Fred Schlafly, Phyllis Philly Schlafly, Radcliffe discussed on Stuff Mom Never Told You
Her mother wanted to stay home with the kids in the house and do the cooking and all about that stuff and be the traditional housewife. And so she's being raised with these ideas about traditional family and traditional politics and because of their financial situation at home. Phyllis realized that she was going to have to make her own way. It's not like Her parents could just pay for her to go to college and so she worked really hard. She was always at the top of her class. And in nineteen forty four. She received her bachelor's degree from Washington University. And in a makers interview. She talks about how she paid her way through college by working. She says forty eight hours a week as nightshift. Gunnar testing thirty and fifty caliber ammunition at a Saint Louis Munitions Plant and that is absolutely true. I mean she not only tested These guns she would also like document their trajectories and do all of this stuff which seems like again very appropriate resume item for someone who ended up leading right wing Republicans but also one thing we skipped over is that she graduated at nineteen right. She finished college in three years and graduated at nineteen like some people. Don't even enter college until nineteen like she was. I mean this woman was so driven and was from the outset not going to let anything stand in her way but at this point she doesn't necessarily want to go into politics. She ends up in nineteen forty five receiving her master's degree in political science from Radcliffe. Which was the sister university to Harvard at the time because while Harvard had started leading Some women from Radcliffe take colleges with Hoffman They wouldn't fully allow women into the school and apparently she ended up in Pali Sigh because it was one of the only things that she could study and do it at Harvard so she could do it in those mixed gender classrooms because it meant a lot to her to go to Harvard and Radcliffe. And if you listen to any interviews with her whenever she talks about her masters degree she loves talking about you know her bootstrapping of her education and she always says she went to Harvard but in fact her degrees from Radcliffe and I realized that that's kind of a minor detail but I think it's still says a lot about how she sort of adjusts her reality to fit this concept of a sexism free world that needs no feminism because as she would tell audiences usually of Filled with women. Well when I went to school there was no sexism. I had no trouble getting into college. I was able to study alongside. The boys know what these feminists. We're talking about one thousand nine hundred eighty five my blood pressure and yeah and and just as she didn't necessarily set out to be a poly SCI major she also did not set out to be a hyper conservative right wing Republican either. She was pretty moderate but she quickly shifted more conservative after she did face barriers and she would not admit necessarily that they were barriers. Used it more to illustrate that she was able to sort of shift course as needed and find her niche that allowed her to gain power to really become phyllis. Oh yeah definitely gain power for sure and Her Post College career path also hints as to why she has so much animosity toward big government because after she graduates from matriculated from Radcliffe. You know the war is ending and a lot of jobs are being reserved specifically for veterans most of whom are men so phyllis wants to get a job in the federal government. She's like I wanNA work on policy. This is my thing I got really into this police. Cy classwork and I'm good at it. She graduated at the top of her class but she couldn't find a job in the federal government because they were like no. We gotTA save these veterans. So big brother didn't allow Phyllis to fulfill her dream so she ends up at the far more conservative think-tank private think tank of the American Enterprise Institute. So I mean it's it's incredible to see all of these sign posts along the way. Yeah but like here's me you know ghost caroline who's not alive yet like no but Phyllis look at what you can fight. You can fight sexism that prevents women from going to the schools and getting the jobs they want but she wouldn't blame not getting that federal government job on sexism because they weren't telling her you couldn't get because you're a woman you couldn't get it because you're not a veteran so her I R- would be pointed toward the government. Okay well in nineteen forty nine. She Marries Fred. Fred Schlafly who is a devoutly Catholic and politically active lawyer. And what I what made me stop in? My tracks is a line about her wedding vows and this is a line that would be very much at home in an article about some. You know devout feminist getting married. Perhaps in the New York Times they write in the New York Times at the ceremony. Mrs Schlafly said she did not promise to obey only to cherish and that does not sound much like what she would say in her nineteen seventies anti our a campaign right. It was all about obeying Fred. Yeah because she was a housewife. Yeah and so this this this little bone that we keep picking up is the same bone that feminists have picked for decades because they say Phyllis Philly Schlafly schlafly laugh. Oh girl light peach laughs you. You are so active and driven on behalf of yourself basically and making sure that you get the opportunities that you want but what about all of the other women who does that sound like though who has similarly intense hair donald trump does a very as a very similar approach to this? Where your your D- reality is moves with the wind. Whatever you know best serves you at that time and we'll most elevate you then. Then that's truth that's your fact whether it is