Posts Tagged ERA
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.
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.
William Thomas Carolyn: At the outset let me say that I admire both your passion and your cause. I was a champion of women’s rights before you and probably your mother were born. I was a contributor to NOW for many years back when they were actually a supporter of women’s rights and not a purely partisan advocate of a political party. I also quit the NRA and AARP for the same reason. My take on all three is that if you profess to be non-partisan be non-partisan. I really don’t care which party you work for in violation of your professed non-partisan claim.
The reason I preface this post with the above attempt to establish that I am not unsympathetic to the women’s movement when I tell you that I RESPECTFULLY take issue with the Equal Rights Amendment. I have as they say in the sorted world of politics “waffled” on this issue. At the outset I was a strong proponent of ERA. Years ago during the initial ERA move I was in New York on an extended assignment. There was to be a debate on the issue between two noted N.Y. attorneys. I showed up and sat in the ERA amen corner and frankly the speaker in opposition to the Amendment turned me around. I had three passions in my high school years (shortly after the invention of the wheel). In no particular order they were girls, debate and football. I wasn’t much of a football player and the ladies really didn’t grasp how wonderful I was but I was a state champion debater. The ERA debate in Madison Square Garden may have been the only actual debate I have ever seen with adult participants. Most of what we refer to as debates are simply shouting matches between immature brats running for office. If you want to see intelligent mature people debate I suggest you attend a debate at the high school level. An eloquent and well orchestrated argument was made by the lady who supported ERA. From an academic and logical position void of our typical insertions of emotional factors she was completely destroyed by the lady who opposed ERA. After completely agreeing with her opponent’s case that ERA was a righteous cause and every point needed to be the law of the land the lady lawyer speaking in opposition made a single point and proceeded to methodically prove her case with indisputable evidence. The lady’s case was that a constitutional amendment was not needed to support the rights of this specific group to equal treatment under the law. She sited specific federal statutes as well as the words of our founders to support her case that all the elements of law were already in existence. She made the case that what was needed was the enforcement of the current law rather than an amendment to our Constitution. I have often said that if our nation could be defined with a single word that word is equality. I have been honored by my country with decorations for valor and for wounds I received in combat. I have been humbled and honored by a few awards my lady and I have received for our pubic service to our community and nation. I take greater personal pride in the blood I shed as a teenage “Freedom Rider” in Alabama than all my accomplishments in the last 68 years. I would defend my sister Americans’ right to equality with the last drop of this old paratrooper’s blood. I can not support ERA and I assure you that is not a reflection on my belief that all Americans regardless of gender are equal under the law. This fact is at the very core of our nation’s principle.————————————————————-
Carolyn A. Cook Thank you for your comments. I read with great interest and appreciate your honesty.I believe that some men have great difficulty relating to the 2nd class citizenship of women because deep in their hearts they are ashamed to admit that it has been men perhaps themselves or others who have kept women in their place. But when it comes to the plight of black men – most white men feel empathy and a sense of brotherhood in seeking justice. I can relate to that sentiment for women. We are all tribal.
But there are a different set of rules in our society when it comes to men and women. Imagine how a team would function to play under two separate sets of rules among its players? Chaos and frustration.
But the beauty of equality enshrined in the Constitution is that it is a written promise that cannot be broken. No matter the law, no matter the politician, no matter the religious beliefs… or circumstance, human beings are equal in the eyes of the law.
Every day couples sign marriage contracts for better or for worse, yet Uncle Sam gets a free pass when it comes to women. Empty promises and proclamations of women’s post feminist world ring hollow.
Strict constructionists often oppose the ERA because it was not the intent of the forefathers to grant autonomy to women. We were and are legal property of men. And the behaviors and actions today prove that the collective mindset has not changed for men or women in spite of the fight for women’s equal treatment. But somehow when it comes to men relating to men – whether by race or sexual orientation – the dynamic and dialogue changes…. for them equality must happen. For women – stay on your proverbial pedestal, look pretty and don’t speak your mind.
For me, the Equal Rights Amendment is the gold standard for our humanity. It sets forth a fundamental principle of true democracy that all human beings whether male or female are equally valued when they come to the table. The constitution inspires us to seek greater levels of awareness, compassion and appreciation unlike laws which seek to restrict behavior.
In the end, it’s not law that will bring about women’s freedom from oppression. But the establishment of a level playing field throughout society that has the indelible power to collectively transform thought, behavior, action, tradition and eventually culture. For me the ERA is my personal and professional investment in a future that will stand the test of time and trends to endure and succeed where we leave off. There is no better gift for generations upon generations to come than the gift of respect and dignity for one another.