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April 06, 2012 10:40 AM More Proof War on Women Is a Myth

By Ed Kilgore

Reince Priebus is not the only newsmaker standing up to the atrocious fiction that conservatives are engaged in an effort to restrict the rights of women. There’s an actual woman saying so, as well. You may have even heard of her: Phyllis Schlafly, who made an appearance at The Citadel this week. Here’s a first-hand report from Diane Knich of the Charleston Post & Courier:

The recent political flap about contraception being an important issue for women is completely contrived by Democrats and the media to divert attention from abortion and other important issues, said conservative political activist Phyllis Schlafly.
“Contraception is not controversial,” she said. “The issue is not access. It’s who’s going to pay for it.”

The first thing you need to do to understand what women really want, Schlafly indicated, is to stop listening to feminists:

Most women are concerned about issues such as jobs and religious liberty, Schlafly said, not issues being drummed up by feminists to foster support for President Barack Obama.
And feminists are working through the media and other channels because the American public no longer seems to strongly support their agenda, Schlafly said. “Feminists are having a hard time being elected because they essentially are unlikable,” she said.
Schlafly talked to a group of Citadel students about the culture of conservatism and the history of the religious right. She told the all-male group that “feminist is a bad word and everything they stand for is bad.”

But watch out! Feminists can be wily and seductive:

And she warned them about having personal relationships with feminists. “Find out if your girlfriend is a feminist before you get too far into it,” she said. “Some of them are pretty. They don’t all look like Bella Abzug.”

I sort of doubt the students at The Citadel have any idea who U.S. Rep. Bella Abzug (who died fourteen years ago) was. But Schlafly has always been rather proud of living in the past, when men were men and women were women and there was no foolishness about equal rights. Those nasty if sometimes attractive feminists are the ones waging a war against the natural, God-given order of things.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • SYSPROG on April 06, 2012 10:53 AM:

    OMIGOD...she's still ALIVE? What I love about her argument is “Contraception is not controversial,” she said. “The issue is not access. It’s who’s going to pay for it.” She FORGOT to say 'and we are working HARD at taking THAT away'! And talk about 'unlikeable'...what bubble does SHE live in?

  • RT on April 06, 2012 11:00 AM:

    Dialogue from my favorite Sylvia comic, in the 1980s:

    "Ma, when are you coming out of the tub?"
    "When Phyllis Schlafly admits he's a female impersonator."

  • biggerbox on April 06, 2012 11:05 AM:

    Wait. You got this from the Onion, right?

    Phyllis Schlafly, famous for opposing the Equal Rights Amendment, though a right-wing nutjob for more than half a century, gave a speech at The Citadel, which was forced by a court to go co-ed in the late 1990s, and which hazed and harrassed the first few women cadets until they left, and she talked about what women want?? And she even included a gratuitous swipe at the looks of a woman who was dead before the Citadel graduated its first woman?

    Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!

    Seriously, parody is getting harder every day.

  • Josef K on April 06, 2012 11:09 AM:

    I just read about this little event elsewhere. I'm sure I mirrored everyone else's reaction of "She's alive?"

    That said, why does this individual (good manners and ethics forbade me calling her what first comes to mind) sees fit to give a lecture like this at a military academy? The woman hasn't contributed anything substantive in the last 100 years, so why's she surfacing now?

  • arkie on April 06, 2012 11:11 AM:

    "But Schlafly has always been rather proud of living in the past, when men were men and women were women" and people such as her gay son stayed in the closet where they belong.

  • Hedda Peraz on April 06, 2012 11:13 AM:

    "Most women are concerned about issues such as jobs and religious liberty, Schlafly said"

    Right on!
    We gals are gettin' repressed from BOTH sides of the aisle!
    The Republicans want us to stay in the kitchen, instead of gettin' jobs, and the Democrats are fixed on destroying the churches, so we cain't worship the Big Bearded Fella, like our husbands tell us to!

    My personal hero, Lady Bird Johnson, is creatin' Texas sized tremors, what with all her rollin' in her grave. . .

  • Matt on April 06, 2012 11:16 AM:

    I sort of doubt the students at The Citadel have any idea who U.S. Rep. Bella Abzug (who died fourteen years ago) was.

    So do I, and honestly, Schlafly probably realizes that too.

    But she said it anyway because what we have here is an 88-year-old woman who still needs to be the pretty girl who all the boys like. That crosses the line from normal human vanity and merely "old-fashioned" values into the screamingly pathological.