actually fact or not and she though Pece Laugh is essentially coated in Teflon. Yeah and it's kind of incredible to see how she does just constantly deflect any criticism and it seems like she. She enjoys receiving this criticism. Just I mean she's a total troll like run off of her she wants said she told The New York Times actually in two thousand six in the scale of liberal sins. Hypocrisy is the greatest. And they've always considered me a hypocrite and go on to say how she defends herself by saying you know. I never told women that they shouldn't or couldn't work outside the home quote. I simply didn't believe we need a constitutional amendment to protect women's rights. But did did she not advocate for housewives? Spe- that being the reality will. She certainly advocated for housewives but she would continually say well. I'm not telling you you have to be a housewife. I'm just saying that. We don't need to devalue housewives and that feminists are trying to undercut in destroy the role of housewives even though and this is a whole other podcast unto itself Caroline even though right before ole fill a sunkar claws into the equal rights amendment a woman. And I'm forgetting her name right now. Because I'm really worked up. A woman from the National Organization for Women started this relatively successful outreach feminist outreach to housewives and divorced women who suddenly found themselves you know not really knowing how to support themselves or not really know how to how to grapple with their personal politics and their domestic situation. So it's like so. That's another myth. Makes this mythology as she goes mythology. That still repeated definitely. Yeah that feminists want to destroy the home and destroy the family. Hi No many a feminist. Who has her own family and children even washes the dishes. I mean like the idea and you know. Of course. That's a silly thing to say. But my point being but like the idea that feminists are as like a Monolithic. Army are trying to destroy The family and the home I mean. It's it's insane but it's clearly ineffective tactic. It's clearly effective rhetoric. Oh yeah because it's all about stoking. Fear that is that's really the name of the game with all of this and one thousand nine hundred eighty two. She's just twenty seven years old when her political aspirations get a kick in the pants because a group of Republicans local Republicans come over to her and Fred's house. They come over to the shafts and they encourage Fred to run for Congress. Say there's an open seat in there like Fred. You're the guy you should do it in Fred's like listen. I'm not really interested and as the story goes at one point. One of these gentlemen jokingly says hey villas you should run and fills is like okay damn straight. I should run. And she's off from there. I mean she really seizes this opportunity and she runs and wins the primary which was huge but of course she loses in the general election. Yeah she was in a really democratic area way more liberal and I think she was against an incumbent to yes. She's yeah she was and we read that by the end of that race her opponent her democratic opponent was so livid with the rhetoric she used about him being this liberal monster that he would not even shake her hand. He was so mad at the stuff that she had stirred up about him and she wasn't even yet thirty already stirring that political pot and one thing. That's really interesting that was. We were reading about how her rhetoric and the way that she positioned herself as a woman in politics. Really sort of echoed The selfridge's and women in the progressive era who were in women's clubs part of the Women's Club Movement. Because you know remember back then women didn't have the vote so if they wanted to agitate and be activists for any causes and help women in any way each other they had to join these clubs and and band together for things like daycare Or other other causes that could potentially help families and their communities and so One thing that she had in common with those early women who were being political even if they could not be in politics was that she positioned herself as a woman who would clean up the dirty mess of politics and it needed cleaning up because it was run by men and so here she is positioning herself as I'm a woman and therefore with my natural womanly abilities I'll be a better candidate for you right. Because that was a suffragette argument of why we should have voting rights and political involvement because of the domesticity Victorian era idea of woman as the moral center of the hall right so let let the moral compasses and their vaginas. Come into the political process fellow so we can clean up after you. We also have to remember too that she was fiercely anti-communist and extremely hawkish on foreign policy to the point that she was like Joe McCarthy level and maybe even more so anticommunist and that's really where her focus resided for a long time well before she sets her sights on the era and even after that defeat though in one thousand nine hundred eighty two she gets up and keeps going. You can tell that this kind of lit a fire for her because she starts stumping around Illinois on behalf of the daughters of the American revolution that she remains super active and from nineteen fifty six to nineteen sixty four. She was President of the Illinois Federation of Republican Women. So you can see her. Starting to gradually rise through these organizational ranks. But now we're also seeing her diverted off sort of to the women's auxiliary side of things and in the meantime in nineteen fifty eight. She and Fred started the Cardinal Minds N. T. Foundation which was named for the Roman Catholic leader who had been tortured and imprisoned by Hungarian Communists in an effort to educate Catholics on the dangers of communism..