Congratulations, Illinois, for Becoming 37th State to Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment – And Thank You, Mom



2009 Women’s Equality Day – Mom and I as we embarked on a journey to fulfill the legacy of our Foremothers.

Congratulations to Illinois for becoming the 37th and next to the last state) to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment #ERA which protects women and men from having our rights denied on the basis of sex. Congress must act now to formally remove their deadline on the ERA’s ratification which expired on June 30, 1982.

Have your members of Congress co-sponsored our bills in Congress aka #SJR5 (Senate) and #HJR53 (House)? If not, call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 to reach their offices and urge their cosponsorship to Finish the ERA today. With just one state left to go, victory is in sight, but Congress must do its part too!

United 4 Equality launched the ERA’s comeback in 2009 following the misogyny and sexism that plagued Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. We believed then as we do now that the path to full and equal citizenship for every Woman in America must never expire. Thank you, Maureen Gehrig, Mom, for educating your young daughter that “Women will never be safe until we have the Equal Rights Amendment in the Constitution.”

Little did you or I know that you had planted a seed that some 30 years later would blossom in both of us to form United 4 Equality and spearhead the ERA’s revival in Congress after a 29-year exile. Cheers to you, Mom, for your tireless courage and belief that we could and should win the ERA for generations yet to come. I Love You, Carolyn

#MothersAndDaughersForTheERA #United4Equality #ERA2020 #NoDeadlineOnEquality #OurForemothersLegacy


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On Blind Allegiance to the Flag

How high and mighty our “petty” officials have become as to prescribe how patriotism must be done.

OR how women must live their lives – forcing motherhood on those whose true potential may lie in finding a cure for cancer or averting a world war as President.


Indeed the world has forfeited untold peace and prosperity in those lost contributions of women. Centuries upon centuries of progress squandered by stealing the Free Will of Women to DO and DREAM great things.

Instead, pop culture tinged with religious overtones occupies her mind and heart with the insurmountable task of people-pleasing. Always put others before self. Never question authority. Tread lightly in a man’s world. Beauty is power. That MENtality begs for opposition.

United 4 Equality has been challenging conventional wisdom since 2009 following Hillary Clinton’s defeat at the hands of sexism and misogyny. Our goal: to elevate the collective conscience to welcome, celebrate and further women’s myriad contributions to society.

We have taken a stand against forfeiting the #EqualRightsAmendment by proposing legislation to remove an arbitrary deadline imposed by small-minded politicians on the Left and Right 45 years ago.

Our sole focus remains on building cosponsors in Congress one-by-one-by one. It’s been eight years now. A 36th state has ratified the ERA. Still the news media ignores us. Meanwhile we marvel at the fecklessness of those who continue to say that removing a deadline is impossible.

We say humanity is dying. The world cannot sustain itself in the hands of Patriarchy any longer.

While they push back to Start Over, we push forward to the finish line. To win the ERA with two states by 2020 before the Suffrage Centennial.

Truthfully, in politics more hope is lost than won. The odds may be against us. But in pressing on against the daily slog of ignorance, fear, apathy and skepticism surrounding equality for women, one begins to understand more fully what it means to be a Patriot.

Defending one’s truth in the face of adversity for the promise of freedom.

And so the legacy of our Foremothers and fathers lives on…

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Envisioning Equality

In thinking about the prevalence of violence throughout our country…

It’s everywhere: on the web, on TV, in the news, in the movies, at school, in homes, on our streets, in politics, within our military, our public spaces, our commercial spaces, our places of worship – even among the Amish and Native Americans who co-exist independently.

Violence in all of its insidious forms has been allowed to dictate the reality in which we all live and our ancestors and their ancestors lived. Violence has been passed down generation to generation with no end in sight. In the absence of 1/2 the human race = women, violence has prevailed.

As women, we have been the 24/7 targets of violence for centuries upon centuries. Because the law and civil society allowed it. The punishment cannot possibly fit the crime when the victim had no input. Women were denied participation in designing constitutions, laws and the institutions we live under today.

Consequently, civil society rarely reflects feminine attributes of empathy, nurturance and sacrifice. There is not one country where women are equal to men. Not one. Let that reality sink in… How tragic. What about diversity of gender, Fellas?

The overwhelming global message is men’s superiority/women’s inferiority. Men’s visibility/ women’s invisibility.

So, how is blaming ourselves for succumbing to the patriarchy’s brainwashing productive? How could we escape it? Any one of us? What choice have women and men been given other than to adopt our prescribed roles and live them out? Our culture consistently reinforces the social hierarchy at our peril.

But at any point in time, we can choose to say “Enough”. This is not the world we choose any longer.

