The ERA Campaigner (www.ERACampaign.net) writes in its May 13 issue about some of the reasons the ERA has been on the backburner all these years. Passed in Congress in 1972, the ERA requires only three more states to ratify it. What's holding it back?
One reason is connected to "the times" -- more pressing issues in legislatures.
Another reason is "opposition".
The question has to arise: why such vehemence in the opposition? What scares the sh-- out of so many people about recognizing women's rights in the U.S. Constitution?
Read on (from the ERA Campaigner newsletter:
Advancing Full Equality Regardless of Gender
The extreme no-holds-barred vehemence of the opposition -- small in number of adherents, but great in power and resources - points to how significant the ERA will be in achieving major advances toward full legal equality for women. Inevitably, the addition of the ERA to the constitution will permit women (and men when they are the victims of sex discrimination) to proactively challenge and overturn the remaining sex discriminatory aspects of federal, state and local laws and their implementation. The ERA will also empower women and their male supporters to actively oppose other still-ingrained sex discriminatory cultural and societal patterns, including damaging assumptions about the comparative abilities and characteristics of girls and boys, women and men.
What is opposition to the ERA really all about? It is a frantic last ditch attempt to block, and then reverse, one of the most extraordinary and mighty tides of change in all of human history: the emergence, at last, of the long suppressed female half of the human race to full and equal participation in society and the shaping of a better future for all.
NOTE: This article was originally published, with the title "Equal Rights Amendment Still Brings Out Ranters," in www.OnTheIssuesMagazine.com, Spring 2009 issue. To go directly to the article on their website, visit http://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com/2009spring/2009spring_7.php
How to Help ERA Ratification Efforts in Not-yet-ratified States
Although there are still 15 not-yet-ratified states (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia), just three more state ratifications are needed to reach the required 38 (three-fourths of the 50 states). ERA activists in the following states are currently campaigning vigorously for their state's ratification, with strategies tailored to suit the state's particular political and social environment. All of them welcome volunteers, contributions, and other kinds of assistance:
ARKANSAS: The ERArkansas Coalition; contact Berta Seitz, e-mail email@example.com.
FLORIDA: The Florida Equal Rights Alliance ("Florida ERA"), www.RatifyERAflorida.net; contact Sandy Oestreich, e-mail SandyJOestreich@cs.com.
ILLINOIS: Contact Emily Battin, e-mail Emily1@consolidated.net.
LOUISIANA: Louisiana Coalition for the Equal Rights Amendment, www.la-4-equity.us; contact Sandra Hufstetler, e-mail sphufstetler@i-55-com.
MISSOURI: Missouri ERA, Missouri Women's Network, and Missouri ERA PAC; contact Shirley Breeze, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or Mary Mosley, e-mail email@example.com.
STAY TUNED for developments in those and other states: When ONE of them ratifies the ERA, others are likely to quickly follow!