Musings From the Bench

musings from the bench-2

A friend of mine posts to facebook pictures from the website Asshole of the Day. They’re more than likely pictures of politicians with text of the shit that comes out of their mouth, but the one that has me snarling calls herself a political activist and has resurfaced — hell, I thought the bitch was dead — no such luck.

Phyllis Schlafly has risen from her crypt to defeat the closure of the monetary gender gap. And her reason for thinking a working women doesn’t deserve equal pay for equal work with equal education and equal experience? Because she believes that “since a woman prefers to marry a man who makes more money than she does, decreasing the gender gap would leave women unable to secure a husband.”


Let’s back up a bit.

Phyllis grew up during the Great Depression. (She and my father were born in the same year) Her father became a long-term unemployed casualty and it was her mother who supported the family as a librarian and teacher allowing Phyllis to stay in Catholic School.

Fast forward to 1949 and her marriage to John Frederick Schlafly at the age of 23. Her husband was an attorney who came from a well-to-do St. Louis family.

In 1952 during the Korean War, she ran for Congress but voters in the 24th Illinois District didn’t care for her right-wing conservative, Cold War, and Anti-Communist issues campaign against big government and the conduct of the War.

All throughout the ’50s she made statewide speeches as a State Official and National Defense Chairwoman of the Daughters of the Revolution.

She again ran for Congress in 1970 and was once again rejected by the voters with her campaign of militant law-and-order, Cold War issues campaign.

Since she couldn’t get herself elected, she concentrated on working to get others who shared her views elected.

Then came what might be termed her life’s work……defeating the Equal Rights Amendment.

According to her, if women were given the same rights as men it would

‘undermine traditional families’

‘remove legal protections of wives’

‘subject women to the military draft’

remove barriers to women in Court’

‘promote abortion on demand’

‘open the way for homosexual marriage’

‘require that public bathrooms be unisex’

Phyllis brought out her big guns with her Stop Taking Our Privileges campaign when 35 of the 38 States needed to ratify the ERA ratified.  Whatever it was she said or threatened, it worked and 5 States rescinded their ratification and the Equal Rights Amendment was defeated.

Phyllis is a walking, talking contradiction. She advocates women being a full-time wife and mother, taking care of the home and advancing the husband’s career while having none of her own. To me this advocating  a return of the stay-at-home Mom while she continues her career would be like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr advocating a return to slavery while he remains a free man. To quote feminist Gloria Steinem, “Schlafly’s discussion reveals a paradox. She was able to have it all: family (husband and 6 children) and a career. And she did it by fighting those who said they were trying to get it all for her…Happiness resulted from being a wife and mother and working to reach their goals, not in helping other women and families reach their own.”Phyllis Schlafly

In Phyllis’ own words:

“I have cancelled speeches whenever my husband thought I had been away from home too much.” –Time magazine, 1978

In a March 30, 2006 interview Schlafly attributed improvement in womens lives during the last decades of the 20th century to labor-saving devices such as the indoor clothes dryer and paper diapers.

“By getting married, the woman has consented to sex and I don’t think you can call it rape.” –March 2007 speech at Bates College

She called Roe v Wade “the worst decision in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court” and said that it “is responsible for the killing of millions of unborn babies.”

She once called on Congress to discuss impeaching Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on the grounds that he cast the deciding vote to abolish the death penalty for minors.

On May 1, 2008 the Board of Trustees of the Washington University in St. Louis announced that Alumna Schlafly would be receiving an honorary degree at the school’s commencement ceremony. This led to a reaction by some students and faculty accusing her of being anti-feminist and criticized her work on defeating the Equal Rights Amendment. Katha Politt of “The Nation” magazine went even further saying Schlafly was a promoter of innumerable crack-pot far-right conspiracy theories” and an opponent of womens rights.

At the May, 16, 2008 commencement ceremony, she received her Doctor of Humane Letters degree as hundreds of the data:text/mce-internal,14,000 attendees including 1/3 of the graduating students and some of the faculty silently stood and turned their backs to her in protest. Her response? The protesters were “a bunch of losers” and they were “juvenile” and “I’m not sure they’re mature enough to graduate.”

At 89 years old she’s a spokeswoman for conservative causes speaking around the country and presenting her views on day care, comparable worth, and the Family Medical Leave Act to the U. S. Congress. Her family values took a hit when one of her sons came out of the closet in 1992. Ironically, 1992 was also the year Illinois voted her Mother of the Year.

I’ll tell ya, with a friend like Phyllis, women don’t need enemies.


I read something the other day and got very excited. They called it a rumor, but I’m hoping

it was the truth. Maybe you saw it, too.

The rumor is a new Die Hard movie with Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson reprising their roles as John McClane and Zeus Carver.

Please let it be so Movie God.


Thanks for reading. Until next time.




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About Jane Gray 58 Articles
Born in the '50s, grew up in the '60s, got married in the '70s. Gave birth in the '80s and started collecting social security in 2013. My time is my own and I don't mind sharing my opinions on everything with everybody. I hate injustice, the truth is easier to remember than a lie. I like the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics, the New York Mets, and that English futbol team from Liverpool.


  1. The problem is not that when this person opens her mouth ignorance escapes but that there are peeps who cannot think for themselves and believe her babblings. And, the problem with that is that usually the first thing that those folks hear is what they accept as being the truth… regardless of what comes down the pike to say otherwise.

    It is what I call, “The first thing people hear, they accept as truth syndrome… “

  2. What’s even more scary than Schlafly is the fact that there are others that believe the crap regurgitating from her piehole, and we don’t know who they are…….yet.

  3. That’s what frightens me the most. Whatever she did behind the scenes to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment…..twice, is the same thing she’ll use to defeat the gender pay gap. I’m just hoping this generation of Republican Congressmen (and Democrats, too) will politely listen to what she has to say and then ignore it as they close the pay gap.

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