by Lil Tuttle
In 2009, the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016). It was a well-deserved honor.
A constitutional lawyer, author, and tireless conservative public policy advocate and debater, Phyllis was also a friend, a role model and a champion to conservative women everywhere. The first of her 20 authored or co-authored books, A Choice, Not an Echo, is credited with inspiring a conservative movement that ushered President Ronald Reagan into the White House.
Phyllis is also remembered for defeating the Equal Rights Amendment, a constitutional amendment advocated by feminists in the 1970s. Phyllis opposed ERA, arguing it would strip women of many existing privileges, including their exemption from the military draft. She founded the Eagle Forum with its state chapters in 1972 and, working through the chapters, rallied opposition in state legislatures to prevent ERA’s ratification.
The award was presented to Phyllis at the National Press Club, where she spoke of her life’s lessons to an audience of young women. In the video clip above, she highlights two lessons that are particularly appropriate for young women, then and today.