At CPAC 2010, UF NeW chapter attended "Going Rogue: Women Changing the Face of Conservatism" which was a panel sponsored by the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute.
At the event, we learned about the struggle with modern feminism, the struggle with identity politics, women in powerful business executive positions, and what it means to be a conservative woman. The panel consisted of Phyllis Schlafly, Kate Obenshain, S.E. Cupp, and Marji Ross. Not only did we learn a lot, our chapter walked away with a new heroine.
Phyllis Schlafly is an inspiration to conservative women—past, present, and future. She led the movement to oppose the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which was closely defeated in the early 1980s. Phyllis was married for 44 years, has 6 children, and received degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, Radcliffe College in Cambridge, and Harvard University.
In addition to fighting radical feminists, Phyllis Schlafly has published numerous books including her bestseller in 1964 which led her to a leader of the conservative movement which was called A Choice Not An Echo. In 1972, she also became a leader of the pro-family movement and created the Eagle Forum, a national volunteer organization and interest group focusing on advocating a conservative view on many social issues concerning women and families. Currently, she writes a monthly column called the The Phyllis Schlafly Report, now in its 43rd year of publication.
At CPAC her classic look, poise, and knowledge were astounding. It was comforting to see a woman, even at the age of 85, argue and stand up for conservative values in a classy and powerful way. Phyllis Schlafly has invaluable experience, understanding the agenda behind feminists and organizations like NOW. She understands how to challenge them successfully and communicated that with us. She spoke about how feminists claim that women are victims and second-class citizens and how marriage makes a woman half a person. She also touched on how they have attacked successful women like Sarah Palin. Mrs. Schlafly told us when she got married that one of the things she really wanted that a husband could provide was a dryer. She made the point of how technology has allowed women more time for politics. (no excuse for all of us now, huh?)
Phyllis Schlafly is a woman we should thank for way we live our lives today. She is a heroine and someone we can look up to with how to handle future situations. Despite talk about the conservative movement not having a specific leader or lacking capabilities to be a powerful force in Washington, she remains positive.