The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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Being a woman in a world of Harrison Butkers

Between winning a second consecutive Super Bowl and having a tight end in what is arguably the most famous couple in the United States, it’s no shock that the Kansas City Chiefs have received a significant amount of media attention in the past year. However, their continuous accolades and achievements have now been overshadowed by one man: Harrison Butker. 

On May 11, Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker gave the commencement address at Benedictine College and managed to piss off much of America in the process. In his twenty-minute speech, Butker emphasized how masculinity sets the “tone” for American culture. He goes on to describe how women have been fed “diabolical lies” about their roles in life, explaining that while some may have successful careers, no job will be as fulfilling being a mother. 

 Safe to say, Butker’s speech has been ridiculed across social media. Countless women, including mothers, have stitched his speech in their own videos, showing off their numerous career accomplishments that did not impair their ability to be “fulfilled.” Others have made videos of themselves cooking and cleaning, joking that they are doing their duties as Butker intended.
Butker is a stark reminder that this is the world we have always lived in. One where women, no matter how hard they work to gain respect and authority, are met with degradation and belittlement. And no matter what women do, they can’t win. If you are a successful woman without children, you aren’t fulfilling your purpose. If you choose to be a stay-at-home mother, you are setting back societal progress. 

The idea of “choice” has been widely debated in regard to women’s roles, but let’s be clear: women and men do not have the same right to choice. The choices we make as women come with preconceived notions from not only just the men in society but the women as well. Especially today, where women’s bodies and healthcare are increasingly regulated, women’s choice to lead the life they want is relentlessly confined by societal sexism and stereotypes. 

A lot of women, including myself, hear words like Butker’s and ask ourselves “How do we still live in a world where this happens to women?” We continue to face discrimination in the workforce, sports, media, and countless other facets of life. We make 84 cents for every dollar a man earns. As disheartening as it is, we must continue to fight through hateful rhetoric for our right to equality, especially if that means making fun of the men who put us down along the way.  

If anything is learned from the Butker speech, let it be this: women aren’t only fighting this narrative. They are living proof that it is a lie. Just like the attacks and stereotypes of the past, women today SHOULD NOT take Butker’s words seriously; they are comical. You do not need to be a mother to be fulfilled! Being a mother and having a successful career are not mutually exclusive. If you choose to be a stay-at-home mother, you are still playing a meaningful role in society and doing what is right for you! We define our own purposes, and they will be fulfilled in the ways we deem acceptable, not men.

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About the Contributor
Devan Mehta
Devan Mehta, News Editor
Devan is the person on the Beacon with the best hot takes, which ultimately is why she is one of the fabulous opinion editors. She does theater, choir, and Bollywood dance but manages to still be opinionated in all of those things! You will often find her reading a romance novel, watching the Baltimore Ravens, or doing both at the same time. She also would give Taylor Swift literally any of her organs if necessary.
  • 2021-23: Junior Editor
  • 2022-24: Opinions Editor
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