Phyllis Schlafly, unequal rights advocate and likely inspiration for the Serena Joy character in The Handmaid’s Tale, is getting the prestige TV treatment in the FX series soon to air on Hulu, Mrs. America, starring legend of screen and awards show red carpets Cate Blanchett.
In reality, watching and/or listening to Schlafly was like the torture of being forced to endure a lunch worth of a rich-but-shitty grandma’s speculation as to how much happier modern girls would be with their legs and mouths shut in order to get a birthday check. It’s going to take all of Cate Blanchett’s best acting and best cheekbones to get us through this.
Judging by the trailer, the series also promises to be as much about the messiness of Women’s Liberation Movement, which often failed women of color, stay-at-home mothers, and anyone else who complicated the idea of revolution, as it is about Schlafly’s huge part in defeating the Equal Rights Amendment. Even apart from Blanchett, the cast is phenomenal, featuring Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm, Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem, and Tracy Ullman as Betty Friedan, among a host of other people who are definitely going to be nominated for all of the major awards next year.
Mrs. America looks great, just like the birthday check at the end of the lunch. The question is, can we really listen to grandma’s bullshit long enough to make the whole thing worth it? I suppose we shall find out on April 15.