Posts Tagged women’s rights

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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Race v. Gender – Outrage For Women Lags Far Behind

race v genderERA human rights  bradley-manning-war-crimesFight Against Paralysis Benefit

Six jurors unanimously voted to acquit George Zimmerman. After 16 hours of deliberation, they came to the same conclusion – not that he was innocent but that they could not convict. I thought he would be convicted, but I trust their decision.  I trust women.  We think a-lot.  We consider all sides.  We are compassionate.  We are fair. It was not an easy decision.  And neither was OJ Simpson’s.

If we took race out of this equation and inserted gender when murders of women happens daily across America, would an issue be made of this case? Would the justice department investigate? Would the NAACP pursue? Would National Organization for Women call for justice?  Would citizens notice or care?

Ben Jealous (Pres. NAACP) cited an example of a black woman being charged for 20 years for shooting into a ceiling to protect herself again from intimate partner violence. Now, I don’t know her partner’s race, but assuming he was black- then her case was most certainly not a case of racial profiling as he contended, but gender profiling. Elsa Newman, a white lawyer, was sentenced to 20 years in prison when her children’s godmother shot her ex-husband in the leg for sexually assaulting their children.  The children were sentenced to live with their father – the creepy dude who took showers with them.  The boys now hate their mother.  Justice?

Human rights are human rights no matter who is the victim. I hope one day that our country feels as much outrage towards the disingenuous treatment of all women by the Courts which has continued for centuries. Congress and the states continue to bar women from achieving the 1923 Equal Rights Amendment despite “equality and justice for all” hanging above our Supreme Court.

Yes, America, where is our outrage?  Where are the million signatures to the White House to free Bradley Manning or to reinstate Edward Snowden’s passport who seeks asylum or to insist that Congress remove its deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment? And so what if Zimmerman is 1/2 white and 1/2 Hispanic.  He’s a racist.

In the end, we all pick our battles.   And divided… we continue to fail.

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human rights FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Washington, DC – MAY 09, 2013

CONTACT: Carolyn Cook, Founder/CEO, United 4 Equality, LLC / 202-309-1963
For more information:

WASHINGTON, DC—Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Mark Kirk )R-IL) today introduce legislation to remove the Congressionally-imposed deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. The bill will be introduced today, May 09, 2013 to coincide with Mother’s Day celebrations across the country. The Equal Rights Amendment has been ratified by 35 of the 38 states necessary to become part of the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women equal treatment by federal and state laws and in the courts.

The original amendment debuted in 1923 in the US Congress without a time limit, introduced by Susan B. Anthony’s nephew, Daniel Anthony and Senator Curtis, both Republicans, as the “Lucretia Mott Amendment” after the woman who started the women’s suffrage movement. The amendment was introduced in every session of Congress spanning fifty (50) years until it was passed in 1972. Congress imposed an arbitrary, seven-year time limit in final passage to the proposing clause, as is the case for five other amendments, but not to the amendment language itself. Congress then extended that limit three more years. This bill introduced today removes any time limit, allowing states to resume ratification towards 38 required minimum, similar to no time limit on the amendment giving women the right to vote, which took seventy-two (72) years.

Carolyn Cook, co-founder of United4Equality, LLC with her mother, Maureen Gehrig Cook, said their social enterprise seeks to bridge the gap in work/life policy between the private and public sectors. They seek government accountability through elevating the status of women as key contributors to American society and prosperity. “Women and children have been ‘outsourced’ to nonprofits that cannot enact public policy reform. It’s time for Uncle Sam to embrace his ‘nieces’ within these United States as equal partners. U4E represents a growing coalition from ERA ratified and un-ratified states determined to win the ERA by 2015.” United 4 Equality, LLC has partnered with Senator Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Kirk (R-IL) and 15 original co-sponsors in the Senate; Representatives Robert Andrews (D-NJ), and 28 original cosponsors in the House “to ensure women have equal footing in modernizing US domestic and foreign policy in the 21st Century.” She added, “There is no deadline on equality in a democracy. Every right a woman possesses can be taken away without a constitutional guarantee. We must all stand equal before the law.”

Cook explained, “Thousands of laws throughout the United States still discriminate against women. This amendment will provide a blanket of protection across all 50 states against unequal laws and unequal enforcement. The rights to equal pay, equal protection, and equal benefits can be taken away at any time without this amendment. In 2011, a US Supreme Court justice wrote in a published article that the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause does not apply to women,” continued Cook.

Cook added, “Our message to the 113th Congress targets three congressional priorities: 1) Response to Jan. 2013 Pentagon directive lifting the 1994 ban on women in combat key; “No more women put in Harm’s Way without the ERA.”; 2) the Obama Administration’s Immigration Reform policy to include a path to citizenship of immigrants, “Generations of women born in the US do not have full and equal citizenship. Women must be integrated into new policy adding… “We, too, were immigrants once.” 3) Unemployment and job creation, “By 2018, it is estimated that woman-owned small businesses will provide 1/3 of all new jobs created. Congress must not remain an obstacle to the progress or potential of women to contribute to our full economic recovery.”

United4Equality, LLC, (U4E) devised this strategy to reflect the overwhelming support already achieved for the Amendment. Without the ERA, sex discrimination grievances must be addressed individually through costly legal battles, at taxpayer expense. Discrimination based on race, religion, and national origin is prohibited by the United State Constitution, yet sex discrimination is still allowed.”

Cook offered this historical analysis: “The amendment was written by a Republican suffragist, Dr. Alice Paul who held two doctorates in Civil Law and Economics immediately after women won the right to vote. It was adopted by the Republican Party platform in 1940, by the Democrats in 1944, and remained in both party platforms for several decades. ERA had the support of Republican Presidents Eisenhower (the first to publicly urge Congress to ratify ERA), Nixon, Ford and Bush Sr. (during primaries against Reagan) and Democratic Presidents Kennedy and Carter. After 49 years, it was approved with a restriction of seven years that Congress placed on eight other amendments. However, since Congress extended its previous deadline once, it’s high time to eliminate it altogether.”

