Skip to comments.In ‘Mrs. America,’ Hollywood Once Again Fails To Understand Conservative Women
Posted on 04/27/2020 7:48:20 AM PDT by Kaslin
To Hollywood, Schlafly was either a confused victim suffering from a chronic case of Stockholm syndrome or a purely evil, power-hungry denigrator of women or both.
In Hulus recent biopic “Mrs. America,” the fourth episode of which was released Wednesday, Hollywood attempts to depict the two sides of the womens liberation movement. This again only proves how much it misunderstands conservative women.
The miniseries tells the story of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), highlighting high-profile female proponents and opponents. Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, and others are among the featured proponents, while Phyllis Schlafly and her band of activist housewives stand in opposition.
While Cate Blanchetts acting is brilliant, the series spin on Schlafly, the woman Blanchett portrays, exposes the feminist left’s timeless problem with conservative women: They cannot reconcile their existence with feminist ideology. Feminists seem to believe that for conservative women to exist, one of two things must be true: The woman is so brainwashed and weak that she is ignoring her oppression, or she is so power-hungry that she would rather let her fellow women suffer than give up her position of comfortable oppression.
“Mrs. America” plays both sides of the coin in portraying Schlafly, who, according to the creators of the show, is a cold-hearted, power-hungry ideologue who isnt happy with the political success of by her female compatriots unless her name and reputation are attached, but simultaneously cannot seem to realize that some men she encounters are piggish and insensitive.
The miniseries opens with Schlafly representing her husband, a donor to Phil Cranes political campaign, by strutting onto a campaign stage with a runway model gait in a patriotic swimsuit, as the men smoke, whistle, and ogle. The portrayal is entirely uncharacteristic of the real woman, and the message from the shows creators is clear: Schlafly is an outspoken anti-feminist, so she must be weak enough to allow herself to be used as a sex object for her husbands political gain.
One of the starkest examples of how the liberal creators of “Mrs. America” view the existence of conservative women is in their portrayal of Schlaflys marriage to her husband, Fred. The show consistently shows Schlafly asking for political introductions and favors from her husband, while Fred exasperatedly dismisses her.
At one point, Fred seems uncomfortable with his wife’s intellectual prowess as they prepare for her debate with Friedan. He eventually yells at her, albeit in the role of Friedan, causing her to accuse him of trying to make me emotional. He leaves, and she is left to stifle her emotions as best she can, rather than confront her husbands rude behavior.
By all accounts, however, Fred Schlafly supported his wifes political ambitions and respected her greatly. The only reason for the show to portray Fred as it does is to vilify conservative men and rationalize away the existence of strong conservative women.
“Mrs. America” takes ample artistic license to portray Schlaflys opposition to the ERA as a power grab rather than an intelligent woman’s well-reasoned position. When one of Schlaflys compatriots from Oklahoma City announces that she has managed to lead the campaign to defeat the ERA in her state, Schlafly is bothered by the news, worrying that other women are taking over her work and scoring political victories without her name attached. She resolves to defeat the amendment in her own state, lest she lose all credibility. According to the show, this, rather than a serious political argument, is her chief motivation for defeating the ERA.
At one point, rather than confronting a fellow state activists ghastly views on race, Schlafly bids her friend, Alice Macray, do the awkward job of calling out the woman for her. When the woman threatens to leave, Schlafly immediately forsakes Macray, offering the racist woman and her friends jobs in the movement if they stay. In another instance, Schlafly shoots down every one of her fellow activists at a meeting when they offer to be the spokeswomen for the movement, insisting that she is the only one remotely qualified to fill the position.
Throughout the show, Blanchetts Schlafly is constantly interrupted, touched, patronized, and underestimated by the men she works with, but she seems never to let this alter her view that she has never been discriminated against. In one scene, the men send Schlafly to fetch paper and pens so she can take notes on their conversation, as she is assumed to have the best handwriting. She is bothered that she is missing much of the conversation, but when the secretary addresses her as Ms. Schlafly, she sternly reprimands her, Its Mrs. Schlafly. Im married.
Steinem puts the feminist line on conservative women bluntly when, in a rare moment of candidness, the show portrays the frustration of a Nixon-supporting Republican in the womens caucus. We cant seem like were anti-housewife, she says, and one of her feminist compatriots responds, But we are! Steinem reasons, Revolutions are messy. Some people get left behind.
In another rare moment of bluntness, Friedan, during a debate with Schlafly, echoes Steinem, calling Schlafly a traitor to her sex, and a witch, who she wished she could, burn at the stake, a title which would undoubtedly be labeled sexist if directed against Friedan.
To Hollywood and the creators of “Mrs. America,” Schlafly is either a confused victim suffering from a chronic case of Stockholm syndrome or a purely evil, power-hungry denigrator of women or both.
Ironically, the first episode ends with the song “Make Your Own Kind of Music” from former Mamas and Papas singer Cass Elliot, whose lyrics read at one point,
They may try and sell ya,
‘Cause it hangs them up to see someone like you.
But you’ve gotta make your own music
Sing your own special song.
For conservative women everywhere, this could be a sort of battle cry. The so-called womens movement has never welcomed us, nor do we need it to. The fierce independence and determination so many of us have whether we are lawyers, politicians, stay-at-home moms, or activists is exemplified in Phyllis Schlafly. Once again, Hollywood fails to understand this, and “Mrs. America” is only the latest evidence.
They’re not failing to understand anything, they are PROPAGANDIZING.
Which is why I will be giving this series a pass.
She’s wrong..Hollywood and liberals understand conservative women ..THEY JUST HATE CONSERVATIVES and what they stand for...They made Fred Schlafly into a rapist and Phyllis into a woman hating shrew...They bury the truth and rewrite history to suit themselves...That’s what MRS AMERICA is...Rewrite of the 1970’s.....
I can’t understand liberals either.
Is anyone surprised, that in attempting to tell the story of Phyllis Schlafly, that the Hollywood idiots who make these movies decided to make a hatchet job out of it?
eventually when the time comes that no one is alive to counter these films, they will be seen as the way things truly were.
I see this fierce independence in black conservatives, many of whom are more conservative than I am.
In a just and fair world, Phyllis Schlafly would be lionized as a true feminist heroine and held as an example of what one woman can accomplish if smart and determined. But no, those pigs Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan - who have done more to destroy women's lives than help them - are treated as heroines.
Hollyweird doesn’t fail to understand Conservatives. They simply hate them, hate us, with every fiber of their being. All they can do is vilify and misrepresent our side and portray themselves and their own degeneracy and evil as “heroic.”
Correct; the author is being nice and assuming stupidity rather than hate.
i was a kid when this was all happening, so now I do watch it, and it is interesting to me, at least.
Do they even try?
I have followed Phyllis Schlafly since I was against the ERA and she fought it so well!
I knew Hollywood would trash her!
Mitzi Gaynor in the kitchen
I don’t think they understand either though, they can’t see beyond their own noses.
BTW Mitzi was 43 at the time and could really cook.
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