How important was Phyllis Schlafly’s role in the defeat of the U.S. Equal Rights Amendment?

analytical Essay
2097 words
2097 words

Plan of Investigation

This investigation addresses the following question: How important was Phyllis Schlafly’s role in the defeat of the U.S. Equal Rights Amendment? In order to evaluate her importance, this investigation will address several factors that contributed to the defeat of the ERA, such as the negative portrayal of women by the press, the decriminalization of abortion, the split between feminists who wanted the ERA to pass and those who believed that its passage would lead to the deterioration of women’s protective laws, and the role of the Phyllis Schlafly and her Stop ERA campaign. One source used in this investigation, “Stop ERA,” is evaluated for its insight into Phyllis Schlafly’s plan on how to campaign against the ERA, as she was the author of this document. The second source, an excerpt from the article “The Equal Rights Amendment: A Constitutional Basis for Equal Rights of Women,” will be analyzed for its professional, relatively unbiased opinions; this article was written for the Yale Law Journal in 1971, meaning that it consists of a concrete legal analysis of the amendment from the time period in which it was being ratified.

B. Summary of Evidence

In 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment was drafted by Alice Paul and subsequently introduced to Congress. Paul and the National Organization for Women began campaigning for its passage in 1967. In 1972, Congress passed the ERA and the states began to evaluate it for ratification, with a seven-year deadline. It garnered the support of 22 states in the first year, but the level of support slowly dwindled as time went on. The opposition against the ERA was headed by Phyllis Schlafly, the leader of Stop ERA. Opponents were effective in persuading states to abando...

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...Magazine, July 12, 1982.,33009,925544-3,00.html.

Klatch, Rebecca. “Coalition and Conflict Among Women of the New Right.” Signs 12, no. 4 (1988): 671 – 694.

“National Women’s Conference.” Off Our Backs 8, no. 1 (1978): 2-3. Accessed February 12, 2012.

Schlafly, Phyllis. “‘Equal rights’ for women: wrong then, wrong now.” Los Angeles Times, April 8, 2007.,0,6143259.story.

Schlafly, Phyllis. “Stop ERA.” December 6, 1978.

Scott, Wilbur J. “The Equal Rights Amendment as Status Politics.” Social Forces 64, no. 2 (1985): 499-506, accessed February 12, 2012.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes phyllis schlafly's role in the defeat of the u.s. equal rights amendment.
  • Explains that the equal rights amendment was drafted by alice paul and the national organization for women. the opposition against the era was headed by phyllis schlafly.
  • Analyzes how proponents of the equal rights amendment defaced buildings, harassed and bribed legislators, and used peaceful, feminine tactics to their advantage.
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