We’re Living in Phyllis Schlafly’s America
A striking new miniseries reveals the conservative author’s deep impact on contemporary politics.
If, as per baudelaire, the greatest trick the devil played was convincing the world that he didn’t exist, the irony of Phyllis Schlafly’s legacy is that she undermined women so efficiently that her pernicious influence on American politics hasn’t gotten the credit it deserves. During the 1970s, Schlafly was camera-ready pith in pearls and a pie-frill collar, a troll long before the term existed, who’d begin public speeches by thanking her husband for letting her attend, because she knew how much it riled her feminist detractors. Armed only with a newsletter and a seeming immunity to shame, Schlafly took a popular bipartisan piece of legislation—the Equal Rights Amendment, which affirms men and women as equal citizens under the law—and whipped it up into a culture war as deftly as if she were making dessert.
Friday, April 17, 2020
Phyllis’s deep impact on contemporary politics
An essay in The Atlantic, a liberal magazine, about the new Hulu TV series: