Faculty, Students Protest Schlafly Degree
By Adam Allington, KWMU
St. Louis – Wearing white armbands, Washington University faculty and students staged a silent protest as conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly was awarded an honorary degree today.
Over 300 students, faculty and onlookers stood and turned their backs when Schlafly was honored.
A right-wing conservative activist, Schlafly is an outspoken critic of feminism, homosexuality and the Equal Rights Amendment. She claims that a womans primary duties are to be a mother and wife.
Somewhat ironically, Schlafly was presented with her degree by Margaret Bush-Wilson, the second woman of color admitted to practice law in Missouri.
"It is Phyllis Schlafly's persona, not her politics and views, which is recognized here today," said Bush.
The 83-year old became a leader of the conservative movement during the 1970's on the basis of her opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment.
Among other controversial views Schlafly claims that Feminism is doomed to failure because it goes against human nature.
Those views don't sit right with graduating seniors like Priya Srikanth.
"For the past four years Washington University has dedicated itself to teaching me ideals and ideas that Phyllis Schlafly opposes...and the fact we're honoring her with a doctorate, just totally confuses me," said Scrikanth.
Protesters claim Schlafly's views are in direct opposition to the fundamental principles Washington University stands for.
Schlafly is a lawyer and holds two additional degrees from WashU.
Earlier this week she called the protesters, "a bunch of losers".