Earlier on Tuesday Sykes published a post on Facebook in which he called feminists "she devils" and said he expected his fiancée Chanel Rion to cook him dinner every night.
Responding to a question as to whether he favors women's rights, Sykes wrote that he'd "better" because Chanel had given him "orders" to do so. But added that his obedience came with a price for he wanted "to come home to a home-cooked dinner at six every night, one that she fixes and one that I expect one day to have daughters learn to fix after they become traditional homemakers and family wives."
Social media immediately exploded with criticism, with many — feminists in particular — describing the Republican's views as sexist and antiquated.
Can we get Judge Rosemarie Aquilina to read Courtland Sykes' statement out loud and then throw it away like she did Larry Nassar's? #LarryNassar #CourtlandSykes #WomensRights #MeToo #TimesUp pic.twitter.com/nigEzHfBQU
— Molly Rose Tarpey (@MollyRoseTarpey) 25 января 2018 г.
In an interview with Radio Sputnik Sykes explained that he was "befuddled by the question (whether he supported women's rights) and the attitude it was delivered by."
"In the key takeaway, the point I was trying to drive was… there's no men's rights or women's rights, there's just rights in general. When I'm asked a snarky question, I have a tendency to be a little bit brash, and that was my brash response," Sykes said.
According to the Republican, his point was that he and his fiancée wanted to support traditional family values in their home.
"Traditional values and traditional families can look however you want, that's up to the couple to determine," the politician said, adding that there are expectations that Chanel is going to have of him too and that "if [people] have certain expectations for one another then I think that makes a healthy relationship."
Sykes reassured Fault Lines hosts Garland Nixon and Lee Stranahan that cooking dinner every night was something that his fiancée wanted to do.
"Chanel wants to make dinner, wants to make breakfast when possible for the family. We want to have a family atmosphere at 6 o'clock, and that was the point I was making, that we want to uphold those traditional values," the politician said.
"Modern women can be anything they want, they can do anything they want, nobody is to tell them how they can live. But I find it odd that they harass us for wanting to uphold the traditional family," he concluded.