Phyllis Schlafly has been a fly-in-the-ointment of feminism for a long time, but most interestingly, by being outspoken, having a successful career, and gaining popularity/notoriety she is as much a role model for women as Gloria Steinem and other supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Mrs. Schlafly was born in 1924 in St. Louis, Missouri. She attended Washington University and at the age of 23 had earned a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Harvard University. 7 years after graduating from Harvard she ran for Congress, but was defeated. After being defeated she worked as a librarian, and as a researcher for several congressmen, including Claude Bakewell. Her time spent from then until 1964 when she published her first book A Choice Not An Echo, about Barry Goldwater was spent raising her six children.

With the publishing of that book Mrs. Schlafly was viewed as a spokesperson for Conservative America. Again in 1970 she ran for Congress and was again defeated. Turning her energy to other activities she began to campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment claiming that it would erode families and weaken the role of the mother in the household. She also argued that if taken literally, the Equal Rights Amendment could be used to push such issues as unisex bathrooms and would require women to fight in combat.

Mrs. Schlafly created two lobbying organizations: Stop ERA and Eagle Forum and used both to push for the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment. Still finding herself with prodigious energy Mrs. Schlafly started the Schlafly Report which has been published continually since 1976. In 1978 she returned to Washington University to earn a law degree. She also became a Phi Beta Kappa member.

Even though the Equal Rights Amendment was defeated in 1982 Mrs. Schlafly continued to lead the Eagle Forum to lobby for other conservative issues. In 1985, she was asked by President Reagan to sit on the Commission of the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. She held that position until 1991.

In 1992 she was named the Illinois Mother of the Year.

She is the author of 13 books total, including The Power of a Positive Woman and Pornography’s Victims.

Despite her record achievements, outstanding skills, obvious intelligence, and drive, she feels that the most important place for a woman to be is at home raising her children. I will leave it to the reader to decide if she is correct.

Editors Note: Phyllis Schafly died of cancer on September 5, 2016, at the age of 92.

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