Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Cate Blanchett owns the libs as anti-feminist activist Phyllis Schlafly in FXs iMrs. America/i trailer
Screenshot: FX (YouTube)

Cate Blanchett stars in FX’s Mrs. America—emphasis on the Mrs.—as Phyllis Schlafly, the anti-feminist activist who sought to trigger the libs when Don Jr. was but a twinkle in his father’s eye.

Set against Schlafly’s efforts to stop the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment in the ‘70s, the limited series also explores the firebrand’s relationship to her feminist rivals, including speaker Gloria Steinem (Rose Byrne) and The Feminine Mystique author Betty Friedan (Tracy Ullman). The result, per a synopsis, seeks to show how “one of the toughest battlegrounds in the culture wars of the ‘70s helped give rise to the Moral Majority and forever shifted the political landscape.”


Rounding out the impressive cast is Uzo Aduba as congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, John Slattery as Schalfly’s husband, and Margo Martindale as congresswoman Bella Abzug. Sarah Paulson and Melanie Lynskey, meanwhile, co-star as Schlafly’s allies in combating the “feminist totalitarian nightmare.”

Watch the trailer below.

The great contradiction of Schlafly, of course—and this is clearly interwoven into Dahvi Waller’s narrative—is that she fiercely advocated for women to embrace being mothers and housewives while also running for Congress and leaving her own children with a full-time nanny. She was driven in the same manner as her feminist opponents, but sought to irritate her critics by labeling her career a “hobby.”

Schlafly died in 2016, clinging to her ideals until the end. In 2010, she declared that no woman was fit to be elected president, and before her death claimed that if Donald Trump didn’t win the presidency “we’re not going to be America anymore.”

Mrs. America premieres on FX on Hulu on April 15. 


Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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