Opinion: Is it ok to speak ill of the dead?

Phyllis Schlafly
Phyllis Schlafly endorses Donald Trump at a March campaign rally in St. Louis.
(Seth Perlman / Associated Press)

To the editor: Ann Friedman’s opinion piece touched home. While I didn’t know it at the time, I was a second-wave feminist in 1962 attending Pasadena City College.

( “When to speak ill of the dead,” Opinion, Sept. 15)

When I learned I had to participate in the Rose Queen process as part of my physical education class, I adamantly refused.

Why would I subject myself to that sexist (to me) activity? My instructor was stunned; I had to write an essay about sports instead, which I was happy to do.


I’d never heard the word feminism at that point, but my goodness, when Phyllis Schlafly started her campaign to keep women at home, I was outraged.

Fortunately for me and thousands of others, Gloria Steinem became our voice. Every time I saw Schlafly on TV, I was frustrated by her tunnel vision. Women can be whatever we choose to be, but it helps if we are not browbeaten by anyone for that choice.

Thanks, it did my heart good to read Friedman’s take on Schlafly, the hate mongerer.

Pam Evans, Norwalk



To the editor: Friedman’s piece defending badmouthing of the dead is just more proof of the hypocrisy of liberals. Every example she used is of liberals attacking dead conservatives, not the opposite. Why?

Because I believe generally conservatives are more tolerant, not like the false narrative espoused by the left.

Paul Debban, Rancho Santa Fe


To the editor: Aside from Schlafly’s sabotage of the Equal Rights Amendment, just a partial list of her wrong-headed positions warrants immediate discussion of her role in conservatism’s decline:

She lauded the atomic bomb as “a marvelous gift to our country by a wise God” and discounted martial “rape” since “by getting married the woman has consented to sex.”

The time for weighing in on Schlafly is wholly ripe since Donald Trump’s campaign welcomed her support at the GOP convention.


If Trump says nothing to distance himself from her legacy, he deserves to join Schlafly in history’s dustbin.

Nancy Stone, Santa Monica


To the editor: Friedman says that the recent death of conservative stalwart Schlafly is the perfect occasion to expose her as a “hatemonger.” Respect for the dead, according to Friedman, should not impede the march of progressive and inclusive ideas.

I beg to disagree. I believe homosexuality, abortion and transgenderism are moral evils and Schlafly was certainly correct in denouncing them.

Joseph S. David, Fullerton


To the editor: As my beloved mother once said referring to a deceased relative she held in disdain, “Dead don’t make him good.”


Al Abrusia, Tarzana

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