28th 2013
We can haz ERA now?

Posted under: American history, Gender, unhappy endings, women's history

Now that we have unisex bathrooms (in many places, they’re disguised under the sneakily wholesome name “family bathroom”) and women fully recognized for the combat roles they’ve played in the past few wars, can we have an Equal Rights Amendment?  I haven’t checked in with Phyllis Schlafly recently, but as I recall, her Eagle Forum was full of dark warnings about the fate of the republic should unisex bathrooms and women in combat ever come to pass.

But lo:  the sun still rises on Columbia in the East!  And don’t tell Mrs. Schlafly, but there are several states that permit not just unisex bathrooms or same-sex civil unions but gay marriage.  Shhhhhhhh!  

We will get fooled again! And again, and again, and again.

I suspect the real problem isn’t the political opposition to a revived ERA.  The real problem appears to be that there isn’t a political constituency or organization demanding an ERA, probably because women are just as susceptible to Whig fantasies of history as men are.  We don’t demand an ERA because most of us mostly think we’re already there.  But consider:  wouldn’t an ERA offer sustenance in fighting several of the recent state laws passed requiring abortion providers to rape their patients with instruments before any abortion procedure can be performed?  Would it be nice to have in the bank, as it were, in a country that worships the U.S. Constitution as holy writ?

Of course, the problem is right now that we’d have to count on those same state legislatures who have mandated rape by medical instrument to ratify an ERA.  This alone should serve as an impetus to amend the U.S. Constitution:  the passage of the ERA was much more politically likely 40 years ago than it is now!


10 Responses to “We can haz ERA now?”

  1. Contingent Cassandra on 28 Jan 2013 at 10:05 am #

    Sounds like a good idea to me. My brother stole my button to add to his political-button collection, but I think I’ve got my wallet card somewhere. . . .

  2. Susan on 28 Jan 2013 at 10:54 am #

    Sigh. Yes, we need an ERA. The other reason there is no constituency to demand it is that we’ve been sufficiently successful that many of us are doing too much to organize for ourselves.

  3. Indyanna on 28 Jan 2013 at 11:07 am #

    lakegirlvintage has an (apparently) “game-used” yellow and purple sash from the July 9, 1978 March on Washington to extend the deadline for ratification of the amendment, held together by a button, for sale on the web for $125. My best, maybe only, memory of that day was thousands of buses streaming down the East Coast on I-95 stopping at the median section rest stops in Maryland. Men were not invisible on these buses, but of course gigantically in the minority, and women by the hundreds just stormed the restrooms, M & F–sometimes almost shrieking and laughing–with the authorities nowhere to be seen, prudently enough.

    Congress did extend the deadline, as I remember, to no good end. I’ve heard arguments to the effect that states which ratified and didn’t withdraw are still in the bank as ratified. But that would doubtless precipitate another firefight with the party that wants to change the electoral college to give the side with fewer votes more power.

  4. truffula on 28 Jan 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    According to all of my dude (and they are all dudes…both at my recently departed and imminent arrival departments) colleages, women have it just fine now. The playing field is totally level, they all totally dig the ladies, and just don’t see any evidence of sexism at all. Groovy!

  5. koshembos on 28 Jan 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    There is no constitutional, political and otherwise equality for everyone in our society because we are about 50-100 (arbitrary figures) years from the that obvious and needed goal. We are closer to practical slavery than anytime after Lincoln. If the political evolution will stay as it is, FDR’s, and LBJ’s, changes such as SS, Medicare, minimum wage and support for the poor have seen their hay days.

    The country, its political system and even its liberal are reactionaries.

    Lack of ERA is a tip of glacier.

  6. Feminist Avatar on 28 Jan 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    In Australian academia, ERA stands for ‘Excellence in Research for Australia’ and is the system by which every two years our research is assessed and then our institutions ranked, and then state money distributed to the institutions (based on rank). As you can imagine, it is an administrative excercise that no one enjoys.

  7. Comradde PhysioProffe on 28 Jan 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    Would it be nice to have in the bank, as it were, in a country that worships the U.S. Constitution as holy writ?

    Actually, it is the Constitution absent its amendments (well, except for the obvious one) that the degenerate fuckebagges you allude to worship as a fetish object. I doubt they would be particularly impressed with another amendment.

  8. Knitting Clio on 29 Jan 2013 at 7:17 am #

    There is a political organization called ERA NOW:


    Spread the word!

  9. quixote on 29 Jan 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Let’s see. Young women are waxing their pubic hair to please boyfriends. At least among the young, we’re back to complete gender segregation in clothing: totally formfitting vs baggy. Women are still paid three quarters or less of what men are paid. Women work in near-equal numbers to men but still do most of the housework. Women are still raped, killed, beaten, and abused by men. And the ERA is no longer a long shot. Now it’s not even on the table.


  10. Indyanna on 30 Jan 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    It gets worse. According to a story coursing around on the news aggregators in the East this morning (I didn’t have a chance to read it closely as I had to travel all day), there is a “study” out there somewhere showing that husbands who do “her work” around the house get/have “less sex” (presumably intra-marital) than their counterparts who hole up in the garage or detached workshop building boats or assembling deer rifles. If that’s a “study” done at a proverbial “leading [public] university,” it would be interesting to FOIA the IRB file (can you do that?) and see how it got put together. What if it was a three-year national study and N=25?

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