Phyllis Schlafly: A Woman Worth Studying

, Malcolm A. Kline, 2 Comments

photo by Gage Skidmore

photo by Gage Skidmore

Here’s the key problem with women’s studies: They ignore the women most worthy of study. Into this category falls the dear—and she was—departed author and activist Phyllis Schlafly.

She crammed more achievements into one lifetime than any trio of the feminists she so implacably opposed crammed into three: six children, advanced degrees, more than a score of books—several of which we have signed copies of in the office, and numerous political victories. I remember when she opposed one of the Left’s many Trojan horses—the so-called Equal Rights Amendment.

In those days, when there was no conservative electronic media, she would often be booked on talk shows with at least three celebrities who supported the ERA. Now, nobody remembers who any of them are, and Mrs. Schlafly won.

My old boss, friend and mentor, the late, great M. Stanton Evans, remembered her coming to a fractious meeting that President George H. W. Bush had with leading conservatives and presenting him with a list of demands. Unfortunately, they weren’t met, but then “41” didn’t get reelected either: Cause and effect?

I had the chance to watch her in action on a number of occasions and pity those who haven’t. She was a force of nature in every way: personally, intellectually, politically, you name it. She always wanted to talk to students and find out what they were studying.

Never will I forget the time she presided over a forum on pornography when she was in her mid-eighties. Off the top of her head, she recalled key Supreme Court decisions of the past 50 years and quoted from them at length.

We know that she is in good company up yonder with the aforementioned Mr. Evans as well as AIA’s founder, Reed Irvine, even though we are sadly without the benefit of her leadership. We would do well to emulate her unwavering adherence to principle and her lifelong trait of following the old-fashioned motto of the Girl Scouts: Be prepared.

Photo by Gage Skidmore