    That's all I took away from this. Otherwise, Ann Coulter does the same schtick every day.

  • Ken on April 06, 2012 11:17 AM:

    when men were men and women were women and there was no foolishness about equal rights

    Though as usual in these situations, those rules didn't apply to her.

  • g on April 06, 2012 11:22 AM:

    So a woman's looks matter to Schlafly.

    Has she checked the mirror?

  • ET on April 06, 2012 11:22 AM:

    Ms. Schlafly is wrong. It is about who pays for it but it is also about access. Because while the discussion about who pays for it is happening, there is also the argument about pharmacists being able to deny a prescriptions because they don't believe in birth control for religious reasons.

    Taken as a single issue, any one of these issues that affects women you could make a case that there is no war on women. Unfortunately, in the real world there are several items (abortion, paying for birth control, access to birth control, etc) are being discussed and many are interconnected. None of these issues is being discussed in a vacuum.

    The fact that she and others who are trying to convince people that the GOP doesn't hate women seem to deliberately not make the connection. I know they feel like the current incarnation of the GOP is driving women away. I know they want to stop the hemorrhage, but to deny reality is not the way to go about it. Sure denying reality is the way the GOP seems to operate these days, but it isn't going to help.

  • TCinLA on April 06, 2012 11:36 AM:

    Margaret Mitchell lecturing a room full of Ashley Wilkes' wannabees. That's Phyllis Schlafly at the West Point of the Confederacy. That old dingbat has been crazy for 50 years, ever since her book "None Dare Call It Reason" (the name Democrats gave "None Dare Call It Treason"). I'm sure all those male cadets - so many of whom there have participated in assaults on their female fellow cadets who wouldn't act "southern" - loved being told that feminism is bad.

    Why is it ignorant bimbos like Schlafly live forever? Is this some indication of how long we're going to have to put up with her younger clone, Sarah Palin?

  • ElegantFowl on April 06, 2012 11:38 AM:

    The cost of contraception is NEGATIVE.

    Insurance companies are perfectly willing to "pay" for contraception, and the public should be as well, because the cost is zip compared to the cost of pregnancy, childbirth, and unplanned parenthood.

    Of course, contraception and parenthood are profoundly personal and moral questions, and money is a secondary matter. But if someone says the issue is about "who's going to pay for contraception", they're lying and have a different agenda.

  • cecelia on April 06, 2012 11:53 AM:

    Well, anyway, Bella Abzug was actually an attractive woman, in my opinion, especially when she was a young woman. I've seen some photos of her as a young woman and I'll say this: if one of my sons brought home a young woman with her looks (and her brains), I'd think they'd done quite well for themselves.

  • mellowjohn on April 06, 2012 11:55 AM:

    in 40 years, ann coulter will be phyllis schlafly.

  • beejeez on April 06, 2012 11:58 AM:

    Well of course, insurers shouldn't have to pay for something some of their policy holders might object to. That's why I don't buy insurance that covers breast cancer and childbirth. Hey, it's not my fault you were born a female.

  • Kathryn on April 06, 2012 12:02 PM:

    Ah yes, worrying about religious liberty keeps me awake at night, but now it's time to totter off for my weekly hair torture at Marilyn 's Beauty Lounge, now where did I leave my parasol?

  • glendenb on April 06, 2012 12:08 PM:

    Of course Phyllis Schlafly is still alive. Do you think God wants that much aggravation?

  • anon's honey on April 06, 2012 12:11 PM:

    Hey Mitt and Ann, Rick and Newt, Sarah and Phyllis Schafly, Rebuplican Pary, Reince Previous--
    Look out for the billion million caterpillah woman march

    http://www.womenarewatching.org/candidate/mitt-romney


    BA-ROCK THE VOTE

  • paul on April 06, 2012 12:23 PM:

    Gives you a warm feeling to think that these will be the officers of the next generation's military.

  • Gov't Mule on April 06, 2012 12:47 PM:

    The ONLY Phyllis Schlafly speech I really want to hear is the symposium entitled "How to hate your gay child and still pretend you are a Christian" which she will co-host with Alan Keyes who will talk about how to turn your back on your lesbian daughter and still pretend you are a Christian."

  • Kathy Kattenburg on April 06, 2012 1:00 PM:

    "Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist, a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, and a Special Correspondent for The New Republic."

