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Phyllis Schlafly

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Phyllis Schlafly, in a 2007 photograph.
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Hemant Mehta[1]

Phyllis Schlafly, born Phyllis McAlpin Stewart (1924–2016),[2] also known as "the Wicked Witch of the Midwest", was a full-time professional, ultra-conservative, one of the biggest hypocrites to ever live, anti-feminist political activist and published author (which is not the same as "writer", which requires actual writing talent). She promoted her activities through her organization, the Eagle Forum.

Schlafly notably pushed a number of wingnut conspiracy theories in her writings and through the Eagle Forum, including North American Union,[3] anti-environmentalist,[4] and Bilderberg conspiracy theories.[5]

Donald Trump was pictured giving (what else?) the thumbs up at Phyllis' funeral — alleging in his eulogy that Phyllis was not just present at her own funeral, but vigorously communicating to him from beyond the grave.[6] Because holding a two-way conversation with the newly deceased is totally a thing that can be done, Donald made sure to exploit her funeral to campaign for his own presidency give her the same winged words of promise he had given Alex Jones not long before in reply.[note 1]



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.


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

After marriage in 1949 to John Fred Schlafly Jr. (1909—1993),[7] a wealthy corporate lawyer, she became increasingly involved in far-right Republican politics.[8] 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."[9] (Sound familiar?)

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

The ERA[edit]

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."[10]


Phyllis' greatest hits. (Cassettes? In 2007?)
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 likely not held in her home)

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

She was 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 acted very much like a liberated woman, as opposed to staying in the kitchen and making a sandwich. She employed 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 said. "I have canceled speeches whenever my husband thought that I had been away from home too much."

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

Marital rape[edit]

The controversial lady who fought successfully to scare politicians away from the ERA back in 1977 later 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.[11]

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."[12]

Phyllis Schlafly defended herself too: "That’s what marriage is all about, I don’t know if maybe these girls missed sex ed.[note 2] 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."[13]

No one has witnessed how such concepts have worked out with Phyllis Schlafly, and since her husband died back in 1993 — never mind her own passing in 2016 — we do not expect to see that happening in the foreseeable future.

Manual of style[edit]

Schlafly had a distinctive and recognisable oration style in her articles and radio broadcasts. She frequently used prefixes such as 'liberal', 'radical' and 'feminist' in a pejorative context as snarl words.

It was often obvious that she wasn't thinking clearly about the subjects she addressed, for example; blaming 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. Going back to her support of Shakespeare, Shakespeare also put in bawdy innuendos in his work,[14] and it got to the point where Thomas BowdlerWikipedia (the moniker for "bowlderizationWikipedia", the censorship of media for children audiences) removed it to make it more palatable for family readers.[15] In Chaucer's case, it appears she was unfamiliar with, for example, The Miller's TaleWikipedia and The Reeve's TaleWikipedia. She also obviously endorses Bible studies and classroom prayer despite the Bible positively recommending rape, pillage, torture and murder, aside from covering "gloomy themes" involving everything from suicide to Satan himself. In other words, she was a typical far-right activist.

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

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.[16]

Andrew Schlafly, as one need not be Freud to suspect, turned out to be a particularly rotten apple: one that didn't fall very far from the gnarly old tree in question, at that.

2016 Presidential contest[edit]

Schlafly supported Donald Trump for President, and hoped he would defeat the 'kingmakers', i.e., the Republican Party elite who she blamed for choosing 'losers'. Schlafly strongly supported Trump's immigration policies because she believed the immigrants will want the government to do more for people than the limited government that conservative Republicans favor.

She also opposed Marco Rubio, because she felt he was too strongly pro-immigration.[17][18]

Her endorsement of Trump apparently caused an attempted coup against her leadership of the Eagle Forum. The coup plotters — rabid Zodiac Killer fans — included her own daughter (Anne Cori), her son-in-law, and four others, a group literally called the "Gang of Six".[19]

Other noteworthy achievements[edit]

  • 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 appeared in debates on college campuses more frequently than any other conservative did
  • Mother of six:
    • Andrew Schlafly, founder of Conservapedia
    • Anne Schlafly (now Anne Cori), owner of Kitchen Conservatory, who makes cooking fun
    • Bruce Schlafly, a hand surgeon.
    • John Schlafly, who is GAY but opposed to same-sex marriage.[20]
    • Liza Schlafly, who also studied law.
    • Roger Schlafly, loose cannon on his brother Andrew's blog, and successful competitive "gurgitator". Also, lonely…
  • She was the subject of an attempted exorcism (along with Jerry Falwell) from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence all the way back in 1984. Sadly, it didn't take. [21]
  • Received honorary degree from Washington University in St. Louis, prompting a massive student protest.[22][23]
  • Packed her bags and went on to join the choir invisible.
  • She was the titular protagonist of the FX miniseries Mrs. AmericaWikipedia, played by Cate Blanchett for good measure.
  • Schlafly opposed vaccination mandates for many years, and was an early antivaxxer among conservatives.[24]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. The pledge being "not to let him/her down", whatever that really means. Here's a wild guess.
  2. Wait, isn't she supposed to be rallying against that?


  1. Phyllis Schlafly, Anti-Feminist Conservative Activist, Is Dead at 92 Friendly Atheist 5 September 2016
  2. Phyllis Schlafly, ‘First Lady’ of a Political March to the Right, Dies at 92 The New York Times 5 September 2016
  3. North American Union: Conspiracy or Coverup? Eagle Forum 16 April 2008
  4. Patriot Organization ‘Freedom Advocates’ calls Environmentalism a Police State Precursor Southern Poverty Law Center 30 November 2008
  5. John Birch Society
  6. Trump honors 'true patriot' Phyllis Schlafly at her funeral Politico 10 September 2016
  7. Schlafly, Phyllis InternetPundit 7 January 2007
  8. Schlafly, Phyllis Stewart Free Legal Dictionary
  9. Nation: Anti-ERA Evangelist Wins Again TIME 3 July 1978
  10. Nation: Anti-ERA Evangelist Wins Again TIME 3 July 1978
  11. Schlafly: Married Women Can’t Be Raped By Husbands Right Wing Watch 29 March 2007
  12. 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.
  13. Questions for Phyllis Schlafly, Student Life, May 5 2008
  14. Slang and sexual language: Early editions of Shakespeare's plays sometimes ignored or censored slang and sexual language. But the First Folio reveals a text full of innuendo and rudeness. Royal Shakespeare Company.
  15. Lister, K. (April 11, 2017). ‘A Nasty Name for a Nasty Thing’: A History of Cunt. Whores of Yore. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  16. Krepel, Terry. "Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch." ConWebWatch: June 17, 2010. Quoted Schlafly's June 16, 2010 column on WorldNetDaily: "Social issues vs. fiscal issues"
  17. Phyllis Schlafly Makes the Case for President Trump Breitbart News Network 10 January 2016
  18. Phyllis Schlafly: Donald Trump Is Our 'Only Hope' Right Wing Watch 11 January 2016
  19. Phyllis Schlafly Faces Ouster Attempt Following Trump Endorsement by Brian Tashman (Monday, 4/11/2016 12:15 pm) Right Wing Watch.
  21. See their video of the event
  22. Washington U. takes heat about honoring Schlafly
  23. White armband wearers protest.
  24. the anti-vaccine movement crept into the GOP mainstream Politico 29 May 2019