Phyllis Schlafly, American Anti-Feminist Who Paved Way For Trump, Dies Aged 92

Her writing and campaigning has long been instrumental to the far-right’s successes…

Phyllis Schlafly, American Anti-Feminist Who Paved Way For Trump, Dies

by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

Want to know where Donald Trump’s supporters came from? Well, there are people who’ll just never vote for Hillary Clinton. And there are the life-long Republicans who will never vote Democrat. And there are racists and swamp-dwellers and people who’ve been stirred into thinking that Donald J Trump, a man who has only ever been a banker and a politician, will stand up for the rights of those who’ve been hurt by bankers and politicians.

Yes, economic problems and Fox News have primed many - way too many - to embrace the far-right bigotry of Trumpism, but so too did Phyllis Schlafly, who has today died aged 92. The political activist started her career in the 1950s, joining the right-wing in their witch hunt against Communism. By the 1960s, she published A Choice Not an Echo, a pocketbook about the dangers of Communism and by the 1970s, she protested against newly-legal abortions and against the proposed Equal Rights Amendment which sought to ban any gender-based discrimination. It didn’t pass by just three votes, and eventually puttered out, thanks to much effort from Schlafly and her volunteers - mostly religious women. According to her obituary in the New York Times, they would go and knock on doors to campaign for whatever campaign and cause they had. And you can imagine what those causes were.

And even as she got older, she didn’t let up. On marital rape, she said, in 2007: ‘By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don’t think you can call it rape’.


In 2010, she said of gay marriage: ‘Nobody’s stopping them from shacking up. The problem is that they are trying to make us respect them, and that’s an interference with what we believe’ - FYI, her son, John, is gay. The next year, Shlafly said that ‘shotgun marriages’ would be a good solution to unwanted pregnancies, more than 30 years after she did her darnedest to protest the 1973 legalisation of abortion, saying things like: ‘Sex education classes are like in-home sales parties for abortions.’

And in 2014, talking about America's on-campus rape problem that has seen a governmental campaign to stamp out sexual violence at universities and hold them to account when they muck up (as they so often do): ‘It’s really dangerous for a guy to go to college these days. He’s better off if he doesn’t talk to any women when he gets there. The feminists are perfectly glad to make false accusations and then claim all men are capable of some dastardly deed like rape.’

Committed to social conservatism, Schlafly of course endorsed Trump, saying that he has ‘the courage and energy’ to do ‘what the grass-roots want him to do.’

One of the most bandied about quotes we’re seeing from ultra-anti-progressive Schlafly today is when Shlafly said: ‘We’ll have a woman president over my dead body’ - with just three months to go until the presidential election ballot, wouldn’t that be just the send-off Schlafly deserves?

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Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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