“Equality of Rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on the account of sex.” (Eracampaign.com) The truth about the Equal Rights Amendment is that technically, under the constitution, women do not have the same rights as men do. Equality: the state or quality of being equal; correspondence in quantity, degree, value, rank, or ability. (dictionary.com) Every citizen in the United States, is striving to be equal as every other American, but the truth is the United States Constitution does not state that men and women have equal rights.
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The Equal Rights Amendment was proposed in 1923. Fifteen states choose not to ratify the amendment, these states include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia. The mission of the Equal Rights Amendment is to confirm, and ratify an amendment that states, men and women have the same equal rights as one another. Alice Paul was the citizen who introduced the Equal Rights Amendment, and strived to show a greater message in her journey. Her message had become so widely popular, that it was more commonly referred as the Alice Paul Amendment then the Equal Rights Amendment. (equalrightsamendment.org)
“We are a national, non-partisan, single-issue, grassroots organization. Our mission is to build solidarity among Americans for ratifying and promulgating the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution.” (4era.org) The previous quotation is from a well known organization called 4era. The main purpose of this organization is to educated citizens of the need to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, so that both men and women are considered as equals. The view point of 4era is that they are trying to promote a true progression of a realistic democracy, and improve the United States society as a whole. This organization has conducted many different petitions and poles, to show what American citizens think about the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Another organization that has become widely popular is NOW, which has a similar mission that they are trying to receive. Some of the founders of NOW were Gene Boyer (1925-2003), Kathryn Clarenbach (1920-1994), and Inez Casiano (1926–). In 1967 (NOW) ledges to fight until the ratification of ERA is put into place. (womenhistory.about.com)
A majority of 4era reasoning for ratifying the constitution come from the many poles and petitions that they provide for United States citizens to take. In July 2001, 4era a survey was conducted for the Era Campaign Network in order to see a clear view of the American population. This survey involved 1,002 adults, comprising 500 men and 502 women- 18 years of age or older, living in private households in the continental United States. 4era conducts their surveys with the most advanced methods and technologies that are available to them. 95% of men agreed that men and women should have equal rights. 97% of women agreed that men and women should have equal rights. As far as you know, does the constitution make it clear that men and women citizens are suppose to have equal rights? 72% said yes. 18% said no. 10% said that they did not know. In your opinion, should the constitution make it clear that female and male citizens are supposed to have equal rights? 88% said yes. 9% said no. 3% said that they didn’t know. This survey ended up showing that a majority of American citizens think that it is important that it is put into the constitution that men and women have equal rights. (eracampaign.net)
There are several reasons why many organizations are for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Firstly, it would provide a constitutional and legal reason for both men, and women to have equal opportunities. This would end discrimination in the workplace, and any other institution that may be discriminate because of sex. In There would be no question of discrimination against either sex, because there rights would officially be protected in the U.S. Constitution. There are also several organizations that are against the ratification the amendment, including an organization called the Campaign Committee against the Equal Rights Amendment, though it later was disbanded in Feb.1939, for lack of money to keep the organization going. (now.org)
Secondly, the Equal Rights Amendment would help clarify the status of sex discrimination for the courts. (equalrightsamendment.org) From then on, sex would be a determining factor for suspect classification, just as other factors are including different races. Men and women would have to be treated the same when it would come to such matters. Both sexes would receive the same equal treatment, when dealing with criminal facilities, and the treatment that they receive in these facilities while serving time.
