“Mrs. America” is quite possibly the bravest show in the history of television. ...This is delusional.
No, the real courage of “Mrs. America” is baked into its pitch: To chronicle in nine episodes (the last of which runs Wednesday night) Phyllis Schlafly’s successful campaign to prevent ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, hook the legs out from under the women’s movement and aid the rise of religious-driven conservatism in our political arena.
In other words, let’s all watch a nine-hour television show in which the heroes lose. ...
The end is what the end is. The ERA dies, the women’s movement is shoved increasingly to the sidelines and Schlafly helps usher in neo-conservative politics. Which will bring us, among other things, the evangelical movement, the tea party and the election of Donald Trump.
It is difficult to watch “Mrs. America,” especially at a time when many of us, in pandemic isolation, are already feeling powerless, and when the systematic exclusion of women from our highest offices has never been more obvious.
A woman was almost elected President in 2016. Many other candidates have been greatly helped by campaigning as a woman. Joe Biden has promised to pick a woman for VP.
Male candidates get systematically eliminated by MeToo attacks. Trump and Biden are constantly attacked for being men. Stacey Abrams and Kamala Harris are being touted as possible VPs, but only because they are women of color. Nobody thinks that these women would ever be chosen for anything on the merits.
I suspect that some viewers of the TV show will wonder what the fuss was all about. The anti-ERA arguments are clear enough. But for those favoring the ERA, it is never clear what their goal is. Did they have some broader Jewish or Black leftist political agenda? Did they think that they were going to get improved abortion rights or lesbian rights? Presumably it was some combination.
The final episode is to be released today.
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