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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