Debates by Phyllis Schlafly

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Phyllis Schlafly spoke at hundreds of college events, many of them debates, from 1973 through until about 2010. These were typically extraordinary, packed audiences of 500 or more, reaching a total of roughly 100,000 college students during their impressionable ages when they were forming opinions that would stay with them for the rest of their lives.

For example, she debated Karen DeCrow more than 80 times, according to the Syracuse Post: "DeCrow was a tireless campaigner for the Equal Rights Amendment and debated Phyllis Schlafly more than 80 times." Karen DeCrow leaves proud legacy, The Post Standard (Syracuse, NY), June 8, 2014 Sunday, Final Edition, p. E2 (Opinion section). Phyllis Schlafly also debated law professor Catharine MacKinnon twice in California, as mentioned in Prof. MacKinnon's book, "Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law" (p. 21).

For the duration of the struggle over the Equal Rights Amendment (1973-1982), Phyllis Schlafly kept a log of her daily activities. Here is a growing list of her college events, mostly debates, during the roughly 40-year period beginning in 1973:

  • at Princeton University, she spoke:
  • on January 1997, on "Whatever Happened to the Republican Party" [1]
  • during the 1980-81 calendar year, on ERA
  • at Harvard University, she spoke:
  • on October 14, 2005 (on "The Rise of Grassroots Conservatism," which began a conference entitled "Right Here, Right Now") [2]
  • at University of Texas at Arlington
  • on November 17, 1994, against Sarah Weddington: "Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly and Roe vs. Wade attorney Sarah Weddington took turns Thursday telling a crowd of 900 what last week's elections mean. ... More than 40 people lined up to ask the women questions, most of which dealt with abortion."<ref>Kendall Anderson, "Abortion, feminism debated; Schlafly, Weddington square off at UTA," Dallas Morning News Pg. 29A (Nov. 18, 1994).</ref>
  • at Columbia University, she spoke:
  • in early May 2008
  • at Stanford University, she spoke:
  • in late May or early June 1988, in Dinkelspiel Auditorium, called a "Conservative Feminist," reported in June 2, 1988 of Stanford Daily p. 21 (confirm by finding article itself)
  • on January 26, 1982, in a debate with visiting law professor Catherine MacKinnon, "to an overflowing and vocal audience in Kresge Auditorium on the present and future situation of women in American society" [3]
  • in early February 1975, to a capacity crowd of 500 in Cubberley Auditorium, with two other panelists opposed to her. At that time 31 States had enacted ERA. [4]
  • at the University of California at Berkeley, she spoke:
  • on February 24, 2009, on “Feminism vs. Conservatism" [5]
  • at the University of California at Irvine, she spoke:
  • at the Bren Events Center at UC Irvine before a large crowd of about 800, in a debate with Sarah Weddington, on Thursday night, Oct. 12, 1989. [6] The following day the stock market had a bit of a crash.
  • at the School of Theology, Claremont, California, she spoke:
  • on March 16, 1982, in a debate with law professor Catharine MacKinnon.
  • a college in San Francisco, she spoke:
  • on November 17, 1982, in a debate with Deirdre English, editor of Mother Jones, before a particularly hostile audience
  • at the University of Iowa, she debated:
  • in 1979, against Sara Weddington before a particularly hostile audience
  • before a joint session of the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas
  • in 1975, against GCSW member and former commission chair Diane Blair
(Arkansas was one of the 15 states that never passed the Equal Rights Amendment)
  • in Virginia
  • In late September 1976, about 700 foreign and American senior military officers witnessed a 110-minute debate between Schlafly, a coordinator of the Stop-ERA movement, and Betty Friedan, an activist and leader in the American women’s movement who supported efforts to pass an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. Schlafly described the ERA movement as “total nonsense” and “mischievous,” with Friedan arguing that the amendment was necessary because of changes in society. “Women want to be dealt in,” Friedan said. “The Constitution was written during a time when women were considered … the property of men.” [7]
  • in 1985 in Norfolk, Virginia

Famous quotes from debates

  • Betty Friedan declared in a serious tone, "I'd like to burn you at the stake!" in one of Friedan's debates with Phyllis.

Transcripts of Debates

See also

  • Joe Kennedy, "Elitist heckling at Stanford," The Stanford Daily, Volume 181, Issue 9, 11 February 1982 ("The audience behavior at the recent debate between Phyllis Schlafly and visiting Law Prof. Catherine McKinnon made me wonder what it means to be a Stanford student and what it means to be a liberal. For a moment, I thought that I had wandered into an ASSU flick instead of a forum for intelligent debate. The booing and hissing by a portion of the audience aimed at Schlafly has already been criticized ....")
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