Let’s face it. Every one of us has been affected by violence – directly or indirectly. We all have felt afraid. Angry. Despair. Hopelessness. We have all had moments of peace, joy and laughter too. Hopefully, each of us has felt loved and loved another. The universality of the Human experience is our safe harbor – our lighthouse to navigate out of the darkness.

It’s our stories around these universal emotions that is our truth. Our bridge to building the future. One that respects the worth and autonomy of each individual we encounter and even those we don’t know. Men and women can co-exist peacefully as true partners, but not if one denies the other’s free will. Isn’t it our human right to live up to our full potential and allow others to do the same?

We have the capability to forge rich and deep connections if we speak from the heart – shaped from our raw experience and trust that we are indeed stronger together. Whether our “union” becomes more perfect depends on US.

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Response to Law Professor on ERA Protections Merely Symbolic

2dabc59b-139b-456e-9daa-b5dfe6da4253-4304-0000078e797ceada_tmpHere is the article that I originally responded to below.

As an ERA lobbyist, single woman and former HR Work/Life professional, I find your commentary on the ERA rather ill-informed to claim that it’s symbolic and ignores the plight of mothers. Since the ERA didn’t pass by 1982, businesses have shouldered an inordinate amount of responsibility for accommodating the role of caregivers in the workplace. There has been little to no support, incentives or enforcement from the federal government to enact new policies that meet the needs of our modern workforce as other developed countries have adopted. The US is an embarrassment to be among the few countries that never ratified CEDAW or an ERA let alone elect a woman president. You fail to consider that with an ERA, the government would be accountable to address the role of women and men in the workplace as parents and to come up with policies to accommodate them. Parenting has become far more integrated into the lives of men and women since the 1970s. Men face gender discrimination when parental leave is denied or discouraged. Families are harmed when mothers or fathers are not compensated equally. Men and women are struggling without affordable child, elder and health care which will continue to be ignored without a change in women’s status. Beyond your own concerns, It’s not a secret that the legal system ignores women’s lived experiences as victims and survivors when it comes to how the law protects the rights of predominantly male perpetrators. The law that protects women from violence has remained inadequate for centuries. There are few resources addressing prevention and far too many resources that must wait to intervene until after the violence has occurred. In the case of state discrimination, the burden of proof lies with women plaintiffs to prove injury. Whereas, the similar 14th Amendment shifted the burden to the government when it comes to racial discrimination. I would encourage you to look beyond your silo to the reality and accountability of having a statement of gender equality in writing after 228 years as a starting point for society to evolve and attitudes to change and for government to respect the autonomy of women for the first time and recognize our value to the economy outside of the home. Thereby seeking new and innovative ways to move our country together as one human race and bridge the gaps that exist versus continue to widen them with impunity.

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GOOGLE CEO Forfeited Constructive Diversity Dialogue

An open letter to Google CEO on Gender Stereotype Firing. For full article on circumstances, click here

James Damore had the courage to say what was on his mind and own it. For that he's more honest than most men who think it, act it and don't say it. His speaking up may have broken rules of conduct and for that probation or disciplinary action was warranted. However, his memo also provided an opportunity for constructive dialogue within the tech company and industry to happen.

America is in complete and utter denial of the ubiquitousness of sexism and misogyny! Look no further than Election 2016 and the media's heightened scrutiny of Hillary Clinton and free pass to Donald Trump.

Mr. Damore's opinion was not an isolated mindset exclusive to young conservative men.

Consider what might have happened if instead of being fired, he was asked to elaborate on his memo in a mediated Town Hall dialogue with some of the women he offended. Ground rules would be set at the outset. An honest and open discussion could have been eye opening for Google employees (and the rest of us onlookers) from all sides.

It was a missed opportunity to address the larger centuries old civil war between men and women to co-exist peacefully and respectfully (within and among all races) that needs to happen now.

For someone as young as Mr. Damore to air his grievances publicly BUT then also to listen to women's responses and experiences would have been groundbreaking conversation around the world.

Women's experiences and suffering are never expressed in mainstream media. Women are far more than robots, sex kittens, victims or evil feminists.

In the end, maybe it wouldn't have changed Mr. Damore's mind immediately, but he'd have had more respect for how the alleged liberal Google's elite handled him AND more importantly, more information to consider as he goes on through life and encounters more women in his path.

If he had kept his job, he likely would have endured the scorn and ostracism of some of his coworkers. Ongoing public shame is tough for anyone. No doubt a public expression of the diversity of opinions within the google ranks would have been far more productive and demonstrative of Google's diversity commitment than handing him the grounds for a lawsuit.

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