Discussion of the Equal Rights Amendment has resurfaced as one of the most important legal debates regarding gender equality in the twenty-first century. Although it is often misunderstood and ignored, the ERA has a rich history in the United States that dates back nearly one century. Scholars have studied the 1970s anti-ERA movement from various perspectives yet few have focused on the writings of its central figurehead: Phyllis Schlafly. Today, no single woman exists at forefront of the contemporary anti- ERA movement as Schlafly did before—instead, a myriad of women authors comprise the pool of sources written in opposition to the ERA. Through use of a content analysis, this Independent Study investigates the argumentation of Schlafly’s 1972 to 1982 Phyllis Schlafly Reports as well as a collected pool of women-authored anti-ERA writings dating from 2007 to 2019. By comparing the two collections of writings, this study reveals how anti-ERA argumentation has evolved over time, or rather, how they have not. Ultimately, this study concludes that both Schlafly and contemporary women authors used little references to political, economic, and religious themes and rather rely heavily on social argumentation. Written in the midst of an ongoing push to ratify the ERA, this thesis hopes to contribute to the broader, nationwide discussion of gender in conservative politics.


Bos, Angela

Second Advisor

Biro-Walters, Jordan


Political Science; History

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2019 Annabelle Hopkins