Phyllis Schlafly is remembered more as a conservative activist who proudly opposed issues such as abortion, homosexuality, and feminism. Additionally, many of her views were recorded in her publication, such as “A Choice Not An Echo,” which is arguably her most influential book. Further, she successfully campaigned against the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment of the constitution.
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It is important to note that activism against ratification is considered one of her biggest achievements. She believed that the ratification would allow courts to interpret the law in a different and non-traditional way. One can argue that “she—and her large number of followers—were concerned that the courts would interpret it as abortion on demand, same-sex marriage” (Kennedy).
It is prudent to point out that the fact that she fought hard to ensure rejection of the ratification does not mean she did not also acknowledge issues that affected women. I believe that her driving force was to protect what she believed was important culture and tradition, which ideally affected how she viewed gender roles.
Critically, Schlafly was successful in her anti-ERA campaigns since many people in the nation agreed with what she was campaigning and… “the fact that ERA was heavily linked to reproductive health choices, gay rights, and nuclear disarmament did not encourage support from republicans” (“Phyllis Schlafly Biography”).
The fact that she was able to organize a pro-life and pro-family rally that was attended by over 15,000 people made her a force in the discussion on ratification (“Phyllis Schlafly Biography”). It is arguable that Schlafly truly immersed herself in her work, and this made her achievements more historical. Interestingly, although she was against feminism, she received significant support from her spouse, which at the time was part of what feminists were fighting for in addition to equality.
“Phyllis Schlafly Biography.” Biography. Web.
Kennedy, Lesley. “How Phyllis Schlafly Derailed the Equal Rights Amendment.” History. Web.
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