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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

DEATH OF AN AMENDMENT

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

The Equal Rights Amendment was passed by the House and Senate on March 22, 1972. As with previous amendments, Congress placed a seven year deadline on the ratification process, which meant that thirty-eight states – three quarters of the union – had to approve it before it became law. In 1979, when the deadline was reached, it was still three states short. Bowing to pressure from special interest groups like NOW (the National Organization for Women), Congress extended the ratification period for another three years. But none of the remaining States ratified it in the allotted time and the ERA finally died in 1982.

The bill has been reintroduced at every Congressional session since then, and has been defeated every time. Why? Gloria Steinem blames Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party who, for twelve years, controlled both houses of Congress. Sadly, this so-called leader of the women’s movement is as anal retentive as the candidate she supports, Hillary Clinton. She’s going to have it her way even if that means shoving it down the throats of the women whose rights she's supposedly defending. People like her are the very reason why the women’s movement has slowed to a virtual stop. They seem to think they’re the “enlightened ones” and that the rest of us dummies should just follow along blindly. Well let me join tosca_puccini in saying that Gloria Steinem can stuff it.

Let’s take a closer look at the ERA, shall we? “Equality of rights under the law?” What rights are those? I don’t know of any State or Federal law that extends rights or privileges exclusively to men. The problem is not that we have no rights. The problem is that the laws which are meant to protect them are not enforced. Equal pay for equal work, for example. The Civil Rights Act covers that, and the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) was established to enforce it. Yet, today, the average woman is paid less than her male counterparts. So what exactly is the purpose of another law that merely reiterates what has already been established? The answer to that lies in the words “on account of sex.”

Leaders of the so-called women’s movement have long been allied with the gay rights movement. There’s nothing wrong with supporting another minority in their struggle to achieve justice. But since when is homosexuality a women’s issue? The last time I checked homosexuals comprised about ten percent of the population. Not all of them are women, but even if they were they would still only represent a small fraction of the female population. Yet it seems that these few will be the sole benefactors of the ERA while the rest of us languish in the patriarchal power structure of corporate America. If the ERA should be ratified it would mean that same-sex marriages could not be denied by any State authority since these rights could not be “abridged on account of sex.” But what does it do to increase my salary?

Now let’s look at the military, a major point of contention in the late seventies and early eighties when the ERA was being debated in the public forum, and the very reason why most women back then weren’t behind it. Under this law there would be no way to discriminate “on account of sex.” Therefore, women could be drafted and sent into combat. Now, I haven’t done a statistical study on this issue. But I’m willing to bet that most women today don’t want to be drafted into the infantry. And the way things are going there’s a good possibility that there will be a draft sometime in the near future. Leaving our children in daycare centers during their formative years is hard enough. We don’t want to leave them to fight a war for the interests of big business.

What does all this have to do with what's happening now? Well just take a look at where Hillary Clinton stands on the ERA. And, while you're at it, take a look at what she did or, should I say, didn't do to address the plight of female blue-collar workers while on the Board at Walmart -- an organization that's been cited time and again for their discriminatory practices against women. Nuff said?

7 comments:

Tosca said...

Thank you Carmen! Excellent as usual!

As I read that I began to wonder if Hillary would let Chelsea go to war. The draft of women would likely have a loop-hole for the daughters of the elite. As far as I'm concerned, they can STUFF IT!

AUNTY KATE said...

We seem to have a love-in going here between bloggers Carmen and Tosca, who in their wish to paint Hillary Clinton in a bad light, and she does not need any help to do that, they present information that leaves one gob smacked at the ignorance.

Carmen said:

"Leaders of the so-called women’s movement have long been allied with the gay rights movement. There’s nothing wrong with supporting another minority in their struggle to achieve justice. But since when is homosexuality a women’s issue? The last time I checked homosexuals comprised about ten percent of the population."

Ehhh Carms....10% of the population of the USA is around 3 million people, most of whom are tax payers just like you. And what has homosexuality got to do with women's movements? Well here's a hint. Every homosexual person has a mother somewhere who loves them and will use every platform possible to get equal rights for their sons and daughters. One can't separate the fight for women's rights from the fight for gay and lesbian rights.

In your desire to show Hillary Clinton as a heartless, conniving, self serving woman, you disparage a larger group of women to whom Clinton and every woman in your country owe a debt.

