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  • Writer's pictureDakota Rice

A Message to Harrison Butker



When I watched the video of Harrison Butker’s address to the graduates of Benedictine College, a mix of emotions flowed through me. None of them positive. None of them encouraging.


I won’t comment on the entirety of his speech because it would take a novel to unpack the baggage behind his words. If you missed it, this is the part I’d like to focus on:

 

“I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolic lies told to you.

 

Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world, but I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world.

 

I can tell you that my beautiful wife, Isabelle, would be the first to say her life truly started when she started living her vocation as a wife and as a mother.

 

 I’m on this stage today, able to be the man that I am, because I have a wife who leans into her vocation.

 

I’m beyond blessed with the many talents God has given me, but it cannot be overstated that all my success is made possible because a girl I met in band class back in middle school would convert to the faith, become my wife and embrace one of the most important titles of all: homemaker.”

 

As a woman, a Christian woman, I’d like the opportunity to reply from my own worldview to Mr. Butker.

 

 

Harrison,

 

Let me start by saying you are absolutely correct in your first statement; women have had the most diabolic lies told to them. 

 

They’ve been told their identity is a man when it’s in the Son of Man.

 

They’ve been told their voices don’t matter when Esther’s voice saved her people.

 

They’ve been told they can’t lead when Deborah led her troops to victory.

 

They’ve been told they’re not fit to own businesses when Lydia dealt in royal purple cloth.


They’ve been told their past defines them when Rahab is in the lineage of Christ.

 

They’ve been told they’re too weak and timid when Mary Magdalene brought spices to the tomb while the disciples hid.

 

We have been fed a false narrative for years, decades, generations, and centuries. But you seem to have come to a different conclusion.

 

You stood in front of a room of women who have studied to become teachers, lawyers, nurses, social workers, journalists, and chemists. And, yes, many of those women may change course to become a vocational parent.

 

These women have pulled all-nighters to excel in their prospective career paths. They’ve stood on the shoulders of women who shaped history and are laying the bricks for women of the future, breaking glass ceilings along the way. They are the embodiment of Philippians 4:13. But to you, their work and their passions are reduced to their connection to a spouse.

 

Those who choose to be vocational mothers are, of course, just as important. But that job is not their identity. Being a wife is not a vocation. Your wife is not employed by you. She has enough work to do raising your children, teaching them in the ways they should go in hopes they do not depart from it. They are busy showing the love of Christ to the teenager who just yelled “I hate you” at the top of his lungs. You are her coworker, her co-laborer.

 

You said your wife would connect the beginning of her life to her marriage and parenthood. But, as a Christian husband, shouldn’t you be the shadow behind her relationship with Christ? Her life should have begun when she was born again. Christ should come first, and your relationship should be a reflection of Christ’s love for you both.

 

Christ encouraged women, uplifted women, was financed by women, and loved women. Christ revealed his divinity to a woman who would become the first evangelist. Christ revealed himself after his resurrection to Mary Magdalene, one of his most trusted followers.

 

This language is not uplifting to women, to half of the human race. This is not what Christ died for.

 

You work with men who praise the women in their lives and uplift their journeys. Travis Kelce lifts Taylor Swift on a pedestal and shows no insecurity in her success. Patrick Mahomes stands on stages emphasizing the importance and influence of women’s sports in light of his wife, Brittany. These men know the power of the women they choose and know the world is a better place when women are empowered.

 

The woman you met in band class deserves more. The women in that audience deserve better. 

 

The audacity you have to handcuff women’s identity to their spouse is appalling. Not only because it’s untrue, but because you say this as both a Christian man and as someone whose entire vocation is kicking a ball through two sticks.

 

I call on you to imitate Christ, the one who calls, saves, and loves women. Be better.

 

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1 Comment


bmroche
3 days ago

Dakota, well stated!! I could not have said it any better!! So very proud of you!

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