Andy Reid shows he's clueless about misogyny with his reaction to Harrison Butker speech

Harrison Butker is a religious zealot so, while offensive, what he said in his now-infamous commencement address shouldn’t have been much of a surprise.

Andy Reid ought to know better.

Asked on Wednesday if he was concerned Butker’s comments might cause a rift with the women who work for the Kansas City Chiefs, the coach replied, “I don’t think he was speaking ill to women.”

Butker told the women graduating from Benedictine College that they’d been fed “diabolical lies,” and then went on to suggest their one true purpose was to be broodmares. He railed against the evils of birth control and abortion because, again, women have no use beyond having kids. And God forbid we should be allowed to decide what is best for ourselves and our bodies!

He spoke wistfully of the days when men had primacy and women knew their place – “we set the tone of the culture and when that is absent, disorder, dysfunction and chaos set in” – and urged male graduates to “fight against the cultural emasculation of men.”

If making abundantly clear how little value we have isn’t speaking ill to women, I’d hate to see what it would take to tip Reid over the edge. Advocating for a Taliban-style government? Taking away our right to vote or make our own financial decisions?

“He has his opinions and we all respect that,” Reid said.

Even when they’re wholly disrespectful to women.

Distasteful and ill-informed as they are, of course Butker has the right to his opinions. And I appreciate that Reid and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes were trying to keep the peace in the locker room with their “we don’t have to agree but we have to respect everyone’s opinions” bothsiderisms.

But there is a difference between saying Butker has the right to his opinions and trying to pass those opinions off as some minor disagreement. Butker wasn’t railing about whether there should be a tax on plastic bags or why it’s taking so long to get high-speed internet to rural America. He was taking aim at a woman’s right to self-determination and propagating the real diabolical lie, that women exist only for the service and convenience of men.

That is why the chorus of criticism against Butker has been so heated and so persistent and come from so many, many women. Even the nuns who founded Benedictine College chimed in.

“One of our concerns was the assertion that being a homemaker is the highest calling for a woman,” the sisters of Mount St. Scholastica said in a statement last week.

“We sisters have dedicated our lives to God and God’s people, including the many women whom we have taught and influenced during the past 160 years,” the nuns continued. “These women have made a tremendous difference in the world in their roles as wives and mothers and through their God-given gifts in leadership, scholarship, and their careers.”

We are not that far removed from the days women weren’t allowed to have credit cards in our own names (1974) and schools were allowed to discriminate against us academically and athletically (1972). The wage gap has remained relatively unchanged over the last 20 years, with women overall making about 84 cents to every dollar earned by a man, and it’s even worse for women of color. It took until 2023 for there to be more female CEOs than CEOs named John.

The Supreme Court’s decision that overturned Roe vs. Wade has jeopardized the lives and health of thousands of women. There is one horrifying story after another of women developing sepsis, needing hysterectomies and even dying because they are no longer entitled to basic health care.

And that “masculinity” Butker champions? Violence against women remains appallingly high and even more appallingly disregarded. As we were reminded by that devastating video of Cassie being chased down and beaten by Diddy, it still takes visual evidence for a woman to be believed when she says she was physically or sexually assaulted.

Reid doesn’t live in that world and will never have to, so he can be oblivious to the misogyny of Butker’s speech. But women cannot. We live it, each and every day, and it's unsettling to know Butker would reverse what progress has been made and take us back to the days when we had no standing, no voice, no worth.

Butker wasn't just "speaking ill" to women with his views. Given the chance, he'd do very real harm, too.

Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on social media @nrarmour.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Andy Reid is clueless about misogyny with reaction to Butker speech