Cook continued, “The ERA is NOT a partisan divide but an exciting opportunity to honor our servicewomen with dignity and respect as full and equal citizens under the Constitution which they sacrifice life and limb to protect; to extend full and equal citizenship to immigrant and American-born women and to embrace woman-owned businesses, employees and caregivers as an integral part of our economic and social prosperity.”

The full text of the Equal Rights Amendment:

Section One: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.

Section Two: The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section Three: This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

CONTACT: Carolyn Cook, Founder/CEO, United 4 Equality, LLC / 202-309-1963
For more information:

United for Equality is a social justice enterprise formed in 2010 to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.


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On Immigration Reform, Illinois, and the Equal Rights Amendment


So where does the President stand with regards to women’s total equality when his home state of Illinois is attempting to ratify the federal Equal Rights Amendment TODAY to include women and girls in the US Constitution as full and equal citizens?  What, not even a peep from the White House Council of Women and Girls?

Are we missing something?  Is this something to hide?  Something to be ashamed of?   More political bad news? Not for Representative Lou Lang, the House bill’s lead sponsor and United 4 Equality’s local ERA hero.  He’s thrilled!

Heck, if Illinois became the 36th state, we would only need two more states for victory, Gang!

BUT, the silence among lawmakers, the media, law schools, and feminist groups about women’s exclusion from America’s constitution is deafening.

Folks, when the President and Congress debate Immigration Reform as a top priority for this Administration and the Democrats have the Equal Rights Amendment on the Party’s platform, then it darn well better include all women of this country becoming full citizens under the 1943 Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution.

Otherwise, then let’s call it what it really is… IMMIGRANT MALE REFORM – a path for immigrant male citizenship.  So what else is new than America once again granting citizenship to males only?

Join the ERA 2015 campaign!  Make a contribution and pledge your allegiance to women’s equality under the U.S. Constitution!

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ERA: Don’t Hit the Reset Button – 3 States To Go!

Augusta Free Press, August 25, 2010

(In commemoration of Women’s Equality Day and the 90th anniversary of women’s suffrage)

When you’re competing against the clock for the grand prize, you may not win, but at least you’re entitled to your previous winnings.

Not so with the Equal Rights Amendment. Congress gave women the nod they were due, but their blessing came with a seven-year hitch. Constitutional equality was an all-or-nothing proposition to be achieved within seven years. Considering it took 72 years to obtain a right to vote, a time limit for all other rights was doomed to fail.

ERA was first introduced in 1923 by Alice Paul, a Republican, lawyer and courageous suffragist – who was imprisoned, tortured and force-fed to obtain the vote for women. ERA was essential to acquire all other legal, economic, social and political privileges that were customarily the birthright of men only.

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

Forty-seven years of stagnation prompted 20 courageous Pittsburgh NOW members to disrupt a Senate hearing with homemade signs demanding immediate action on ERA. Civil disobedience could have led to their arrest but ultimately freed ERA from congressional stalemate by an overwhelming majority in 1972.

ERA attracted over 450 organizations. People from all walks of life lobbied, petitioned, raced, marched, rallied, picketed and boycotted for its passage. It was favored by a majority of Americans, scoring an impressive 67 percent in a nationwide survey. Women’s groups pressed for an extension but were granted only three more years. Despite 35 states approving ERA, it fell three states short of becoming the 27th Amendment. On June 30, 1982, the campaign launched by Congress was ended by Congress.

Does a human’s right to equality expire?

My friend’s husband told me he supports ERA as long as he doesn’t lose his “perks.” ERA doesn’t apply to the private lives of individuals or business. ERA would eliminate sex discriminatory laws while expanding beneficial laws to both sexes equally. It guarantees that the full range of opportunities exist for all individuals based on their talents, capabilities and preferences, and not limited by gender or stereotype. ERA would ensure that sex discrimination is guaranteed the same protection as race discrimination. It expands individual freedom by limiting government interference.

Will women earn equal pay for equal work? Will public policies provide greater flexibility for parents struggling to balance work and family? Will government be held accountable to eliminate sex-based hate crimes such as rape and domestic violence? At what point will the FCC and FTC determine that violent, hate-filled images and lyrics directed at women and girls crosses the line of entertainment and free speech to jeopardize peace and security? ERA is the foundation to begin to address these questions.

In exile for 27 years, ERA is finally making a comeback. Congress needs to listen. Citizens did not abandon ERA in 1982 – you suspended our campaign. In case you’re unaware, women are working 24/7 both inside and outside the home. We are making daily sacrifices for our country, our families, our education, our careers, and our communities. We simply don’t have the freedom to organize in our own interests. We’re too busy caring for everyone else’s.

In 2009, Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, Florida and Louisiana reintroduced the federal ERA. All five attempts were defeated. How can a handful of legislators control the interests of 157 million women? Behind closed doors with no media attention.

Article 5 of the Constitution grants Congress the power to amend the ratification process. Will Congress hit the reset button on ERA and require all 38 states again or use its powers to jump start the ratification process by removing the time limit for the final three states to continue?

With an economy struggling to get back on track – beginning a nationwide ERA campaign requiring 38 states is both unrealistic and unnecessary. Give women a head start and a fighting chance by accepting the 35 states that have already approved ERA, remove the time limit and allow us to target the three last states necessary to take that victory lap in 2015. Ready. Get Set. Game On!

Carolyn Cook is the founder of United For Equality, LLC and the DC representative for the ERA Campaign Network.

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