Mr. Fred Schlafly Alton, Ill. Dear Fred:

I'm taking the liberty of writing you because you have been so helpful to me in the past when I've been trying to track down Phyllis. Well, you've always known where she was and what she was up to, but she seems to be changing a little, and just in case you didn't know, I'm writing you to let you know she caused quite a commotion in Washington this week, and, frankly, I'm worried about her.

Fred, I don't know quite how to go about saying this, but Phyllis didn't seem quite herself. She's always said things that are bound to drive the liberals up the wall, but she's always come off as a woman who had the welfare of other women dear to her heart. Sure, she would pop off about the feminists, but that was fine. That was our Phyllis. But this time she turned on women, and really put them down. She got up before the House Labor and Human Resources Committee the other day and said some of the darnedest things you've ever heard. She said that women who work are doing something socially undesirable, that they are jeopardizing the family, that they are probably inferior to men whose jobs they are taking through affirmative action, that they are contributing no end of social disorder by their presence in the workforce, which tempts men to no end of you-know-what. Then -- and Fred, you may not believe this; nobody in Washington did -- Phyllis said that few virtuous women ever get sexually harassed on the job and that women who do are asking for it. Well, you can imagine what the liberal media did with that!

Fred, she started off saying the things she usually does and making a lot of statements people agree with. She said, for example, that the role of motherhood "is the most socially useful role in our society," and while a lot of doctors and lawyers and teachers may not agree with that, a lot of other people will. But then she said that Congress "should reject all proposals which include financial inducements to wives to enter the labor force, or to mothers to assign care of their children to institutions." Fred, she wants the federal government to do away with the tax credit working women get for paying for someone to care for their children. Does she really think that doing away with a little tax break to help working mothers get good child care is going to help families? Fred, she's got to know that some women simply have to work to make ends meet. After all, not everybody's married to a lawyer like she is.

Phyllis really went after affirmative action programs, and in the process she really went after women. There were 22 pages of typed testimony, Fred, and I've never seen anything quite like it. Some of it, quite frankly, didn't make much sense. Listen to this: "The most cruel and damaging sexual harassment taking place today is the sexual harrassment by feminists and their federal-government allies against the role of motherhood and the role of the dependent-wife. The feminist goal is to induce all wives and mothers out of the home and into the workforce. This goal would eliminate the role of motherhood and make child-care a responsibility and probably a function of government."

Fred, I know a lot of feminists and I've read a lot of feminist literature but I don't recall any of them saying they want to eliminate motherhood and homemaking. They simply want women to be able to choose what they want to be in their lives. That's the kind of laissez faire, get-government-out-of-our-lives philosphy I thought you conservatives believed in. And as for what she says about the government taking over child care, well, that's just foolishness. I know a lot of government bureaucrats around this town and I can assure you not a one of them wants to take on any more child care responsibilities than he already has in his own family.

Fred, Phyllis seems to be losing touch with things. She understands that inflation is forcing a lot of women out of the home and into the workforce, but she doesn't seem to understand that millions of women are forced to work because they've gotten divorced. On second thought, I've got to amend that. Phyllis isn't losing touch altogether. After all, she managed to give birth to six children, get a law degree, write any number of books and give speeches all over the country so that in case you ever up and fall in love with some sweet young thing, Phyllis will always make ends meet. Phyllis is nobody's dummy.

I know Phyllis is a great believer in the traditional family in which the husband is the provider and the Head of the Household and the wife stays home and raises the kids. Phyllis doesn't believe women are as capable of doing some jobs as men are and she's real upset because she thinks jobs that would allow men to provide for their families are going to underqualified women. I read that in her testimony, Fred, and all I can say is Phyllis seems to think a lot of men these days but not very much of women. Honest, there are a lot of qualified working women out here these days -- more than 40 million of them, in fact -- and a lot of them vote. If they get wind of the way Phyllis insulted them in Washington this week, well, that's not going to do conservatives a whole lot of good.

Fred, don't you think it's time to come and take the little lady home? Yours for a better America, Judy