Not every woman in the Women's Liberation Movement fits the stereo type of the bull-dyke in a boiler suit. They represent women from all walks of life, and there is no law that says if you are a member of any Women's Liberation Movement you are less feminine and seek to be like men. In fact MOST of the women I have met over the years who belonged to these movements knew that they had the edge on many men, and just wanted to be recognized and rewarded for their skills and abilities.

So slam Hillary by all means, but don't lose sight of the fact that you can vote, and you can run for the Presidency of your country and you won that right from the fight of the sisters who went before you.

Carmen_ said...

Kate, here are a few things you should know:

1) Neither Gloria Steinem nor Hillary Clinton had anything to do with my right to vote.

2) Marraige isn't a right. It's not mentioned in the constitution and is not guaranteed to ANY American citizen.

4) The ERA does NOTHING for women's rights. All it does is erase the line between the genders. Sorry but I don't want to be a man. I don't want to be subject to the draft. And I'm not a lesbian. So Gloria Steinem does not represent ME. Nor does she advocate for the rights of all women. She only advocates for the few who believe that equality means going to war and marrying other women.

AUNTY KATE said...

Carmen WTF are you talking about? Marriage isn't a right because it is not mentioned in your Constitution? The right of 'heterosexual' people over the legal age to marry, which has varied with some generations, has always been a right. Unless you were a black American whom at one time in your history needed permission to marry.

I am not a Lesbian either but I will continue the fight that will allow Gay and Lesbian couples to marry. They do not deserve to be disadvantaged because religious cults don't recognize their union.

As for females being drafted. We simply can't have it both ways. If we want equal opportunities, we have to take the good with the bad.

I don't support the draft at all, for men or women, and would encourage both sexes to become conscience objectors rather than fight in illegal wars.

I am aware that Hillary Clinton can't be credited with much concerning the fight for women's rights, but the same cannot be said for Gloria Steinam she is an icon in the Women's Liberation Movement in your country and her interest in human suffering does not stop with women.

Here is one of her famous quotes and something we should aspire too:

"By the year 2000, we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God."

"It's an incredible con job when you think of it, to believe something now in exchange for life after death. Even corporations with all their reward systems don't try to make it posthumous."

-Gloria Steinam, women's rights activist.

PS. Women have never had to sacrifice our femininity to fight for equal rights.

Carmen_ said...

Kate, you're entitled to your opinions on any topic you choose. So is Gloria Steinem for that matter. But neither of you have a right to demand that the rest of us agree.

Marriage is not a RIGHT it's a CONTRACT and, as such, is controlled by the laws of the STATE in which the contract is entered into. What the ERA does is strip the State of any authority to make it's own marriage laws.

As far as religion goes -- Steinem has a right, as do you, to deny God's existence. But the rest of us will have something to say about what how our children are reared.

That's the problem with you people. You're overbearing, arrogant, and downright ignorant. And you can't accept that women in general have other concerns. You know what you should do? You should call yourselves "Defenders of Gay Rights and Atheists." The "women's rights" label is somewhat disingenuous.

You've just managed to demonstrate the kind attitude that women shy away from in the so-called feminist movement. And the reason why the women's movement has slowed down to a crawl.

BTW, I notice that tosca's post got only one negative reaction and that was from YOU.

WFG said...

Not commenting on what role feminism should play in gay rights, I do hope America will some day get things right and recognize gay marriages. I don't give a horse's ass what christian conservatives, tradionalists, etc., think; about the "insult" to their faith; about the "impact" to society. The anti gay stuff always comes off as paranoia. I'm not accusing anyone here of it, just stating my view that the church has too much power.

Carmen_ said...

You don't have to be religious to object to Gloria Steinem and her ilk. They're politicians who have lost touch with the women whom they claim to represent and only look after themselves. The only reason they alligned themselves with the Gay Rights movement is because Patricia Ireland, former president of NOW, is a bisexual. She didn't give a rip about how it would affect the women's movement.

Gloria Steinem did some good things in the past but she's lost her way. And, lately, she seems to think that getting a woman into the White House is more important than fixing what's wrong with America. She's been saying that Obama is a "token," and that Blacks get better treatment than women because of White guilt. So she's even willing to create a divide between the women's movement and leaders of the black movement who are directly responsible for getting women included in the Civil Rights Act. If it weren't for Martin Luther King and other African Americans the women's movement would've never achieved what it did in the 60's and 70's.

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