Bronze-level articlePhyllis Schlafly

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What I am defending is the real rights of women. A woman should have the right to be in the home as a wife and mother.
—Phyllis Schlafly, wife and mother, at a protest rally that was probably not held in her home
Phyllis Schlafly, in a 2007 photograph.

Phyllis Schlafly (née Stewart; 1924 -), or "The Wicked Witch of the Midwest," is a full-time professional, ultra-conservative and, anti-feminist political activist and published author (which is not the same as "writer," which requires actual writing talent). She promotes her activities through her organization, the Eagle Forum.

Contents

[edit] Biography

[edit] Background

Raised in St. Louis, the daughter of an inventor, she put herself through Washington University (Class of '44) by working 48 hours a week testing machine guns at a local arms plant. After earning an M.A. in political science from Radcliffe in 1945, she returned to St. Louis to edit a conservative newsletter.

[edit] Career

Never trust an author who has written more books than they have read

After marriage in 1949 to John Fred Schlafly Jr. (1909-1993),[1] a wealthy corporate lawyer, she became increasingly involved in far-right Republican politics.[2] In addition to starting her own national newsletter, the Phyllis Schlafly Report, she was a delegate to three G.O.P. conventions and served as president of the Illinois Federation of Republican Women. When she ran for the presidency of the National Federation of Republican Women in 1967, she lost in a bitter campaign against a more moderate candidate. Schlafly's next-door neighbor in Alton, a housewife and active Republican, accused her of being "an exponent of an extreme right-wing philosophy—a propagandist who deals in emotion and personalities where it is not necessary to establish facts or prove charges."[3] (Sound familiar?)

To her defenders, Phyllis Schlafly is one of America's best-known advocate of the full-time homemaker. Schlafly has been a staunch conservative leader since the publication of her best-selling book, A Choice Not An Echo, which she wrote for Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign. She also has been a member of the pro-family movement since 1972, when she started her national volunteer organization, Eagle Forum.

[edit] The ERA

In a ten-year battle, Schlafly led the "pro-family" movement to victory over the Equal Rights Amendment, the principal legislative goal of feminists at the time. Recreating that pivotal moment, "[Schlafly], looking crisp and composed in a red shirtwaist dress, red-white-and-blue scarf and frosted hair, arrived at the Illinois capitol with 500 followers. To symbolize their opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, which was about to be voted on in the House, the women had brought loaves of home-baked bread—apricot, date nut, honey-bran and pumpkin. But as she climbed onto a kitchen stool to address the cheering crowd, Schlafly the demure housewife turned into Schlafly the aggressive polemicist. The passage of ERA, she declared, would mean Government-funded abortions, homosexual schoolteachers, women "forced" into military combat, men refusing to support their wives, and unisex bathrooms."[4]

[edit] Hypocrisy

Phyllis' greatest hits. (Cassettes? In 2007?)

Her detractors have a very different impression of Phyllis Schlafly, who is hardly a typical housewife.

She is the author of nine books, a three-time candidate for the U.S. Congress, a full-time law student at Washington University in St. Louis, editor of a monthly newsletter, a twice-a-week syndicated newspaper columnist, and regular speaker at anti-liberal rallies. In other words, she acts very much like a liberated woman, as opposed to staying in the kitchen and making a sandwich. She employs a full-time housekeeper to care for her six-bedroom Tudor-style mansion overlooking the Mississippi River in Alton, Ill. "My husband lets me do what I want to do," she says, "I have canceled speeches whenever my husband thought that I had been away from home too much."

"Besides," Phyllis adds, "when I fill out applications, I put down 'mother' as my occupation."

