is it time to bring back the ERA?

imgresRaise your hand if you remember when the ERA was not ratified in 1979 due to 5 states rescinding their ratification.  I do.  I remember how upset my Mom was and how it just seemed so impossible that in 1979 there were not equal rights.  It was Phyllis Schlafly, a highly educated (Washington University and Radcliffe) right wing conservative who mobilized other conservative women because she felt that by passing this law that it would disadvantage housewives.  Frightening is the only word that comes to mind.

I had the pleasure of sitting next to the Notorious RGB at a small dinner and this came up.  What is amazing about RGB is that she is not only is she all about the law but perhaps because she is older she has zero problems speaking her mind.  It was amazing just listening to her speak about how when the cases get to the Supreme Court that they have been vetted so intensely that the decisions by each judge are usually made prior to the actual case being heard.  I had no idea.

She talked about the ERA too.  130 out of 143 countries around the globe have gender equality laws in their constitution.  We do not.  We pretend to operate like we do but perhaps it is time to get a case up to the Supreme Court.  108 Women sat in the served in the 114th Congress (January 2015).  That is 20% of the total membership.  Why don’t these women get together and bring back the ERA?  I know the Notorious RGB would be routing for this.

The passing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is a step but it is time to one step further.  I think it is time….and perhaps the ERA will force companies to close the pay gap and a variety of other inequalities.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Amy Millman

    I’m in!

    1. Gotham Gal

      Of course you are!!

  2. laurie kalmanson

    i’m a fan; bought the book for my daughterhttp://notoriousrbg.tumblr….

    1. Gotham Gal


  3. JLM

    .The ERA is one of those issues for which women have a twisted and distorted memory of history. It had been around forever — since the 1920s in different names — and was opposed by such as Eleanor Roosevelt while being championed by such as Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon.Somehow through the years, it has become completely misunderstood.The ERA has been in the Republican platform for every Presidential elections since 1940-80. The Democrats included it in their platform in 1944 but did not unite behind it until 1972.The Amendment to the Constitution was three votes shy of passage before 5 states rescinded their favorable votes. Several states ratified it in one chamber of a bicameral legislative body while being unable to approve it in the other.The Dems have been against it famously including the ACLU, the AFL-CIO, the American Nurses Association.Kennedy — a darling of the labor unions — opposed the ERA. He appointed a phony commission to study it and appointed Eleanor Roosevelt to chair it. ER, equally famously, opposed it, though she did it silently. It was an enormous head fake.One can argue that the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin, and sex subsumes everything that was hoped for in the ERA.It is, of course, a law and not a constitutional amendment so while it embodies the objectives of the ERA, it is not an amendment to the Constitution.President Nixon favored the ERA and when it was passed by the Congress, he endorsed it.Every Congress since 1982 has introduced an ERA. Every one. Or extended the period for its ratification.The ERA has become essentially superfluous as individual states began to introduce state ERA equivalent legislation while the common law has incorporated universal legal decisions standing for the proposition based on the 1964 Civil Rights Act and marriage common law.It is remarkable at how little is understood about this law which was killed by the Democrats and championed by the Republicans.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…