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The Butkers Are Doing Fine: What About the Others?

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I'm not thinking about Harrison Butker.

He seems to be chugging along, doing OK for himself. After all, he's a family man, a professional football player -- a placekicker for the Kansas City Chiefs, namely -- and he's clearly a devout Catholic who finds solace in his religion.

What I can't stop thinking about, though, are the others.

In a much talked-about speech Butker recently gave at a small Catholic college in Kansas, he preached to the graduating class about all manner of sins -- IVF, Joe Biden, premarital cohabitation and masses held in living languages.

Butker told the ladies in the graduating class -- all victims of pernicious lies, he said, about feminism and jobs and education -- that he knew most of them were more excited about getting married and having babies than they were about their careers. He urged them to reject all other pursuits in service of achieving the only title that matters, the one of homemaker.

He talked about his own wife, whose dreams, he said, "of having a career might not have come true" but who he was certain would answer "heck no" if she were asked whether she had any regrets.

 

Let's put aside for a minute the lost dreams of Isabelle Butker.

We can safely, I think, place her in the category of those who have made their own beds, or at least have paid someone else to do it for them. I hope, for her sake, that her husband never leaves her, that he never gets horribly ill or abuses her or dies prematurely. I hope that she does not find herself, at 60, with nowhere to go during the day other than to her children's homes to straighten their sheets and criticize their cooking. I truly hope that she'll find her sacrifices worthwhile.

Instead of her, though, I worry about the others, the billions of women here and in other places and other times, the ones who had and have fewer options and even less money than Isabelle Butker, the ones who are different due to their fate or their limitations, their blessings or their mistakes.

I think about the women who were left with too many children, children for whom they and their partners could not provide, after being told by the Catholic Church that they were headed for hell if they used birth control to postpone or limit their procreation.

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