Skip to comments.Four Years After Her Passing, Feminists Are Still Losing to Phyllis Schlafly
Posted on 06/02/2020 10:11:10 AM PDT by Kaslin
'Mrs. America' tries to paint Phyllis Schlafly as cold and unforgiving, but the conservative icon my grandmother and I knew was nothing of the sort.
My grandmother was in a Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter with Phyllis Schlafly from 1965 to 1990. A few years before she died, I had the privilege to intern for Mrs. Schlafly. So, during quarantine, as we watched the FX series Mrs. America together, we became filled with growing frustration and disgust at seeing the woman we had known misrepresented and defamed.
What is most striking about Mrs. America, however, is how little it actually says about Schlafly. What the show truly reveals is the worldview of progressive Hollywood elites.
The show deserves credit for putting together a stunning cast. And it certainly does Schlafly a great honor to be portrayed by a world-renowned actress like Cate Blanchett. Sadly, even with an A-list ensemble, the show lacks the sort of inspiration that makes for brilliant storytelling. The absence of enthusiasm comes mostly from the fact that while the series attempts to depict a debate from both sides, the producers only understand one side of the argument. Ultimately, the show is left feeling self-congratulatory and hollow.
The men and women in charge of Hollywood programming fail or understandor accepthow a successful woman like Schlafly could believe that a woman being in the home was either positive for society or fulfilling for an individual. They couldnt conceive that a woman who held such antiquated ideas was anything other than ambitious, liberated, and power-hungry at heart.
Schlafly is depicted as an opportunist who wrecks all in her path to victory, including family and friends. It may make for a compelling House of Cards plotline, but when they portray of the champion of conservative women across America in the 1970s this way, its both absurd and false.
Unlike what many on the left and even characters in the show claim, Schlafly practiced what she preached. She took time away from her career to care for her family, returning to it when her children had grown. Within her organization, she made sure her female employees with young children at home were able to take the proper time off to invest in their families.
Flanked by her humble cadre of homemakers, Schlafly handed the feminist dream team defeat after defeat in one of the most extraordinary political David versus Goliath stories ever seen. Its been four years since the world lost Phyllis Schlafly and frankly, the feminists are still losing to her.
The real Gloria Steinem, who was not consulted before production, was disgusted by the show and commented that Mrs. America, in fact, gave way too much credit to Schlafly, who in Steinems view, had almost nothing to do with the defeat of the ERA. Beyond the obvious post-defeat fantasy world Steinem has spun for herself, which many Goliaths do to explain seemingly inexplicable losses, Steinem hits on an appropriate critique of the show. It is bipolar.
On one hand, Schlafly is a selfish, ambitious, scrupulous leader who is often left speechless in the face of her feminist opponents, unable to answer their ironclad facts (which, it should be noted, were invented in the Hollywood writing room). Yet even as the show delights in dunking on Schlafly, it cant rewrite history entirely. Like an ever-present lingering cloud, the fact that the ERA is defeated hangs over the story and stubbornly refuses to be brushed aside.
The self-congratulatory nature of the show seems especially discordant in a world where President Donald Trump won an election that was supposed to be Hillary Clintons coronation. Four years later, the Democratic Party is poised to nominate a famously moderate elderly white man from a crowd of female, minority, and homosexual candidates.
Once you realize the showrunners manipulation of visuals, its hard to ignore. The Schlaflys live in a sterile gothic house with cold blue overhead light, while the feminists inhabit cozy Manhattan apartments full of cozy yellow lighting and rich, warm browns and maroons.
We are shown the world as the production team of Mrs. America sees it. The traditional home is indeed the comfortable concentration camp of Friedans Feminist Mystiquecold, selfish, and unforgiving. By contrast, the free love of New York City, unfettered by commitments or obligations, is compassionate and inviting even if it can get a little messy at times.
Phyllis and Fred Schlafly are frequently shown locked in competition as their ambitions clash, from Schlaflys desire to renew her bid for Congress, to her attending law school against his wishes, and most dramatically, in a yelling match after a weak debate performance against Brenda and Marc Feigan-Fasteau.
For a moment lets disregard that fact that all accounts of Fred and Phylliss marriage from family and biographers portrays it as one of mutual love and support; forget for a moment that the actual recording of the debate with the Feigan-Fasteaus proves that Schlafly more than held her own; disregard these inaccuracies and compare the austere image of a traditional home Mrs. America paints to the open, unstructured, variety of domestic arrangements portrayed by the feminist leaders.
Steinem is chic New York celebrity meets social activist. Shes depicted as kind, caring and deeply principled, while wrestling through tough pragmatic choices as any good leader must. She slips in and out of relationships without any messy breakup scenes and dances through her apartment following her dreams just as her black-market abortion doctor made her promise.
Brenda Feigan-Fasteau is shown engaging in an ongoing lesbian affair behind her husbands back and then confessing it only to have Marc accept and support Brenda in her unfaithful liaisons. These moments are played to be beautiful and movingvisually and narrativelyas characters display genuine selflessness.
The Phyllis Schlafly my grandmother knew for years had loving relationships with all her children. She cared for her husband in his old age and took pride in her grandchildren. In her later years when I worked for her, she took sincere interest in the lives of her staff and fellow homemakers. She was the exact opposite of the self-centered, sniping woman Cate Blanchett plays.
Schlafly remained brilliant till the end. Even at age 90, she delighted in giving fiery radio interviews about misguided Obama Administration policies, laying her head down on her desk for cat naps in-between.
The attempt by Mrs. America to tarnish Phyllis Schlaflys legacy in order to burnish those of the second wave feminists falls flat. Indeed, it only reminds the world that it was Schlaflys movement and not the government-backed, financial juggernaut, Womans Liberation movement that won in the end.
Phyllis Schlafly is an absolute hero. Imagine what the ERA could be used to do in today’s environment. She was one of God’s warriors.
I’ve refused to watch it since the trailer screamed “obvious leftist hit job”.
all that will remain of the testament of mrs schlafly will be the hollywood depiction of her.
if there is no counter biopic soon, the left will have won in defaming and defacing an american hero.
just like all the oliver stone movies, and alternate history movies, if there is no counter punch, there will be no debate.
This. Same here.
I was lucky enough to see her speak at Agnes Scott College a dozen or more years ago. Her speech and deft handling of the nasty Leftists were both extremely impressive.
I’ve been watching it on HULU, and I don’t think they make her look THAT bad.
Like the article says, she does win in the end.
I just don’t like shows where I have to wait an entire week for a new episode. How did I do that back in the day with EVERYTHING I watched?
Absolute nonsense. She gave the feminists what they wanted but couldn't openly demand, which was getting equal rights AND retaining their special privileges.
Women have all of the rights men have and then some. Girls grow up on equal rights, but they can still hit or kick boys any time they want for any reason without fear of retaliation, while boys are denied benefits offered to girls to make up for discrimination they had nothing to do with. Women have equal rights in the job market plus preferential treatment. And do I need to say anything about the family court system? The ERA would have given men an effective tool to fight this.
But men could only see equal rights for women, and fell for every effort to stop it.
How's that working out?
I have not watched it either and don’t plan to.
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