“Feminism has nothing at all to do with being ‘feminine.’ Feminine means accentuating the womanly attributes that make women deliciously different from men. The feminine woman enjoys her right to be a woman. She has a positive outlook on life. She knows she is a person with her own identity and that she can seek fulfillment in the career of her choice, including that of traditional wife and mother.”
As far as female empowerment, American mom superstars, and true icons of real feminism go, Phyllis Schlafly is at the top of the heap. Quite honestly, she was amazing. She embraced nature’s gift of motherhood, adopted politics as a hobby, passed the bar exams, fought tirelessly against anti-women legislation, wrote books, and hosted radio shows.
Today, we see an influx of social and political hurdles – lockdowns, school closures, CRT, school indoctrination, masking of our children, elimination of gender roles, rampant feminism, abortion, etc. – and it’s become painfully clear that moms need to take a more active role in local politics. They need to stand up for their children, fellow women, and America’s founding principles. In short, it’s time we take a page out of Phyllis Schlalfly’s playbook.
Who is Phyllis Schlafly?
Phyllis Schlafly was a conservative icon and one of the most polarizing figures in American politics. She was a devoted wife, mother of six, political activist, radio host, public speaker, and author. In the 1970s she campaigned against the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) as well as communism.
Throughout her life there are examples of her leading what might be considered a “traditional” life of a woman – she got married in 1949 and spent 25 years as a devoted, full-time housewife and mother to six. And then we see her accomplish everything modern feminism claims women could never accomplish today, let alone in the mid-1900s. She graduated with honors from Washington University in St. Louis in 1944, she held a regular job during college working as a lab tech at the St. Louis Ordnance Plant where she tested .30 and .50 caliber ammunition by firing rifles and machine guns. She earned her Master’s in government from Harvard University in 1945, her J.D. from Washington University Law School in 1978, and passed the bar the same year. She was 54-years-old.
When the ERA was nearing it’s time for ratification she formed and headed the Stop ERA activist movement and conducted a grassroots campaign across the country that successfully opposed the ERA which never passed.
From 1985 to 1991 Phyllis Schlafly was appointed by President Reagan to serve on the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, where she testified before more than fifty Congressional and State Legislative committees regarding constitutional, national defense, and family issues. She then went on to become a public speaker traveling extensively.
All this in the time when, supposedly, women were oppressed and had no rights. That begs the question: What was it that allowed her to raise a family as a stay at home mom (SAHM) and achieve a law degree?
It wasn’t feminism. Feminism told her that her husband and children were her oppressors, wanted nothing more than to cage her up, and thought she was a second-class citizen.
It was her grit, her passion, and the support of her loving husband and children. She didn’t need a law to tell her what she could and couldn’t do. In fact, she fiercely believed that the work the ERA was trying to do had already been done by the Constitution and Bill of Rights – and she proved it by doing everything she did without the ERA being enacted.
By the grace of God and the freedom this country provided she did exactly what she wanted to do. She felt emboldened by her role as a mother and wife rather than downcast by it. She ignored feminism and acted like a human being.
Phyllis & Feminism
“The feminist movement taught women to see themselves as victims of an oppressive patriarchy. … Self-imposed victimhood is not a recipe for happiness.”
Probably one of the best ways to illustrate Phyllis Schlafly’s relationship with feminism is to take a look at her interviews and listen to some of her wisdom. She spoke on this topic extensively until her death in 2016, inspiring college students and women across the world.
“The feminist movement has spent 30 years putting down the role of stay-at-home moms and trying to tell young women that only someone who is mentally disabled would pick that for a career.”
Phyllis believed women were equal – they should be paid equally for equal work, they should be able to vote, go to college, and take up an office job – but she was also fully aware that women have a very unique gift given to them by nature and God: motherhood. And, more importantly, she didn’t want women being told that this gift was a curse, and that the blessing of children and the opportunity to raise them was a scourge.
She saw that feminism bashed men, and noted how government policies like welfare made men irrelevant. Their role of supporter, provider, and protector was essentially eliminated and degraded, and they were supplanted by the government. This irreparably damaged the family unit and was the first step in demonizing the men who simply wanted to have a family and make sure their wife and the mother of their children wanted for nothing.
“Men should stop treating feminists like ladies, and instead treat them like the men they say they want to be. – It’s a no win for men.”
One of Phyllis’s least favorite parts of the ERA was that it would have forced women to sign up for the draft. She had her own daughters and sons. It was unfortunate enough that her sons would be eligible to draft, it was unthinkable that her daughters would be forced to do so as well and potentially denied their chance at any other life. This blite of feminism needed to be stopped in its tracks. The idea that men and women were equal beyond the basic rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was something simply not rooted in fact and was damaging women and their relationships with men across the country.
If Phyllis could do all of this – have a successful marriage, raise a family, lead political campaigns, earn multiple degrees, become a lawyer, serve on committees – then so can you.
“When I got married, all I wanted in the world was a dryer so I didn’t have to hang up my diapers. And now women have paper diapers and all sorts of conveniences in the home. And it is the men and the technology that has made the home such a pleasant place for women to be. So I hope they will use that pleasant place to raise their children.”
Don’t let the “conveniences in the home” go to waste. American women are one of the most prosperous, least inconvenienced, most respected, most cared for group of people on the planet. We have fewer hardships overall and unlimited opportunities at our fingertips. Why would we ever want to rely on government, or a dissatisfied group of feminists, to tell us what we can and cannot do?
Claiming victimhood is a self-fulfilling prophecy leading to a miserable life believing no one is one your side and everything is against you. Feminists, in their own way, encourage this victimhood and demand government do something about it. Don’t be like modern feminists.
Phyllis knew that all women needed was a good marriage based in honesty and respect, and determination to accomplish what they wanted to accomplish. That the world was theirs for the taking. That there was no shame in being a SAHM, a lawyer, an activist (just maybe not all at the same time). She believed women had unique and powerful abilities, that child-bearing and raising kids was not a curse, that self-reliance came in many forms, free-thinking was essential, and that men are key in contributing to the happiness of women.
Be more like Phyllis Schlafly.
Phyllis is an inspiration to conservative and free thinking women across the United States – how will Phyllis inspire you to energize your community, advocate for your children, be the CEO of your home, and raise the next generation with the American spirit?
Share who your #americanhero is and how you’re planning to #BeMoreLikePhyllis by tagging us (@weareamericanmom) in your Instagram stories!