Distinguished Women of Past and Present

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Phyllis Schlafly

Schlafly, Phyllis (1924- ), American author and political activist, known for her opposition to the women's liberation movement. Schlafly was born in Saint Louis, Missouri. She attended Washington University and in 1945 earned a master's degree in political science from Harvard University. Schlafly also earned a law degree from Washington University in 1978. She worked as a researcher for several Congressmen in Washington, D.C., and participated in the successful campaign of Republican Congressman Claude I. Bakewell in Saint Louis. After his election, Schlafly worked in a bank as a librarian and researcher, but she remained active in politics and was a delegate to many Republican national conventions. She ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1952 and 1970. In the 1970s and early 1980s, Schlafly campaigned against the proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The amendment called for men and women to be given equal treatment under the law. Schlafly opposed the ERA because it would require women to serve in combat, and because she believed it would take away legal rights of wives and would negatively influence family life. Schlafly also argued that the amendment would lead to unisex restrooms. She became a leading opponent of the ERA through her lobbying organizations, Stop ERA and Eagle Forum, and by testifying against the ERA before 30 state legislatures. The ERA was defeated in 1982, and Schlafly continued to lead her Eagle Forum organization in campaigns advocating conservative issues. She has written several books, including A Choice Not an Echo (1964), which was an endorsement of the presidential campaign of Senator Barry Goldwater; The Power of a Positive Woman (1977); and Pornography's Victims (1987).

Contributed by: Naomi B. Lynn

"Schlafly, Phyllis" Microsoft(R) Encarta.
Copyright(c) 1995 Microsoft Corporation.