional Catholic values, blaming "bad policies and poor leadership" for negatively impacting major life issues.

Things, he said, "like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as a growing support for degenerate cultural values and media -- all stem from the pervasiveness of disorder."

In launching a diatribe on the responsibilities of Catholicism. Butker continued his attack on Biden, saying, “Our own nation is led by a man who publicly and proudly proclaims his Catholic faith...[who] has been so vocal in his support for the murder of innocent babies that I’m sure to many people it appears that you can be both Catholic and pro-choice.”

He condemned world leaders for “pushing dangerous gender ideologies onto the youth of America,” and encouraged the students to speak up against “the tyranny of diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Of the Catholic church itself, Butker derided the vanity of bishops and priests for deriving their happiness from the adulation of their parishioners and in doing so, "let their guard down and become overly familiar."

“This undue familiarity will prove to be problematic every time,” said Butker, who, in an attempt to drive home his point, invoked lyrics from Taylor Swift’s song “Bejeweled,” saying, "because, as my teammate’s girlfriend says, ‘familiarity breeds contempt.’” The mega-star, who has 95.3 million Twitter/X followers, has been dating Chief's tight end Travis Kelce for nearly a year.

But the portion of his speech that drew the most backlash, including from Swifties, had to do with his praise of traditional gender roles.

Addressing the women in the audience, Butker said that their hard-earned degree had been subject to "the most diabolical lies" and -- while some may go on to have successful careers -- he guessed that "the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world" your true role and vocation as "homemaker."

Students should have “true God-centered pride, "not the deadly sin sort of Pride that has an entire month dedicated to it,” referring to the official June commemoration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights.

Butker preached the importance of men -- "who set the tone of the culture" -- in the home. "Be unapologetic in your masculinity. Fight against the cultural emasculation of men," he said, referring to “the deadly sins” of homosexuality.

Butker closed with, "Make no mistake, you’re entering into mission territory in a post-God world. But you were made for this and with God by your side and a constant striving for virtue within your vocation, you too can be a saint."

The Benedictine Sisters of Mt. Scholastica, one of the founding institutions of Benedictine College, denounced Butker's speech, as did the National Football League (NFL) which stated Butker's views "are not those of the NFL as an organization.”

The Kansas City Chiefs, who have won three Super Bowl championships with Butker's help, declined to comment.

As of today, close to 224,000 people have signed a petition on calling for Kansas City to cut ties with its star kicker.

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Kimberly Scott

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Resources: WTNH, The Guardian, Mercury News,The Hill, Forbes, New York Times, Democracy Labs

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