Posts Tagged equal rights amendment

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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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: Tallahassee Democrat Op-Ed Disses Equal Rights Amendment

To read original article for which our response below was written, click link: Op-Ed: Haven’t We Heard the ERA Eight-Track Before?


To: Mr. Bill Cotterell,

After reading your mansplaining piece about the retro ERA, you prove once again the fragility of the male ego.

You would no more live in a country where you pay equal taxes, serve jury duty, fight in combat to defend your country’s constitution while earning less income, enduring physical, sexual and verbal assault and a 2nd class citizen by law on account of your sex than any reasonable woman (feminist) should.

We hope you didn’t have daughters because we can’t imagine their lives being complete as the muffin-makers you hail.

Incidentally, we authored the current bill in the US Congress – while unemployed – following Hillary Clinton’s 2008 misogynistic defeat.  It’s known as SJR15 & HJR51. It calls upon a bipartisan Congress to remove their deadline for the ERA and allow the last 3 states to continue to debate this critical issue for America’s domestic and global competitiveness.

Human rights don’t expire in a democracy (and neither should the ERA). It’s nearly 100 years after women’s suffrage – and still no woman president and no equal rights amendment to challenge the status quo of Patriarchy’s reign for 227 years in America.  You have no idea how much greater your life would be if women actually managed our country like they manage households – by putting service to others before self AND balancing competing priorities to ensure that no one got left behind.

Did you hear about United 4 Equality’s groundbreaking ERA revival story in the news?  No because status quo journalists like you thought it not important enough to publish.

We wish for you more spiritual growth in the next life.  Perhaps by coming back as a woman.

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ISO Madam Presidents 2020 and Beyond

cartoon of political woman at podium
Image may be subject to copyright.

Following in the footsteps of the 44 other women who have run for president alone, we urge more women candidates to run in 2020 and beyond!

In 2008 and 2016, we loved, admired and proudly voted for Hillary Clinton to shatter the presidential ceiling. She will always be our SHEro for the “awakening” that she gave to women and men- having witnessed such sexism, misogyny and negatively biased news coverage on account of her sex. 

Who knows how, when, where or for whom Hillary will re-emerge as a leader next? But we believe that her greatest contribution to womankind could very well come from her newfound freedom outside of public office. 

What better way to capitalize on her “insider” knowledge of Congress, her access to donors and her mission to empower women and children – than to lead the movement to establish gender equality under the US Constitution. (After all, Hillary 2008 inspired United 4 Equality’s ERA revival in Congress since 2011/2012 – SJR15 & HJR51)

Then, no matter what party is in control, women’s rights and dignity will not be on the chopping block.

Coping with our profound disappointment and fear of the Trump administration, we can strengthen our resolve to elect and promote more women to office all the way up. After all, we cannot depend on one woman to do everything from the Oval Office! 

Coincidentally, 2020 will be 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, so public awareness of women’s history-making will be at an all-time high for another powerful woman to emerge.

Electing the first woman president will no doubt produce opposition again but it will also have a uniquely similar psychological effect that President Obama had for people of color – only she will uplift women and be a vehicle for healing male guilt. 💝 

America could see exciting changes in how women are portrayed in pop culture: more positive and empowering characters, TV programs, movies, magazines and commercials. That is sorely needed to transform our centuries-old tradition and mindset of women’s inferiority to men. That would be a huge victory in and of itself.

In Congress, a madam president who has experienced the unique challenges women face, could prioritize contemporary work/family policies that will enable women (and men) to earn a living wage, develop her full potential and be celebrated alongside men in society: the workplace, small business, politics, armed services, sports, entertainment, caregiving, etc… 

Hopefully, women’s elevated stature in the White House will usher in more awareness and active condemnation of the epidemic of physical and sexual violence, harassment and hate crimes that women and other marginalized groups have endured for centuries in silence with neither laws or law enforcement to protect them. 

