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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Phyllis Schlafly, Then and Now

posted by on March 28 at 14:05 PM

Yes, Phyllis Schlafly still exists, and she’s still got it in for the ERA.*



“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.”

“ERA means abortion funding, means homosexual privileges, means whatever else.”

“The fact is that women already enjoy every constitutional right that men enjoy and have enjoyed equal employment opportunity since 1964.”

“ERA would take away women’s traditional exemption from military conscription and also from military combat duty.”

“ERA would put ‘gay rights’ into the U.S. Constitution because the word in the amendment is ‘sex,’ not ‘women.’ Eminent authorities have stated that ERA would legalize the granting of marriage licenses to same-sex couples and generally implement the gay and lesbian agenda.”

“Most husbands do support their wives because of love, but the high divorce rate proves that many husbands do not love their wives. Love may go out the window but the obligation remains, just as the children remain. ERA would remove that obligation.”



The social security system rests on the concept of the dependent wife. I get my social security based on my husband’s income over the years, and I am sure that is true of many women here today.”

“ERA would lock abortion into the U.S. Constitution so that reversing Roe v. Wade would make no difference.”

“You didn’t hear a single benefit that women will get out of the ERA.”

“What it will do is make all of our laws sex neutral. … The ERA would treat women exactly the same as men, and women do not want to be treated the same as men in the military or in combat. The constitution is already sex neutral.”

“[The ERA says] if you deny a marriage license to a man and a man you have discriminated on account of sex.”

“Feminists made divorce a major component of women’s liberation.”

Bonus! Here are some opinions Schlafly now says were “too controversial” for her to express during the ERA’s first go-round:

“It would wipe the out laws of the constitution. It would wipe out laws against bigamy. It would reduce the age of consent to 12. It would eliminate Mother’s Day.

NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Those hairy feminazis won’t take away my mom’s special day unless they pry it from my cold, dead hands!

*Full text: Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

RSS icon Comments


Were there missing links in your post Erica? Schlafly has always been a dingbat, but I didn't know she was in the news lately.

“It would wipe the out laws of the constitution. It would wipe out laws against bigamy. It would reduce the age of consent to 12. It would eliminate Mother’s Day.”

Did she really say that or are you being snarky?

Posted by elswinger | March 28, 2007 2:14 PM

Like Hallmark would ever... EVER... let Mother's Day go away... EVER.

And could someone please send me a copy of the homosexual agenda? I seem to have lost mine and I fear I'm just not doing my part.

Posted by monkey | March 28, 2007 2:34 PM


The ERA has been in the news cycle the past several days, as a number of states, and delegations in both houses of Congress have begun the process of reviving Constitutional debate on it. Schafley, in turn has been speaking in opposition to the amendment, just as she did back in the early 1980's.

Posted by COMTE | March 28, 2007 2:37 PM

I've never understood why women don't have to register for selective service (aka the draft) when they turn 18. Isn't this a basic fairness issue? Shouldn't women be offended that they're treated like fragile creatures that belong in the kitchen when the country is looking for warriors?

(Note that this is separate from the question of whether anyone should be required to register; but given that registration exists, shouldn't the responsibilities of citzenship fall equally on all citzens?)

Posted by Joe | March 28, 2007 3:30 PM

Screw Phyllis.

Personally, I can't wait for the right to use women's public restrooms, which are always cleaner and smell nicer than men's. Um, at least that's what I've heard.

Posted by Sean | March 28, 2007 3:33 PM

This may sound weird, but is she saying anything that's incorrect? Or is the difference just in the value judgments about the statements?

Posted by bma | March 28, 2007 3:42 PM

Well, while the abortion issue is (somewhat) valid, there's no conceivable way that the courts could interpret the ERA as reducing the age of consent to 12, and it would take more than a constitutional amendment to get rid of mother's day. So, yes, she is incorrect.

Posted by wench | March 28, 2007 3:59 PM

And those comfy sofas, Sean. Don't forget the comfy sofas - ah, er - so I've heard...

Posted by COMTE | March 28, 2007 4:28 PM

Thanks Comte.

Posted by elswinger | March 28, 2007 4:29 PM

Sigh. Only the good die young.

Posted by dantc | March 28, 2007 6:08 PM

Actually, if you look back far enough, you'll see that members of the early 20th century 'woman movement' were also opposed to an ERA--because they felt it would remove the special supports they were trying to get for mothers (reduced factory hours, good day care, paid maternity leaves). The 'equality feminists'--mostly white upper-middle class women who had servants to clean their houses and care for their kids--mostly wanted the right to get graduate degrees, travel freely, live unmarried, not be defined by potential motherhood.

You can see who won here. The U.S. ranks almost at the bottom for social support of motherhood and of small children. (On the other hand, we have no problem supporting hot 25-year-olds with cool clubs and clothing that expresses their individuality.) Schafly was (is?) so popular because she hits a nerve. When we get 'equality' what it usually means is equality to what men have--and in the U.S. that means jack for mothers and children. Schlafly sees what many feminists (especially single childless hipster ones in their twenties) just totally miss--that 'equality' means 'the same as what men have been doing for 100 years.' The workplace, for instance, is still totally organized around the man-with-stay-at-home-wife model. That doesn't make any difference when you don't have kids--but when you do, you will see that it really, really, really sucks.

So--BMA, you're actually on to something. If you look at things from the point of view of a stay-at-home mom (who WANTS to be doing that) of small children, the ERA doesn't offer much. In fact, it threatens what you do have.

"Equality" feminists want more than anything to not be defined as mothers and wives. That's fine--been there, done that. The problem comes when you become a mother, and discover that the U.S. is a pretty hostile place for mothers, especially if you want to care for your kids yourself.

Plenty of very intelligent, thoughtful women opposed an equal rights amendment early in the 20th century. Susan B. Anthony (who was childless) really dumped some good women in the movement when they wouldn't go along with everything she wanted.

I used to be dismissive of Schlafly myself, until I read some history. (I mean, I still think she's a nut, but. There is a reason people listen to her and those like her.)

Posted by toadlady | March 28, 2007 8:07 PM

@2: There's a good one here.

Posted by Ziggity | March 29, 2007 6:34 AM

"Personally, I can't wait for the right to use women's public restrooms, which are always cleaner and smell nicer than men's. Um, at least that's what I've heard."

This is so wrong. Men generally pee in urinals, unlike women, who pee on seats. Men do not bleed on the seats they're hovering above because they're scared of cooties, but women do. Men do not strew blood-soaked biohazardous waste in public bathrooms, and rarely change their feces-smeared ankle-biters in public bathrooms. (Ooops... I fear I've just identified myself as one of those "hipster" feminists who doesn't think that breeding should define a woman's life.)

If a men's bathroom in an establishment is nasty, BANK that them women's is too.

Posted by lauren | March 29, 2007 2:57 PM

How'd you like to make your life long living by being the bitch that almost everyone hates? And the people that dig you? You can't stand being in the same room with most of them.

Posted by Bauhaus | March 29, 2007 3:59 PM

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