Sarah Palin: “Phyllis Schlafly, only younger”

Phyllis Schlafly. Hearing that name still makes me cringe.
This gives you some idea of who she is, still at age 81:

For four decades, right-wing icon Phyllis Schlafly has been an anti-feminist spokeswoman for the national conservative movement.

……Schlafly asserted women should not be permitted to do jobs traditionally held by men, such as firefighter, soldier or construction worker, because of their “inherent physical inferiority.”

……Schlafly also contended that married women cannot be sexually assaulted by their husbands.

“By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don’t think you can call it rape,” she said..

She was everything we 70s equal right supporters feared: a woman who had the resources to spread the anti-woman notions of “fascinating womanhood.”
The only differences between Palin and Schlafly are age and the fact that Schlafly preached that a woman wouldn’t raise a family and have a job at the same time. Of course, Schlafly did not practice what she preached in that case.
Gloria Steinem, in her L.A. Times opinion piece, makes the point:

This isn’t the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It’s about making life more fair for women everywhere. It’s not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It’s about baking a new pie.


Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton’s candidacy stood for — and that Barack Obama’s still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, “Somebody stole my shoes, so I’ll amputate my legs.”

The L.A. Times piece also says this about the Sarah Palin:

She was elected governor largely because the incumbent was unpopular, and she’s won over Alaskans mostly by using unprecedented oil wealth to give a $1,200 rebate to every resident. Now she is being praised by McCain’s campaign as a tax cutter, despite the fact that Alaska has no state income or sales tax. Perhaps McCain has opposed affirmative action for so long that he doesn’t know it’s about inviting more people to meet standards, not lowering them. Or perhaps McCain is following the Bush administration habit, as in the Justice Department, of putting a job candidate’s views on “God, guns and gays” ahead of competence. The difference is that McCain is filling a job one 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency.

So let’s be clear: The culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin out of change-envy, or a belief that women can’t tell the difference between form and content, but the main motive was to please right-wing ideologues; the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom. If that were not the case, McCain could have chosen a woman who knows what a vice president does and who has thought about Iraq; someone like Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. McCain could have taken a baby step away from right-wing patriarchs who determine his actions, right down to opposing the Violence Against Women Act.

Palin’s value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women’s wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves “abstinence-only” programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers’ millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn’t spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.

Palin’s speech last night was scary because it was a perfect combination of content and delivery. She came across as, indeed, your neighborhood hockey mom who wins popularity as a cute, funny, and entertaining dinner speaker. What she says is not deeply thoughtful; but it is entertaining. Her delivery is so engaging that even non-conservatives might be sucked in by her natural charm and sarcastic wit.
I hope today’s women are smarter than that.

12 thoughts on “Sarah Palin: “Phyllis Schlafly, only younger”

  1. Well, I sure got the scary part. Is it only me whose bothered, but why didn’t Palin mention Obama by name? She said “opponent” and “he” so often, I don’t remember her mentioning him by name. I could be wrong and should go back to listen to her speech again, but don’t have the heart.

    It is amazing how she managed to distort the truth and disparage Mr. Obama’s accomplishments. She reminds me of Bush, but perhaps a better speaker, yet with the same charisma and embarrassing shallowness.

  2. I disagree…I like Sarah and I like what she represents. I hate the media and the elite feminists that are intent on making babykillers out of all of us….she is an accomplished woman, and she doens’t make herself into a pseudo man to do it…Hillary needs to go home and deal with her disasterous marriage. She has no administrative experience at all…she was just the wife of one. There are a lot more of us that feel this way…and we finally have a champion. My bet is most of the feminists that are writing about how much they despise Sarah are unmarried and bitter…

  3. Well, we are all entitled to our own opinions, even despite the facts. Hillary Clinton is a lawyer and a Senator representing the people of New York State. Being the administrator of a small town for a few years and then the governor of a state with a smaller population than many big cities for a couple of years does not mean that you have the skills to govern a whole country. But, obviously, there will always be people with the attitude “Don’t bother me with the facts. I know what i believe.”

  4. Renee,
    Why the statement “My bet is most of the feminists that are writing about how much they despise Sarah are unmarried and bitter…” How on earth could you make such an assumption? Those are the things that divide us as women. You are for Palin – fine.
    Why must your language be so disparaging? Do you really mean to sound so harsh? Please, think about how you state yourself, it’s not necessary to be so harsh.

  5. Excellent Post, Elaine. I remember Phyllis Schlafly well and not with fondness. I used to get so angry listening to her sarcastic tone of voice that it would ruin my day.

    Palin is more dangerous than Schlafly because she is attractive and a much better speaker. She is good at manipulating the crowd. The herd mentality love her and it frightens me to think what would happen should she actually become President.

  6. Good post. I, too, cringe remembering Schlafly. Perhaps, Palin didn’t mention Obama by name since that’s not how she usually refers to him. The first line of that article Susan linked is, “So Sambo beat the bitch!” Palin said this in a restaurant about Obama and Hillary.

    I posted this link on my blog earlier and am glad it’s circulating.

  7. I am back because I want to comment on a earlier subject.

    The term ‘baby killers’ is so polarizing and extreme that I wish the anti-abortion crowd would become more rational. When an abortion occurs the term for the aborted organism is a ‘fetus’. It is not a fully developed baby as their term implies.

    A sixteen year old who was raped by her father and is forced to abort is not the criminal and shouldn’t be traumatized with being labeled a killer. But those that are so extreme would make her and the doctor criminals by overturning Roe v Wade. I lived through the coat hanger abortion age and saw first hand what happened before Roe v Wade. Overturning that decision will not stop the abortions of desperate women but will create more tragedies. By the way, Renee, are you for the death penalty? The “Right to life” should include the young men and women sent to die in an illegal war. How do you feel about that?

    Think of the ramifications before you label others.

  8. Thanks for these informative articles! I’m a progressive Democrat and similarly disgusted with Palin, whose mean and shallow dualism is a shameful subtraction from all we can be as women. I just happened upon your site hopping over from Ronni Bennett’s, and I’ll be back!

    I’m turning 60 in two months, and love networking and blogging from my perch in far northern CA. Feel free to visit my blog, too!

    Cheers, ~Kathi W.

  9. I agree, Darlene. Why are so many “pro-life” advocates in favor of capital punishment and war? I suppose once they are born and grown, it’s OK to kill people.

  10. I’ve been saying that Sarah Palin is Phyllis Shafley for a while now…before I knew anyone else was making the comparison-I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who has made the connection. I actually call Mrs. Palin the “anti-woman woman” because of the numerous things pointed out in this article! I’m in complete agreement!!! And the nomination of Sarah Palin by John McCain is a total slap in Hillary Clinton’s face-someone who I’ve supported since I was about 12 in 1998! -aruna

  11. It dawned on me this morning exactly why Ms. Palin frightens me. I could name the specifics, but there was some little voice in the back of my mind that kept giving me a feeling of deja vu. Then my memories of Schlafly came flooding back. Now I’m more frightened of the idea of “President Palin” than ever. She is a dressed up more “modern” vision of Schlafly if ever there was one. I’m glad to find I’m not the only one who has noticed this.

Leave a Reply