Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What One Woman Can Do

I know I said once that I wouldn't stay up late to write but my baby just woke me up out of a sound sleep and he won't nurse back to sleep. I really was in bed before midnight, I promise. It was really hard to get out of bed to get up with him so he would stop crying but my mood brightened when I realized I could blog about an upcoming event...

Once upon a time a woman rallied her neighbors and friends to stop something she felt was bad for women and bad for her nation. Because of her grassroots efforts, her telephone tree calling and rallying women to show up at state capitols and pressure state legislators, they stopped proposed legislation, the E.R.A., from becoming law. She argued that the E.R.A. would lead to "women being drafted by the military and public unisex bathrooms."

This woman was attractive, articulate, bright, and educated. She worked as a model when she was young, and went to college and got degrees from Radcliffe and Washington University Law School. She also had a family of six children. She showed what "one woman can do." (I wish I could cue in that song from John Denver right here..."what one (wo)man can do is love...") She knew the importance of being educated on issues and dressing for success, as she taught the women she rallied to know thier stuff and to show up at the capitol dressed sharply, stylishly, and not frumpy. These women had influence and pressured the remaining states to vote down the E.R.A. It needed 38 states to ratify it. When she started her campaign in 1972, 30 states had already done so. Five more states ratified after her campaign started but then five rescinded their ratification.

Who is this woman? Phyllis Schlafly. Now she is 85 and, incredibly, is still active as a social leader as the head of Eagle Forum (see eagleforum.org) which she founded. She has written over 20 books. She still writes her monthly newsletter and does weekly radio addresses, commenting on social and political issues. The best news of all is that she's coming to Utah to speak this Saturday night in SLC at the Free Enterprise building of the Larry H. Miller campus of the SLCC. See utaheagleforum.org/convention.php for the schedule and details. I hope to see you there! (I won't be there all day, just in the evening because my family needs me home for part of the day.)

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