Wow! This past week, I listened to this inspiring video below done by my delightful, smart curly girl friend Audrey Rindlisbacher. Audrey is the wonderful woman behind the Mission Driven Mom website and podcast. Thank you Audrey for creating this interview! It was so powerful!
Audrey recently interviewed Anne Schlafly Cori, a daughter of Phyllis Schlafly. If you don’t know who Phyllis is, let me introduce you. She was a wife, mother of 6, and a stateswoman who showed how to create a grass-roots movement to defeat bad (bad because it was anti-family and anti-liberty) legislation that was sweeping the USA in the 70s.
Phyllis never held political office, yet she wielded tremendous power. These videos show some of her many public appearances, demonstrating that she was an intellectual force to be reckoned with. I firmly believe God raised her up to be like Esther of old, in the Bible, for “such a time as this” to save her people.
I actually had the pleasure of hearing Phyllis speak in person. It was January 2010. She came to Salt Lake City and spoke at the annual Utah Eagle Forum Convention. This was a highlight conference that I looked forward to attending every year when I lived in Utah. I still remember her outfit. It was this snazzy plaid burgundy and pink jacket and matching skirt. It definitely popped! I took a picture of her speaking using my hot pink Motorola Razr cell phone. Alas, the photo has disappeared down a black hole amidst cell phone upgrades, moves, my tech-illiteracy, and distraction from mothering/homeschooling 7 children.
So back to Phyllis…I was impressed with how charming and articulate she was at her age when I heard her speak live. I’ll never forget the moment I walked past her in the restroom during this event, after the speech. It was held at the Larry H. Miller Conference Center of SLCC. As she approached close enough for me to touch her, I thought, “Wow, there’s Phyllis! Say something….ask for her autograph…smile…say hello! She’s famous! Do something!” Uhh, unfortunately, all I could do was awkwardly smile at her. To which she broadly beamed a most magnanimous smile back, just for me.
Then the moment was gone. I left the restroom and she continued in the other direction to be about her business. The only other somewhat celebrity encounter I’ve ever had in a restroom was with Peggy O’Mara, former editor of Mothering Magazine, at a La Leche League Conference in Chicago in 2008. I wish I had been prepared for that fleeting chance moment with Phyllis. I could have thanked her and asked her questions.
At the time, I really didn’t know how amazing she was. I hadn’t studied her devotion to motherhood and homemaking, her determination, her scholastic record, her leadership, or the fruits of her life. If I had, I would have overcome my shyness and spoken to her. Just watch the video above with Audrey or listen to it in podcast form here and you will learn how amazing she was.
She truly was like Esther of the Bible. She felt a call to defeat the ERA (the Equal Rights Amendment). That she did! Relying on her heart, along with facts about the family, marriage, and women, she proclaimed that the ERA was a misleading amendment. Arguing with logic and persuasion, she calmly showed that the ERA would hurt women instead of help them whenever she debated with feminists. She graduated from Harvard Law School after age 50, showing that women can “have it all” if they do it seasonally. She reared her children first, and then when they were no longer needing her in-home, day-to-day influence, she went to graduate school and became a lawyer.
This is called “sequencing”, something I heard back in my La Leche League Leader days when I encountered the book with that concept as the title. Armed with her legal education, Phyllis passionately and logically defeated ERA-proponents in debates. She held her own, always with a cheerful smile, and always elegant. She rallied her followers of homemaker moms and their supporters to vote down the ERA when it was put to the states to vote on after being passed by Congress.
Phyllis gives me hope! During this pandemic crisis, it’s easy to succumb to thinking that we are helpless. Phyllis lived during a different time, but she definitely faced a giant of a crisis that threatened the mental and physical health of the family, of women, men, and children. She stood up to it squarely, rallied supporters, and did not back away.
Hollywood has recently released a mini-series based on the life of Phyllis. It’s full of lies. Please get your facts straight about her. She did not have a contentious marriage. She did not leave little children to go to school or pursue a career. Watch these videos above and below and learn more here, at realmrsamerica.com.
May we each follow her example, following whatever God calls us to do to defend home, marriage, and family or whatever else is sacred to God, especially liberty.
This involves getting the training we need, studying the facts, doing our homework, putting our faith in God, acting diligently on the daily duties we owe to God, and letting the results be up to Him.
Here’s a book Phyllis co-authored, published in 2001. The amazon description gives a great summary of what she stood for. I’ve copied and pasted the description below.
“Forty years have passed since the so-called women’s movement claimed to liberate women from preconceived notions of what it means to be female – and the results are in. The latest statistics show that as women have gained more freedom, more education, and more power, they have become less happy. In The Flipside of Feminism, Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly provide readers with a new view of women in America – casting off the ideology that preaches faux empowerment and liberation from men and marriage. Their book demonstrates that conservative women are, in fact, the most liberated women in America and the folks to whom young people should be turning for advice. Their confident and rational approach to the battle of the sexes is precisely what America needs.”