'First Lady of the Conservative Movement' Phyllis Schlafly Dies at the Age of 92

Kate Dries 08/16/2017. 24 comments
Phyllis Schlafly Feminism Era Obits Obituaries

Famed non-feminist Phyllis Schlafly died Monday at the age of 92. Eunie Smith, the first Vice President of the “pro-family” conservative organization Schlafly founded, the Eagle Forum, said her death came at the end of “a long illness,” with Schlafly’s daughter confirming that said illness was cancer.

Known for her opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment—she helped found the STOP ERA movement, and is credited with doing just that—and abortion rights, Schlafly was one of the first of a modern and vocal generation of conservative women who benefitted from the work of their feminist peers and foremothers, yet rejected their belief systems and practices. Though she received a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and a law degree, published over twenty books and had a vibrant career as a speaker and activist, Schlafly rejected the idea that most women should be anything more than homemakers.

One of Schlafly’s books, The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know—and Men Can’t Say , was published with her niece Suzanne Venker in 2011, bringing her back into the limelight right in time for a new generation of web-savvy feminists to hate-read her work. Her longevity was impressive, and noted: she was dubbed by fellow conservative writer Richard Viguerie, according to the New York Times, “the first lady of the conservative movement,” and just a few months ago was seen at the RNC. A few months before that, she was stumping for the current Republican candidate for President, Donald Trump.

But Schlafly will be remembered very differently by her supporters than she will be by her dissenters. From the Eagle Forum’s Facebook page:

An​ iconic​ American​ leader​ whose love for America was surpassed only by her love of God and her family​​,​ Phyllis Schlafly, an ​indomitable pro-family grassroots advocate and organizer, was ​92 years old. ​Mrs. Schlafly was preceded in death by her beloved husband Fred and​ is survived by six children a​long with 16 grand and ​3 ​great grandchildren.

​Phyllis ​Schlafly ​spent​ an astounding 70 years ​in public service ​of ​her fellow Americans. Her focus from her earliest days until her final ones was​ protecting ​the​ ​family, which she understood as the building block of life. She recognized America as the greatest political embodiment of those ​values. From military superiority and defense to immigration and trade; from unborn life to the nuclear family and parenthood, Phyllis Schlafly​​​ was a courageous and articulate voice for common sense and traditional values. She authored 27 books and thousands of articles. She spoke tens of thousands of times across the United States.​

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