If you'll forgive one more excursion into Phyllis mania (we've certainly taken note of the passing of Phyllis Schalfly, who died this week at the age of 92–here, here, and here), I'd like to add this remembrance of Schlafly from the [U.K.] Spectator.
Even though the Spectator is published across the pond, the piece is by Patrick Allitt Cahoon, an Emory University professor. Here is what caught my eye:
The women Schlafly mobilised against ERA were mostly wives and mothers from economically modest backgrounds. Many were also intensely religious. By the 1970s, long-standing religious antagonisms were in decline across America, such that Schlafly was able to bring together evangelical Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox Jews and even Mormons. In no earlier decade of American history would that have been possible.
They were unified by the belief that religion itself was under attack, and that abortion, divorce, contraception, homosexuality and pornography were affronts to God. These were the same voters who, in the late 1970s, began forming the Moral Majority and helped Ronald Reagan, Schlafly’s favoured candidate, to win the election of 1980.
I spoke with Phyllis Schlafly twice by phone, the first time when I was writing a history of American conservatism about ten years ago. Hospitable, precise, articulate, absolutely certain of everything she believed, she enthused about the wonders of capitalism and its ability to invent and distribute labour-saving devices.
These, she said, had done far more to liberate women than feminism. Feminism was, she told me, ‘anti-family, anti-children, and pro-abortion … women’s libbers view the home as a prison and the wife and mother as a slave.’ She had no regrets about the role she had played in scotching the amendment.
We at IWF don't take positions on abortion or contraception, but we do enthuse about the free market and we welcome CEOs and housewives alike into our ranks.
By contrast, the feminist movement has become an enclave of elitism and litmus tests.