This post was written by Hatchet reporter Sarah Margolis
A conservative icon famous for her insistence on traditional roles for women caused a stir Wednesday in the Marvin Center where she spoke about fellow commenter Hilary Rosen and the faults of modern-day feminism.
Phyllis Schlafly, a lawyer and author of 20 books on family, feminism and the traditional roles of women, defended women’s right to be full-time homemakers in front a packed and energized audience of supporters and protesters.
“The principle social issue is what we call marriage absence,” she said. “If a woman is having babies and she doesn’t have a husband who’s a provider, she’s going to look to big brother government to pay the costs. And that is exactly what is going on.”
Blaming President Barack Obama for supporting welfare programs that subsidize children and insurance policies that mandate birth control coverage, Schlafly said the deficit can only be cut if basic social issues are solved. Instilling traditional family values, she said, is key to reducing poverty and scaling back federal debt.
Protesters lined the walls outside the GW Young America’s Foundation event with signs that read, “This is what a feminist looks like.”
The protest grew out of a Facebook event that sophomore Yasemin Ayarci started the day before Schlafly’s appearance. More than 50 students, including members of Allied in Pride, Voices for Choices and the sexual assault prevention group Men of Strength, turned up to hold signs in protest.
Tensions ran high before the event, and Marvin Center staff approached the protestors with warnings and a request for silence.
“Phyllis Schlafly = Dolores Umbridge,” one sign read.
“Take your advice: go back to the kitchen!” read another.
Fifteen minutes into Schlafly’s remarks, about 30 of the protestors in attendance silently filed out.
“Oh I’m so sorry you’re not going to stay around and let me convince you that you’re wrong!” Schlafly scoffed. “Too bad.”
This post was updated April 19, 2012 to reflect the following:
Due to a reporting error, The Hatchet incorrectly spelled Hilary Rosen’s named as Hillary. We also reported that the College Republicans hosted the event.