Actually, Phyllis Schlafly’s Death Is A Big Reason To Dance
We all make the world a better place. Some when we enter it, some when we leave. Phyllis Schlafly is dead. The 92-year-old conservative writer and founder of the Eagle Forum helped torpedo the Equal Rights Amendment 40 years ago. In the case of Phyllis Schlafly, Nils Bohr applies. Progress is made one funeral at a time.
Make no mistake about it, someone doesn’t magically become less awful just because they’ve died. She spent her whole life in public saying and doing hateful and incendiary things. Mary Elizabeth Williams notes “This was a woman who in the year of our Lord 2015 still insisted that ‘Women like to marry a man who makes more than she does, so then she can take time off and work fewer hours when she has something she’d rather do like have a kid and look after her children. So the pay gap, really, is something that women like.’ ”
There is some credence to the argument that while feeling no sorrow at the loss is fine, “dancing” on her grave makes us no less hateful than her. Gleeful enjoyment of Phyllis Schlafly’s death simply shows that we are two sides of the same coin. Yes, she was a hateful person; a backwards horrible human that spread lies even in the face of a loved one’s need for acceptance, but celebrating her death basically frames the argument on her grounds. Hateful people arguing about whom to hate.
In these fights, one side is fighting for the rights all people. To show respect for people with whom you may disagree requires great strength and love. Devolving the argument into hateful actions loses the battle.
I’m not going to heed that argument though. I’m just not that magnanimous of a person. As a member of #TeamPetty, I’m more like Hollywood iconic actress Bette Davis. When speaking of her biggest professional rival, Joan Crawford, after her passing, Davis said: “You should only say good things about the dead. Joan Crawford is dead. Good.”
Phyllis Schlafly is dead. Since that announcement, this is what I’ve been doing gleefully and unapologetically.