Phyllis Schlafly believed giving equal rights to women would cause more harm than good, as they would then be expected to fight in wars and would lose the right to separate public bathrooms. She also feared that if the bill was ratified and discrimination was banned on grounds of gender, women would also lose the legal protection that meant divorced mothers were usually granted custody of their children.
Somewhat ironically, given her fierce work ethic and her drive to campaign across the country, she advocated and celebrated the traditional and conservative image of a happy housewife living in domestic bliss.
Her campaign was known as STOP (Stop Taking Our Privileges) ERA and she successfully derailed the amendment and caused a whole hoopla of controversy in the process.
Married to wealthy corporate lawyer Fred Schlafly (played by John Slattery in the show), the couple had six children and Phyllis often began speeches by thanking her husband for allowing her to come.
Alongside Cate Blanchett as Phyllis Schlafly, there’s a whole host of brilliant female actors making up the Mrs America cast including Rose Byrne (Peter Rabbit, Bridesmaids) as feminist Gloria Steinem and Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black) as Shirley Chisholm, who was the first black woman to be elected to the United States Congress.
Also look out for Tracey Ullman as Feminine Mystique author Betty Friedan, and The Hunger Games actor Elizabeth Banks as pro-ERA politician Jill Ruckelshaus.