What Is the Significance of Phyllis Schlafly to American History?

Phyllis Schlafly was a prominent American conservative activist and author who played a significant role in shaping American politics and culture in the 20th century. She was a controversial figure who was known for her opposition to feminism, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and other progressive causes.

The Early Life of Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly was born on August 15, 1924, in St. Louis, Missouri. She grew up in a conservative Catholic family and attended Maryville University, where she earned a degree in political science. She later attended Washington University School of Law but dropped out to focus on her family and activism.

Activism Career

Schlafly began her activism career as a staunch anti-communist during the Cold War era. She wrote several books about the dangers of communism and advocated for stronger national defense policies. In the 1960s, she turned her attention to feminism and became one of the most vocal opponents of the ERA.

Her opposition to feminism stemmed from her belief that traditional gender roles were essential for preserving family values and protecting women’s interests. Schlafly argued that the ERA would have detrimental effects on women by eroding traditional gender roles, opening up women to military draft, and undermining laws that protect women from workplace discrimination.

The Fight Against ERA

Schlafly’s opposition to the ERA made her a controversial figure in American politics. She founded the Eagle Forum, a conservative interest group that lobbied against the ERA and other progressive causes. Through her leadership of this organization, she mobilized conservative women across America to fight against feminist activists who were pushing for equal rights legislation.

Schlafly’s efforts were successful in preventing ratification of the ERA by enough states needed to pass it into law. Although the ERA was never passed, the debate over it helped to shape American politics and brought issues of gender equality to the forefront of national discussion.

Legacy

Phyllis Schlafly passed away in 2016 at the age of 92. Her legacy continues to be a topic of debate and discussion among Americans today. Some view her as a trailblazer who fought tirelessly for conservative values and traditional gender roles, while others criticize her for opposing women’s rights and perpetuating gender inequality.

Regardless of one’s views on Schlafly’s legacy, there is no denying that she played an important role in shaping American history. Her activism helped to define the conservative movement in America and influenced generations of conservative politicians and activists.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Phyllis Schlafly was a controversial but influential figure in American history. She was a staunch conservative activist who fought against feminism and progressive causes.

Her opposition to the ERA helped to shape American politics and brought issues of gender equality to the forefront of national discussion. While her legacy continues to be debated today, there is no denying that she played an important role in shaping America’s political landscape.