Phyllis Schafly interview

Phyllis Schlafly at 84

As you know, nobody made feminists more angry than you did. At one debate, Betty Friedan said to you, “I’d like to burn you at the stake.”

In 1972 the feminist movement made the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment their major goal, and they had every advantage. They had three Presidents, Nixon, Ford and Carter, [behind them]. They had all the governors. They had 99% of the media. They had organizations, they had Hollywood stars, movie stars, and they felt I was responsible for not letting them get what they wanted. So they were mad about it.

They also thought you were a hypocrite because you had a career yourself, but you didn’t seem to want other women to have one.

Well, that’s ridiculous because obviously I’ve had a wonderful life and I’m an example that women can do whatever they want to do. I’ve had it all, but I’ve had it at different times in my life. I spent 25 years without any income, a separate income, raising my six children. And after that I had time to go out and engage in politics. The feminist movement is not about success for women. It is about treating women as victims and about telling women that you can’t succeed because society is unfair to you, and I think that’s a very unfortunate idea to put in the minds of young women because I believe women can do whatever they want. Feminists don’t honor successful women. You never hear them talking about Margaret Thatcher. Take Condoleezza Rice. She’s a remarkable, successful woman. You don’t hear the feminists talk about her or Carly Fiorina or Jeanne Kirkpatrick. They don’t talk about them because they are just determined to preach this idea that women are unfairly treated in our society and they need legislation and government and taxpayers’ money in order to get them a fair break.


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