Women Who Make Us Ask WTF?: Phyllis Schlafly

Posted at 8:00 AM Jul 21, 2009

By Jennifer Mathieu

Just for fun, let's go retro for this edition of Women Who Make Us Ask WTF?  Now I can't say what it was that got me thinking about Phyllis (maybe I was itching for a good beehive hair don't), but if there was ever a woman who deserved a WTF shout out, it's our gal Phyllis.

For you young 'uns out there, you may not know who Phyllis Schlafly is, so I'll put it simply:  she is horrible.  Founder of the ultra-conservative Eagle Forum, she was the main champion against the Equal Rights Amendment back in the day, coming up with all kinds of ridiculous propaganda against a clause that simply wanted to ensure equal protection for women under the law.  (Unisex bathrooms?  Noooooo!)  Many blame her for its failure to gain ratification, thus ensuring that our Constitution will probably never explicitly protect women and men equally under the law.

What bugs me the most about Phyllis is that while she always advocated that a woman's place was in the home, that didn't stop her from being a writer, lawyer, and activist who regularly traveled to speaking engagements around the country.  Ol' Phyllis didn't mind telling other women what to do; she just wasn't going to follow her own advice.

Add to that her belief that married women can't be raped because they're married and the thinly-veiled racism that is part of her past (she once advocated against the Republican Party including a plank about civil rights), and you've got the makings of a person whose belief system is so backward and antiquated, it pains me that she still has a voice in modern political debate.

Oh, and did I mention she thinks some of the best things to happen to women are paper diapers and the electric dryer?  Seriously, lady...WTF?


Paul said:

"married women can't be raped because they're married"


What the crap?!

Stupidity that strong makes my head hurt.

kris said:

Hey now, dishwashers and washer/dryers are the GREATEST INVENTIONS OF MANKIND EVER.

Sara said:

I think that was the most painful video I've ever seen. I was simultaneously shaking my head in abject horror and holding my stomach from laughing so hard that someone could think those arguments made the least bit of sense.

Jack Olson said:

Phyllis Schlafly didn't raise public suspicion about what the ERA would mean in practice, she capitalized on the suspicion which federal duplicity had created. The voters had seen the Congress swear that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would never, ever, require racial quotas in education and employment--and then watched the federal government impose racial quotas in education and employment. It was Catch-22 government. So when Congress proposed the ERA to require legal equality between sexes, the voters foresaw another Catch-22 and were not convinced by "but we really, really mean it this time."

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