One of the many controversial changes the Texas State Board of Education made to proposed social studies curriculum standards this year was requiring that students learn about Phyllis Schlafly’s role in a “conservative resurgence” in the 1980s and 1990s. Schlafly, the head of the far-right group Eagle Forum, rose to political prominence by attacking the women’s rights movement and opposing the Equal Rights Amendment. But will Texas students learn the truth about Schlafly’s extremism and hatefulness or, instead, a whitewashed version of her work and positions?
We wondered about that today when we read what Schlafly had to say about unmarried women at a Republican fundraiser in Michigan last weekend:
“Do you know what the second-biggest demographic group that voted for Obama — obviously the blacks were the biggest demographic group. But do you all know what was the second-biggest? Unmarried women, 70% of unmarried women, voted for Obama, and this is because when you kick your husband out, you’ve got to have big brother government to be your provider.”
Progress Michigan recorded Schlafly’s remarks:
So all unmarried women are single because they kicked their husbands out? And all unmarried women are looking to government to support them? Schlafly made her point even sharper when she responded to a request for clarification from the website Talking Points Memo this afternoon:
“Yes I said that. It’s true, too. All welfare goes to unmarried moms. They are trying to line up their constituency for Obama and Democrats against Republican candidates.”
Parents should be outraged that the State Board of Education is requiring Texas students to learn about someone who uses such hateful rhetoric to attack unmarried women and score political points. We encourage you to contact your state board member and insist that the board reopen consideration of the social studies standards and remove Schlafly from the list of people students should learn about. You can find out who your state board member is here. Then click here to find contact information for your board member.