Quotable Phyllis Schlafly

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on politics

"Politics is where the action is!"

on differences between men and women

If you are having a steak dinner at a home and you ask a man there where he got the steak, he will answer with something like, "I got it at Schnuck's grocery store." But if you ask the woman host where she got the steak, she will respond as follows: "Why, what's wrong with it?!"

Successful men tend to be fat, while successful women tend to be thin. (Part of a speech to students at Fordham University)

When a husband and wife are asleep at home at 3 in the morning, and they are suddenly awoken by a noise downstairs which sounds like an intruder, does the husband ever turn to the wife and say, "Honey, could you go downstairs and see what that is?"

on Liberation

Phyllis went on the Phil Dohahue Show in April 1972. Donahue argued that women were "trapped in a house."

Phyllis responded both forcefully and with good humor, which is very hard to do. "The house isn't trapping," Phyllis began. She continued: “Are you trying to tell me that it’s liberation for a woman to go out and sit at a typewriter all day, or stand in front of a factory machine all day, instead of being in her own home where she can plan her own hours?” Phyllis then spoke about the non-liberating drudgery of a woman in the army whose duty was to slice many potatoes daily.

“Liberation is in the home,” Phyllis declared.

(source: Phyllis Schlafly's "Positive" Freedom: Liberty, Liberation, and the Equal Rights Amendment

on Feminism

“The claim that American women are downtrodden and unfairly treated is the fraud of the century.” (The Power of the Positive Woman (1977))

“Don't call me Ms. To me, it means misery.” [1]

“If you're willing to work hard, there's no barrier you can't jump.” (id.)

on Defeating ERA

"We beat them, and they still haven't gotten over it."

"People can oppose ERA for any reason they choose." (need to find exact quote)

on Elections

"We have a two-party system. That means choosing between two candidates. And Jesus is not on the ballot."

on Books

"Half the value of a book is in its title."

on Media Bias

Example of gender bias in the media: the headline for the end of the world would say, "End of the world tomorrow, women and children hit hardest!" (given in a speech at Fordham University)

on her Most-Admired Historical Figures

  • Thomas Paine, for his effective advocacy through pamphleteering
  • George Washington
  • Thomas Edison

on her greatest Achievements

Q: You're credited with single-handedly defeating the Equal Rights Amendment. Is that your greatest achievement?

 In the political field, yes. Of course, I have six children and I'm most proud of them. If you're talking about politics, it was quite an achievement because of the odds we were up against. Nobody thought we could possibly win. Everything was against us, from the media to the politicians, the whole political structure of the country, and we were able to get the law. In politics, it's more fun to win than it is to lose.

(interview with Time Magazine, April 07, 2009)

on running for political office

"At first I was glad that I had run for Congress, even though I lost. Then I was glad that I had run and glad that I did lose!"

on laziness

"What do college people do with all their time today?"

on housewives

<quote from letter to the editor in 1980s in response to Carl Rowan)

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