Thursday, March 10, 2022

Remembering the Equal Right Amendment Battle

In my younger days (grade school/high school), there was a huge debate over the proposed equal rights amendment. Even at the time I thought it bizarre that anyone would oppose it. It seemed to me that it would be down right embarrassing to oppose equal rights, something akin to supporting slavery.  Yet the amendment never passed. 

As the linked Wikipedia article above states it failed because:

the ERA seemed destined for ratification until Phyllis Schlafly mobilized conservative women in opposition. These women argued that the ERA would disadvantage housewives, cause women to be drafted into the military and to lose protections such as alimony, and eliminate the tendency for mothers to obtain custody over their children in divorce cases

No wonder I supported the ERA. 

Women should be drafted into the military, alimony should not be based on gender or better yet eliminated, and gender should not be take into account when determining custody. It is just has hard for me now to understand how anyone would think otherwise as it was understanding why anyone would be opposed to equal rights for women when I was a kid. 

The irony is that without obtaining the very things Schlafy feared would happen, we will never have equal pay for equal work nor equal representation of women in politics and corporate leadership positions. 

We have a long way to go to achieve a truly equal society. 

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