Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan
The Writer Christine de Pizan at Her Desk

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Are Women "Equal"? Of Course Not

The Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (passed Congress, 22 March 1972)

First proposed as the "Lucretia Mott Amendment" by Alice Paul in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment was so radical that its audacity terrorized all who considered it: "Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

This shocking amendment to the U.S. Constitution was introduced in every Congress between 1923 and 1972. It finally passed the Senate and then the House of Representatives in 1972--on 22 March, the proposed 27th Amendment was sent to the states for ratification. 

Obviously, since the ERA is still not part of our Constitution, it was never ratified. Why not? Well, because it's still so horrifically scary and clearly unfair. Who could possibly accept these crazy three propositions:
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification
The ERA has been reintroduced in every session of the U.S. Congress since 1982. It is still not part of the U.S. Constitution.

*Update, January 2017: An Equal Rights Amendment was introduced into the 115th Congress shortly after it was convened in January. In the Senate, on 20 January 2017, Robert Menendez (D-NJ) once again introduced the amendment; in the House, on 24 January 2017, the bill was once again introduced by Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). In both houses, the resolution was sent to committee. Where, once again, it died.

For more on this, click here. For a complete list of all the resolution's co-sponsor's in the House of Representatives, click here.

Update, 20 April 2018: Could it be that there is some movement on passage of the Equal Rights Amendment? The New York Times Editorial Board suggests that there might be. To read "A Rebuke to Trump, A Century in the Making," click here. (Wish I could be as hopeful . . . )

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