Senate candidate calls feminists “she devils,” says women should be homemakers

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Courtland Sykes’ comments on Facebook receive flood of criticism

Bryan Lowry and Lindsay Wise, McClatchy Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — A Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri has ignited a social media firestorm with a Facebook post in which he calls feminists “she devils” and expounds on how he wants his wife to cook his dinner.

Courtland Sykes, who campaigned on behalf of Senate candidate Roy Moore in Alabama last month, posted to Facebook Tuesday the transcript of a September interview during which he was asked about women’s rights.

Sykes, a Navy veteran and political newcomer, said he rejects “radical feminism’s crazed definition of modern womanhood” and that he wants daughters who will be homemakers rather than “career obsessed banshees” or “nailbiting manophobic feminist she devils.”

He is seeking the GOP nomination to take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in the November election. McCaskill, a former Jackson County prosecutor, is one of 22 women serving in the U.S. Senate.

Sykes’ comments have received a flood of criticism in the days since he posted to Facebook. CNN commentator Sally Kohn posted her shock to Twitter Thursday.

“This is an actual statement. From a Republican Senate candidate. In 2017. Not a gaffe. A deliberate, typed out, posted statement. Wow, Courtland Sykes. Just wow,” Kohn said.

In the transcript, Sykes claims that feminism has “oppressed natural womanhood” and comments on how his fiancee knows that he expects her to make dinner when they marry.

“I want to come home to a home-cooked dinner at six every night, one that she fixes and one that I expect my daughters to learn to fix after they become traditional homemakers and family wives,” Sykes said.

He goes on to say that feminists have redefined womanhood to “suit their own nasty, snake-filled heads” before launching into a criticism of 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

“Modern women can BE anything they want, including traditional women — as millions are fast becoming. Millennial women voters despised Hillary and cost her the election (and they weren’t Russians!). I wonder why they despise her? One reason is they look at her personal life’s wreckage and didn’t want to become like her,” he said.

Clinton outperformed Trump with all voters between the ages of 18 to 44 by double digits, according to exit polls that showed her at 53 percent with voters in that age range, compared to Trump’s 39 percent.

She also outperformed Trump with women of all age groups, 54 percent to 41 percent.

The other Republican Senate campaigns were perplexed by Sykes’ comments.

“Bless his heart,” said Kelli Ford, the spokeswoman for Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, the GOP frontrunner to take on McCaskill.

Jeffrey Carson, the spokesman for Austin Petersen, responded to Sykes’ post with a quote that is often attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte: “Never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself.”

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