Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Confusing Phyllis Schlafly

When Phyllis Schlafly died yesterday, a meme raced around Facebook with her picture and the Schlafly quote, "There will be a woman president over my dead body!"  Many gleefully responded that God took that deal.

Schlafly never said those words, according to Snopes.  But it's easy to believe she had.  The ardent anti-feminist who led the successful fight against the ERA was a study in dissonance.  She practiced politics in order to prevent other women from doing the same.  She made a career out of trying to deny other women careers.  Schlafly was a tightly coiffed contradiction.

That fact is painfully apparent in another area.  Schlafly fought against gay rights tooth and nail.  The Advocate called her "one of history's worst homophobes."  Yet her eldest son was gay.

That's gay, gay, gay!  Yup, I've long considered that one of the juicier ironies in the story of the Right.

When her son John was outed by the gay press in 1992, Schlafly didn't soften her homophobia one bit.  And for his part, John kept working for his mother and her Eagle Forum organization.

I guess John's a chip off the old coif.  Schlafly passed down to her son that cognitive dissonance.  I hope she's left him plenty of money to compensate.