MRS AMERICA – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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I’ve been trying to get my thoughts on the Phyllis Schlafly–centered FX/BBC miniseries Mrs America to coalesce into something coherent for weeks now. The Amy Coney Barrett fiasco has finally solidified them, and seeing her rushed swearing-in to the US Supreme Court — at night, almost sneakily, the judicial equivalent of a shotgun wedding — has filled me with a clarifying rage.

Fundamentalist Christianity in America is, by default, misogynist, cisheteronormative, and white supremacist, and its rise as a political force in the United States began in the 1970s, with Phyllis Schlafly as one of its most famous faces. I’m too young to remember how, in the 70s, Schlafly scuppered the Equal Rights Amendment, which would have enshrined in the US Constitution legal equality on the basis of gender. (Though more on this below.) But I do recall her presence on the 1980s political scene, and how her antiwoman, antifreedom, anti-American Eagle Forum was an integral part of Ronald Reagan’s fundamentalist conservative movement “Morning in America.” Continue reading…

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at FlickFilosopher.com, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her AWFJ.org archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).