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A twisted turn on the Texas textbook crisis: Bigots, batterers and the beaten woman

Phyllis Schlafly
Phyllis Schlafly
Wikimedia Commons

So the battle of American “values” batters on – this time, in an interesting twist, it involves bigots, batterers and beaten women.

Don McLeroy, a dentist and member of Texas State Board of Education, recently proposed adding Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the Eagle Forum and an anti-feminism activist renowned for her disdain for the Equal Rights Amendment and the Violence Against Women Act, into history textbooks.

When I asked Mr. McLeroy how Phyllis Schlafly has influenced American women, he said, “She has played a major role in articulating a viewpoint that is shared, most likely, by a majority of women.”

Is that so?

Schlafly is renowned for her speech at Bates College for saying “By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape." I am interested, dear readers, if you believe the majority of women really share this forceful-phallus philosophy.

I am also truly begging to know if the majority of American women are against the Violence Against Women Act – you know, that terribly intrusive law that protects women from domestic and dating violence, as well as sexual assault and stalking? Schlafly insists the act prevents fathers from seeing their children by the “abuse” of restraining orders.

Her contempt for the seriousness of domestic violence is even more startling when she states “…it is a shocker to discover that acts don't have to be violent to be punished under the definition of domestic violence.”

Don't fret yet, ladies, there may be hope ahead.

McLeroy contends that the portrayal of Schlafly in historical context is “up to the publishers and teachers.” One can only cross their fingers publishers and teachers don’t cling to Schlafly and McLeroy’s grossly sexist sentiments.

Do the “majority of women” want to turn back the clock 60 years? McLeroy wrote to me stating that America straying from “traditional, conservative” values “has hurt women.”

While biding our time, let us turn our backs on our cake-baking skills and superb suppers for now, and say “make your own damn dinner,” a la Anne Taintor.

If Schlafly and McLeroy want to put us women in our proper place, they do mean the kitchen, right?


  • Evan 5 years ago

    I wanted to applaud you for writing this article. Dan McLeroy's statement that the views of Phyllis Schlafly are most-likely shared "by a majority of women" is absurd.

    We need to make a conscious effort to learn from the past, while moving towards complete equality in the future. Phyllis Schlafly represents a window into our distant past, and exemplifies how far we've come as a society.

    Great article!

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