Lastly, in many American citizens’ opinions it would send a strong message to the entire United States of America. The fact is that there is no specific part of the amendment where is states that men and women are constitutionally allowed to have the same rights. In many peoples opinions, if the ratification doesn’t happen soon the discrimination of women will become even harsher. The message that it would be sending is- the constitution has zero tolerance for sex discrimination under the law. The ERA is suspected to be very helpful. (equalrightsamendment.org)
The Equal Rights Amendment will be very beneficial towards women, but it will also help other people, including males. For example, males that work in a workplace with more women typically do not get the salary that the females receive; if this amendment is past it will change this. Though not as severe, there is some discrimination against men in the US. There have been some cases in the past were American women have a child overseas. Under the constitution, that child will automatically become an American citizen. It is not the same for men, if a child is both from an American man, but not an American women, the child would not be American. If the Equal Rights Amendment is past it will change this, so these situations would no longer cause problems. (4era.org)
There are many myths involving after the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. The first myth is that ERA will mean that women will have to be drafted along with men. This statement is incorrect. The truth is Congress already has the power to do so, even if this amendment is not passed. Women can still be drafted if they were needed to serve for their country. “Article 1, section 8 of the constitution gives Congress the power to raise armies but does not specify gender or age limitations.” (4era.org)
The second myth that is commonly heard is the Era will allow same sex marriages across the United States. This is also untrue. Though in the ERA it states that men and women are guaranteed the same rights, but it does not state anything about marriage. When it states “sex” in the constitution it is only referring to gender, this also has the same stating in the 19th Amendment. The 19th Amendment also gives women the right to vote. Same-sex marriage is not covered in the ERA, and will not change after the ratification of the ERA. (4era.org)
The third myth is that this amendment will not have any purpose because the rights of women are already protected under the 14th amendment. The 14th amendment states, “No state shall make, nor enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; now deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”(eracampaign.net). In actuality, there is no part of the amendment that says women are guaranteed the same rights as men are. The main purpose of passing the 14th amendment was to guarantee that African Americans were given the same rights, though African American women are not guaranteed under this amendment, as well as any other females. Though the 14th amendment has helped women a lot in the past, will different cases of discrimination, it is not a sure thing.
There are many important people that have put the problem of women’s rights into perspective. Betty Friedan led the “National Organization for Women” to its active support of the Equal Rights Amendment. Alice Paul was the main reason for ERA; she introduced the entire concept to the Congress in 1923. Alice Paul died on July 9th, 1977 at the age of 92. Gloria Steinem was both a feminist and journalist. She was the key figure in the women’s rights movement from 1969. She also founded Ms. Magazine. She was often attacked by radicalisms, because she was believed to only promote benefits for women of the middle class. She was a very outspoken advocate for the ERA, and helped found the National’s Women Political Caucus. She once quoted this, “I have met brave women who are exploring the outer edge of human possibility, with no history to guide them, and with courage to make them vulnerable that I find moving beyond words.” (womenshistory.about.com)
There has been some controversy over the ERA, because some people are worried that it will have a negative effect on society. Though there have been similar problems in the past that have been resolved the same way. During the Civil War Act helped many people, including African Americans. Racism was a very huge issue, but after the Act was passed racism was no longer a factor and was no longer tolerated in the United States. The Equal Rights Amendment is very similar to the Civil War Acts. Just like the Civil War Acts eliminated the issue of racism, the Equal Rights Amendment will eliminate the issue of sex discrimination. (equalrightsamendment.org)
In many citizens’ opinions, the time for the ratification has past and that there is no longer a chance that it will get ratified. Though, with the election of Barack Obama (2008 president) , many other people think that this is the perfect time for ratification. During an awards ceremony, a representative from the National Women’s Political Caucus on July 14, 2009, that she wished to pursue trying to get the amendment ratified even further. During the assemble she announced, “If we can get it to the floor, it can pass.” This representative said that she was going to present the ideas to Congress on July 21, 2009. Though for different reasons, she was never able to present her ideas to Congress. (womenissues.about.com)
There are been many recent events that have involved the ERA discussion, up-to-date members are still voting to expand the constitutional amendment strategy that would end any discrimination based on the qualities of sex, race, sexual orientation, marital status, ethnicity, national origin, color, or indigence. Members also call for further study of age, and the troubles that classes that are involved with the struggles of trying to get constitutional equality between all Americans. In my opinion I think that ratifying the amendment would solve a lot of discrimination problems that are faced every day in America. The National Constitutional Equality Amendment (CEA) Committee continues to look over the amendment. This organization produces much different information that is available to all of the public, so they can be educated on the topic. (now.org)
Equality is a quality that cannot just be given to a person. It must be earned and achieved, by hard work, and determination. Though the ratification has been rejected in the past, many people feel the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment is needed, so that not only women no longer have to deal with discrimination, but every American have there our equality. Future events will shape what will happen with the Equal Rights Amendment, and the ratification of such amendment, but for now, the true is, under the Constitution of the United States of America women to not have equal rights such as men do.
Work Cited Page
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Women, Web. 19 Apr. 2010. <http://www.now.org/issues/economic/cea/history.html>.
Unknown. “ERA Campaign Network .” ERA Campaign Network, 30 June 2009 . Web. 20 Apr.
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