A Preview of Phyllis Schlafly at Chapel Hill

April 19, 2010 | NeW Staff

To get you more excited about the event at UNC Chapel Hill tonight featuring Phyllis Schlafly, here are a few more facts to share with you about this remarkable conservative woman. 

Phyllis Schlafly is responsible for defeating the Equal Rights Amendment during that battle that ensued in the 1970s and 1980s.   Here’s a brief history….

In 1972, Schlafly wrote a piece in her monthly Phyllis Schlafly Report titled, “What’s Wrong with Equal Rights for Women,” and claimed that the ERA would do little to help women while being particularly disruptive to traditional society.  Her views resonated with other like-minded women, particularly mothers and wives, and sparked the ERA battle that ensued at the national and state level.  As a result, she incited a nationwide resistance movement, providing an opportunity for women, many of whom lacked political experience, to oppose the ERA.  Schlafly argued that the ERA would give too much power to the federal government.

She organized a grassroots movement of women under the name STOP ERA (Stop Taking Our Privileges) and lobbied lawmakers not to vote for the ERA, an amendment that was supported by a majority of legislators-Republicans and Democrats alike.  Schlafly mobilized these women to campaign against the ERA.  She and her fellow ERA opponents would often go to state capitols and bring homemade breads with them to lobby against the ERA.  

In 1982, the battle finally ended and Schlafly and her STOP ERA women were victorious. For a full reading of the ERA history, visit Eagle Forum’s website or read “A Short History of E.R.A.”

Schlafly’s organization and leadership to stop the ERA was a landmark victory for grassroots activism.  One feminist responded to Schlafly’s defeat of the ERA with this telling statement:

“The STOP ERA movement was successful not because it was better financed or more powerfully backed than the pro-ERA forces…but because ordinary Americans believed that there was real substance behind the Schlafly campaign.”

NeW Women at the University of Florida meet Mrs. Schlafly at CPAC. From left to right: Elizabeth,
Kaylee, Michelle, Cassandra, and Hillary.
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