A woman occupying the Oval Office would likely prioritize the public health and safety crisis caused by the vast gun, drug and human trafficking trades as well as the economic insecurity of those earning substandard wages, and lacking affordable healthcare, childcare and elder care.  Unlike the US, these are basic needs and smart investments that European countries have long embraced in the care of their citizenry. They’ve also elected women presidents. Why not US? 

Women by nature are perfectly suited for balancing the competing priorities of politics to ensure no one is left behind. They’ve cared for families forever!

Our Foremothers  understood how important women’s political participation was to ending inequality. They fought for every right we have today, but their work isn’t done. A madam president and the Equal Rights Amendment is for our generation to accomplish for the next.

The president, congress, states and the corporate-owned media know full well the contributions and potential of women office holders. They’ve watched how women focus on improving the economy, environment and quality of life of human beings over wasting precious resources and human life fighting endless testosterone-laden wars.  America desperately needs women in charge…

Let’s challenge ourselves between now and 2020 to pay attention and support women candidates at the local, state and federal level.  When she takes a stand for what you believe, say so. And if she doesn’t, tell her why. Be that involved. 

Only when we nurture women’s growth and political success -recognizing the imperative of balanced decision making on the issues we face- will we begin to see a renaissance in American government, politics and people like never before.   #United4Equality.

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Helmets Versus Headscarves: US Servicewomen Know Their Place 

To parents, spouses, partners and siblings of young women, did you know that the US Senate just passed a monumental new provision within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requiring all civilian Women ages 18 – 25 to register for the Selective Service whether they chose a military career or not?  The bill passed 84 – 13. 

In May, the US House passed the NDAA absent the selective service requirement for women. Now, it’s up to the committees’ leadership to reconcile both bills, so they match.  Which direction they go is largely in our hands. 

The GOP-led Senate refused to allow any floor debates – not even for such a sweeping change in national service requirements for 1/2 of all Americans and their families who depend on them. 

A policy that could require every young women to serve in combat despite the hostile work environment behind enemy lines as well as from her fellow servicemen. Some women are cut out to be trail blazers. Most aren’t.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) continued campaign for an independent prosecution of military sexual assault cases to encourage reporting such incidents and improving justice for victims was also ignored.

Incidentally, Germany, Israel, Britain and Australia have already removed the prosecution of serious crimes like rape from their chain of command due to concerns around objectivity and retaliation. A bipartisan Congress remains divided on the issue – unwilling to follow our Allies’ example.

Why no discussion? Expediency according to Senator John McCain (R-AZ), chairman of the Armed Swrvices committee.

Now that President Obama (with daughters under 18) and the Pentagon want women to serve in all combat positions, the US Congress believes civilian women must also be subject to the draft just like men. Surely Congress intends to honor women’s full sacrifice by lifting their deadline on women’s equal citizenship under the Constitution aka the Equal Rights Amendment? Nope.

Involuntary Parity with men without the declaration of Equality in our Constitution is nothing more than Exploitation of Women for the industrial war machine. 

For their sense of duty to our country, representatives and senators also have a duty to remove their deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment. Bills are HJR51 / SJR15 (Toll free) 1-877-762-8762. Ask for their office. SPEAK UP OR ACCEPT THIS REALITY!

(Friend) “Why are the women wearing headscarves while the man in the background wears a helmet that protects his head? That’s very important in a war zone and the right thing to do. I don’t believe what I’m seeing. Hopefully they were not forced to do that. Headscarves have nothing to do with Islam. It’s only another tool of sexual discrimination. Very sad to see that here.”

As civilians, servicewomen and their male allies need all of us to demand change. Voters aren’t passive observers. We wield power. Women have never been welcomed or encouraged to join traditionally male institutions. We’re viewed as the enemy -interlopers versus partners. It’s as if every woman should be content with our male prescribed roles of wife and mother. Headscarves versus headgear is our military’s not-so-subtle way of reinforcing the Old Boys Network. We aren’t seeking to bring hope to women and girls abroad. We are reinforcing patriarchal tradition from sea to shining sea.

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