    You might want to fix the obvious typo in the second sentence.

    It's amazing enough to me that bloggers never notice the glaring mistakes in their own articles (this is ALL bloggers, no exceptions, literally -- at least all the ones I read, and I read a lot of well-known bloggers). But to fail to notice such a glaring mistake in the boilerplate bio that appears at the end of every article, never changing.... just amazes me.

    I am living on SSD, and most of each month's check is consumed by my rent. I get by, by being very careful, but it sure would be nice not to have to worry so much every single day about running out of funds before the 3rd of each new month. So, if you guys have any money in your budget for a paid proofreader, I'm available.

  • Kenneth Almquist on April 06, 2012 1:06 PM:

    Schlafly spoke at a military college and didn't take the opportunity to remind us that "the atomic bomb is a great gift given to our country by a wise God?" I guess that the Cold War is over but misogyny lives forever.

  • zandru on April 06, 2012 1:07 PM:

    "working through the media and other channels because the American public no longer seems to strongly support their agenda"

    Waitaminute here... If there's one thing we know, it's that "librulz" and Democrats have no control over the media. Zero. Probably negative. Look how they fail to dominate or even appear on any of the talking head shows.

    Who DOES "dominate the media"? Bingo! The same folks whose "agenda" the American people are no longer strongly supporting...

    Projection, anyone?

    And, by the way, what's Dear Phyllis doing outside the kitchen? True, she's too old to be pregnant - the old ovaries shut down decades ago - but why isn't she at home, dangling her great-grandkids on her bony knee and cooking up something good for Hubby?

  • Joe Friday on April 06, 2012 1:22 PM:

    "She told the all-male group that 'feminist is a bad word and everything they stand for is bad.' And she warned them about having personal relationships with feminists. 'Find out if your girlfriend is a feminist before you get too far into it,' she said. 'Some of them are pretty'."

    Aaaaaaaaand that's where she lost the "all-male group".

  • Rugosa on April 06, 2012 1:27 PM:

    She's also lying that "the issue is not access." The most reliable forms of birth control - the pill, the patch, the injection - all require prescriptions. If you cannot afford the doctor's visits out-of-pocket, your choices will be limited and your chance of an unplanned pregnancy will be greater.

  • Rick B on April 06, 2012 1:51 PM:

    Phyllis Schlafly is what Rick Santorum would have become if he had been born female and fifty years earlier (in time to ghost write Goldwater's book.)

    Oh, yeah. Santorum would have also had to know how to write a book.

  • T-Rex on April 06, 2012 2:19 PM:

    At least she's given up gay-baiting since her son was outed. She couldn't go on screeching that bad family values cause gayness and gayness destroys the family if it led to questions like "So how did you manage to raise a gay son?" Believe it or not, she used to be more shrill and hateful than she is now, when she tried to imply that passing the Equal Rights Amendment would promote the spread of AIDS. And talk about "unlikeable" -- her smirking, nasty manners and remarks, both on the podium and in interviews at the 1992 Republican convention, were instrumental in sinking G.H.W. Bush's bid for reelection.

  • Bernard HP Gilroy on April 06, 2012 2:29 PM:

    >> But Schlafly has always been rather proud of living in the past, when men were men and women were women

    ... and small fuzzy creatures from alpha Centauri were REAL small fuzzy creatures from alpha Centauri...

  • scott on April 06, 2012 3:36 PM:

    I'm curious on who invited her and who made some Citadel cadets sit through her gabbling in that course. The cadets have enough BS in their lives without having to be punished by listening to the like of Schafly.

  • Ted Frier on April 06, 2012 3:42 PM:

    Republicans are right. There is no war on "women."
    Because feminists don't count as women. And anyone who would think that Republicans are waging a war on women is a feminist. And feminists are not women. Or did I already say that?

  • thebewilderness on April 06, 2012 4:55 PM:

    She is an example of what happens when right wing women cut a deal with the Patriarchy for the filthy lucre. You spend your whole life pandering to the fantasies of misogynists who would rather stone you to death than listen to you.
    In all likelyhood feminists would avoid these authoritarian asshats long before these guys could get close enough to find out they are feminists.

  • Sammy on April 06, 2012 11:59 PM:

    Hey Glendenb, I don't think God will have to deal with Phyllis Schlafly because this woman is going sraight to hekk.