A true star in the conservative firmament, a grand lady
and patriot, a sterling example of a citizen using her right
to speak up about our governance and to participate in
our political process, Phyllis Schlafly, passed away on
Monday September 5, at the age of 92.
Born Phyllis McAlpin Stewart in Saint Louis, Missouri
on August 15, 1924, the eldest daughter of a
machinist and industrial equipment salesman father
and a schoolteacher mother, the Stewart family
was hit hard by the Great Depression in the 1930s.
Schlafly's mother went to work at various jobs which
included librarian at the Saint Louis, elementary school-
teacher and department store saleswoman. Mrs. Stewart
decried having to work outside their home rather than be
a homemaker and work for good causes, such as aiding
charities. Schlafly's quarrel with women who denigrated
homemaking and ridiculed homemakers originated
when she watched her mother sacrifice her time at home
with her husband and children. Contrary to what radical
feminists believed, Schlafly never said that women should
not work outside the home, but instead advocated that
women who wanted to be home to take care of home
and family should have their choice respected. Funny how
that works; left-wingers want their choices and wishes
respected and validated, but not those of others who may
want different things. One of those great political mysteries,
along with how deficit spending and increasing debt improves
the health of the economy.
Schafly received a law degree from Washington University
in Saint Louis, and received a scholarship to study political
science at Radcliffe, and earned a master's degree while there.
In subsequent years she was introduced to conservatism,
met and married her husband, John F. Schlafly Jr., himself an
attorney and a member of a politically-engaged conservative
Among her achievements in her long and rich life were
founding The Eagle Forum, an organization which champions
limited government and adherence to the Constitution.
When feminists advocated for the passage of the
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in the 1970s, Schlafly and her
organization successfully fought to prevent its passage.
When she debated prominent feminist author Betty Friedan
on the ERA, Friedan told her that she should burn at the stake
for opposing its passage, and called Schlafly an "Aunt Tom".
Schlafly calmly pointed out that this was the difference between
how conservatives maintain civility while disagreeing while
the lefties simply attack whoever dares to disagree with their
points, as they have nothing else to battle back with ---
like facts and logic. Schlafly had always maintained that we have
enough laws on the books, at all levels of government, to ensure
the rights of women in all areas of their lives.
Schlafly also was deeply involved in the pro-life movement,
speaking out for the unborn so as to provide a voice to the
voiceless. She fought to preserve their vulnerable lives and
to preserve the sanctity of human life with the same zeal she
brought to the other causes which she worked for.
The main accomplishment which Phyllis Schlafly achieved
in all her political activism has been to tell the radical feminists
that they did not speak for all women, because they didn't speak
for her, let alone millions of American women who, like
Schlafly, were uncomfortable with their radical notions regarding
women and society, and weren't going to let them dictate how
they and society were going to be. Dissent is indeed patriotic,
and Phyllis Schlafly was one of its greatest practitioners.
Rest in peace, gallant lady. A job well done.