The Real Woman Behind Mrs. America: Phyllis Schlafly And The Equal Rights Amendment

By S.G. Cheah
·  6 min read
Equal Rights Amendment

Virginia became the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) after both its Senate and House of Delegates voted in favor of it. This is news we should pay attention to because the question is “will our Constitution now include a new 28th Amendment?”

In the creation of America, our Founding Fathers wanted to make sure that the country would never fall into tyranny. The American Constitution was thus enacted as a way to establish a society where governmental powers are severely limited by the restrictions laid out in the Constitution. A Constitutional Amendment allows for modification to be made to the Constitution.

The Constitution decides what laws can be made in America.

As you are aware, the United States Constitution is also known as the supreme Law of the Land. Every single law that’s passed and enforced in the United States of America has to be formed based on what is allowed by the Constitution. In simpler English, the Constitution decides what laws can be made in America. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposal that will change the Constitution.

What Is the Equal Rights Amendment?

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) says “Equality of Rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.” It is an amendment that, according to its supporters, is “ designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. It seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters.”

How Radical Feminists Sell the ERA

Supporters of the ERA claim that it will make it unconstitutional for the American government to deprive equal rights to individuals on the basis of their sex because the Constitution currently only guarantees equal rights to men, with the exception of the 19th Amendment which gives women the right to vote.

Sounds cool right? What’s not to like? Women will finally be protected under the Constitution!

Well, not really. The problems that are presented by the ERA are really quite insidious if you look beyond its veil. And make no mistake, the ERA will spell the death of our individual freedoms as guaranteed in the American Constitution.

“We the People” Are the American Government

The push for the ERA is a dishonest ploy by the feminist movement to claim that women are oppressed in America. It is a feminist sham because it works to expand the power of the federal government. What’s even worse, the ERA ridicules the sanctity of the Constitution by implying that the U.S. Constitution never protected individual rights to begin with.

The ERA assumes the American Federal Government doesn’t protect individual rights because the Declaration of Independence excludes women when it says “all men are created equal.”

The premise of the ERA works on the assumption the American Federal Government doesn’t protect individual rights because the Declaration of Independence excludes women when it says “all men are created equal.” Thus, according to feminist ideology, there is no assurance that women’s rights are protected under the American Federal Goverment.

Women Are “All Men” Too

Please know that the word “men” in the context of the Declaration of Independence and other founding documents, does not refer to gender but rather to human beings. The Founding Fathers were educated in the classical languages (Latin and Greek), and commonly used Latin or mimicked Latin styles especially in the legal realm. The word “men” as used in the Declaration means mankind or humanity (homines), which is also the root word for Homo sapiens, the human species.

As I was doing my research for this article, I stumbled upon Alexandra DeSanctis’s breakdown of the ERA which you could read to get a clearer idea of the Constitutional issue, as well as other well-informed women who have written about this subject.

What the ERA Would Actually Mean for Women

The ERA is being promoted on the assumption that women are unfairly treated in America and need legislation to prohibit the “males in charge” from making any distinctions on the basis of sex in a variety of contexts. But women are guaranteed the same rights as men under the Constitution. Passing and enforcing ERA could lead to more harm than good for women.

Passing and enforcing ERA could lead to more harm than good for women.

For example, how would the ERA impact Title IX? Would girls lose their sports guarantees? Would the ERA end gender separated sporting competitions? Or what about female scholarships? What about separate bathrooms and locker rooms for girls in schools, stores, shelters, and prisons? Would women no longer be spared from the draft? These are all situations of “discrimination based on sex” and these seem to be very possible consequences that maybe the feminists haven’t thought about.

Who Was Phyllis Schlafly?

This housewife and mother of 6 worked tirelessly to advocate against the ERA because she saw the truth behind the proposed change to the Constitution. She understood that the ERA was nothing more than a ploy to expand the power of the federal government. She succeeded in taking down the ERA, some might even say single handedly, because at that time it seemed like the entire world was against her.

When her opponents constantly challenged her position on the ERA by citing that she had no authority to comment on legal matters since she was not a lawyer, she attended Washington University “in her spare time” and graduated with a law degree in 1978 at age 54.

Schlafly understood that the ERA was nothing more than a ploy to expand the power of the federal government.

Despite her illustrious public career, she never failed to remind everyone that she was first and foremost a proud housewife and mother, and only jumped into the public sphere out of the necessity to stop the ERA. If it was up to her, and the ERA had never been a threat to our freedom, she would have been happier retreating in her role as a full-time mother and homemaker. All six of her children grew up to be successful adults.

Schlafly Wasn’t Alone

But there was also another prominent woman who was Schlafly’s contemporary yet was her polar opposite (no children, an atheist, urban, career-minded) who also opposed the ERA – Ayn Rand. Like Schlafly, Ayn Rand was also well-received and well-respected as an intellectual figure in the pro-America, pro-freedom silent majority of the ‘70s. When asked about her thoughts on the ERA, Rand said it was “totally unnecessary...and will achieve nothing but give bad female politicians a tool to impose on the rest of us.”

Closing Thoughts

Gender differences are based on reality, and good laws are enacted on the basis of reality. A good law, when it’s just, never infringes upon anyone’s liberty. The Equal Rights Amendment thus poses a dangerous precedent to everyone’s individual freedom because it is a fight against reality through the elimination of all legal gender distinctions. Ultimately, it is one more tyrannical step in the obliteration of freedom in our U.S. Constitution.

The Glance
The Glance

Being informed is sexy. Get an unbiased news breakdown of everything you need to know in politics, pop-culture, and more in 60 seconds or less.

The Glance by evie