[edit] Marital rape

The controversial lady who fought successfully to scare politicians away from the ERA back in 1977 has now revealed some of her underlying thinking, including—incredibly—the notion that husbands have carte blanche when it comes to raping their wives: "By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape," she has said. Phyllis thinks a husband can rape his wife any time he wants to.[5]

Roger Schlafly defended Phyllis: "Even today, many people do not accept the notion that marital rape is comparable to stranger rape...There are some feminists who argue that marital rape is worse than stranger rape. Most people disagree."[6]

Phyllis Schlafly defended herself too: "That’s what marriage is all about, I don’t know if maybe these girls missed sex ed.[7] That doesn’t mean the husband can beat you up, we have plenty of laws against assault and battery. If there is any violence or mistreatment that can be dealt with by criminal prosecution, by divorce or in various ways. When it gets down to calling it rape though, it isn’t rape, it’s a he said-she said where it’s just too easy to lie about it."[8]

No one has witnessed how such concepts has worked out with Phyllis Schlafly, and since her husband died back in 1993, we do not expect to see that happening in the foreseeable future.

[edit] Manual of style

Schlafly has a distinctive and recognisable oration style in her articles and radio broadcasts. She frequently uses prefixes such as 'liberal', 'radical' and 'feminist' in a pejorative context as snarl words. It is frequently clear that she isn't thinking clearly about the subjects she addresses, for example condemning modern literature being taught in school for having "gloomy themes such as murder, ... and suicide" while at the same time promoting the teaching of Shakespeare, whose plays such as Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Othello and Julius Caesar regularly include such themes. In the same radio program, she also condemned sexual imagery in literature while at the same time promoting the works of Chaucer. It appears she is unfamiliar with, for example, The Miller’s Tale and The Reeve's Tale. She also obviously endorses Bible studies and classroom prayer despite The Bible throwing rape, pillage, torture and Satan himself in addition to murder and suicide. In other words, she's a typical far-right activist.

One example of her combining the right-wing "Obama Derangement Syndrome" with her self-misogynistic views:

The decline of marriage is the major cause of the growth of the welfare state. This year, we the taxpayers are spending $350 billion to support single moms, and this amount increases every year.

That's only the start of the costs because social problems come out of female-headed households: crime, drugs, sex, teen pregnancies, suicides, runaways and school dropouts.

The left is content to let this problem persist, because 70 percent of unmarried women voted for Barack Obama for president. They vote for the party that offers the richer handouts.[9]


Andrew Schlafly appears to have adopted a similar style in his own writing, and, indeed, his "thinking".

[edit] Conspiracy theories

Schlafly pushes a number of wingnut conspiracy theories in her writing and through the Eagle Forum, including North American Union,[10] anti-environmentalist[11], and Bilderberg conspiracy theories.[12]

[edit] Other noteworthy "achievements"

  • 1992 Illinois Mother of the Year
  • The Ladies' Home Journal named her as one of the 100 most important women of the 20th century
  • She appears in debate on college campuses more frequently than any other conservative
  • Mother of six:
  • Received honorary degree from Washington University in St. Louis, prompting a massive student protest.[14][15]

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

  1. http://www.oldright.org/schlafly,_phyllis
  2. "After moving to Alton, Illinois, Schlafly and her husband became involved in anti-Communist activities. Schlafly was a researcher for Senator Joseph R. McCarthy during the 1950s and helped to found the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation, an organization opposed to Communism."[1]
  3. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,945990,00.html
  4. Nation: Anti-ERA Evangelist Wins Again (TIME article)
  5. Schlafly: Married Women Can’t Be Raped By Husbands. Right Wing Watch: March 29, 2007.
  6. Schlafly, Roger. "Phyllis Gets Honorary Degree." Singular Values: May 5, 2008. Cited: Bergen, Raquel Kennedy. "Marital Rape: New Research and Directions." Applied Research Forum, National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women. February 2005.
  7. Wait, isn't she supposed to be rallying against that?
  8. Questions for Phyllis Schlafly, Student Life, May 5 2008
  9. Krepel, Terry. "Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch." ConWebWatch: June 17, 2010. Quoted Schlafly's June 16, 2010 column on WorldNetDaily: "Social issues vs. fiscal issues"
  10. NAU: Conspiracy or Coverup?
  11. Earth Worship
  12. John Birch Society
  13. http://web.archive.org/web/20090522141234/http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/09/02/at_80_schlafly_is_still_a_conservative_force/
  14. Washington U. takes heat about honoring Schlafly
  15. White armband wearers protest.
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