Missouri tradeswomen call out Hawley for defending Harrison Butker speech

‘When Josh Hawley calls himself pro-worker, he doesn’t mean us’

SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-Mo.)(left) is being called out by Missouri tradeswomen for his defense of a speech by Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker (right), who told graduates of Benedictine College last month they should aspire to be homemakers.


Independence, MO – A group of Missouri tradeswomen have penned an open letter slamming Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) for defending Harrison Butker, who told recent college graduates that American women should embrace traditional homemaking roles.

“When Harrison Butker told a group of young college graduates that working women like us have fallen for ‘diabolical lies’ by providing for our families, Senator Josh Hawley had a chance to stand up for us and for our freedom,” the tradeswomen wrote in the letter. “Instead, Hawley showed us his true colors by defending that message.”

The letter was signed by 55 Missouri tradeswomen – representing carpenters, electricians, ironworkers, auto workers, tile setters, machinists, painters, operating engineers, retail clerks and others.

In his speech at Benedictine College in Kansas last month, Butker told students: “I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical 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 that her life truly started when she started living her vocation as a wife and as a mother.”

Butker also said his wife embraced “one of the most important titles of all: homemaker.”

Hawley’s own wife, Erin Hawley, is a prominent anti-abortion lawyer.

Amid heated controversy over Butker’s remarks, Hawley told Spectrum News: “I’m not going to go in for all of this lefty garbage and I just thought that his calls for folks to stand up and be bold was great.”

Missouri’s tradeswomen are having none of it.

“We are Missouri’s tradeswomen. We’re the women who are building America. But whether we provide for our family by working on a job site or by taking care of our home, what’s most important in America is that we get the freedom to choose. Because in this country, no one gets to tell us how to live,” the tradeswomen said in the letter.

The letter goes on to state:

“It’d be one thing if it was just a speech, because at the end of the day, Harrison Butker has a right to say and believe what he wants. But the problem for us is this — Josh Hawley has taken this obsession with controlling how women live to elected office. Hawley voted against the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. He’s attacked No-Fault Divorce laws. He cut overtime pay for more than 200,000 Missouri workers, including women who provide their families’ only source of income. And he’s led the charge to take away the freedom to choose how we build our families and what we do with our bodies.

“Hawley has made it clear that he thinks it takes courage for a pair of millionaires to tell young women that most of them should be homemakers instead of choosing to follow their own dreams — and that somehow the condemnation of that message makes that pair the victims. That’s not surprising, since he also thinks it’s courageous for a millionaire politician to say things like ‘home is a promise given to a husband, made possible only by a wife’ and that it’s the ‘man’s job is to provide for his family’ in a book (he wrote)  titled ‘Manhood.’

“When Josh Hawley calls himself ‘pro-worker,’  he doesn’t mean us — working women. He thinks it’s his job to tell us how to live. It isn’t. His job is to protect our freedom and invest in our communities so we can raise our families as we see fit.

“So our advice to Josh is this: You start doing your job. We’ll keep doing ours.”

Hawley is being challenged in his re-election bid by Democrat Lucas Kunce, a 13-year Marine veteran, national security expert and anti-trust advocate, whose own wife, Marilyn, helped organize her workplace under the CWA umbrella and was nominated to work on the Organizing Committee.

“I’m really proud of that because it’s huge for our family, it’s huge for her workplace,” Kunce said at a fundraiser in February. “It’s a part of our movement that we have in our country right now that honestly kind surprises me: that people have finally realized that the only way everyday Missourians and everyday Americans are going to have power again is through organizing and Organized Labor.”

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