Do American Women Still Need an Equal Rights Amendment?

We’re already living in Phyllis Schlafly’s nightmare.

Comments: 209

  1. I confess; Phyllis Schlafly is probably my least favorite person in the whole world. If the ERA does ever pass, I will spend the day thinking of Mrs. Schlafly and the long arc of history.

  2. July 4, 1776, the founders proclaimed that "all men are created equal." The choice of the word, "men" was deliberate, it referred to white, male land-owners, and it was not until 1920, after many setbacks and much discrimination, that women obtained the right to vote in the U.S. There may still well be white men of wealth in power who would, if they could, roll back women's right to vote along with the rights of many others. Schlafly allied herself with such reactionary men. The U.S. can do better and should now adopt the E.R.A.

  3. @Mynheer Peeperkorn Between 1776 and 1790, voting rights were withdrawn from women in New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Women continued to have the vote in New Jersey until it was revoked in 1807. In Wyoming from 1969 and Utah from 1870 women were eligible to vote. Seven years later the Congress revoked women's suffrage in Utah, then still a territory, arguably as an act of religious persecution to reduce the LDS church's influence. A number of other states, including Utah upon its statehood, enacted women's suffrage before the nineteenth amendment was approved in 1920 and settled the issue for the more backward states.

  4. @Mynheer Peeperkorno The English words “men” and “man” are ambiguous, and the founders (at least some of them) were ambivalent about equality. “Man” can mean male humans, or it can mean all humans. This causes no end of confusion. Thomas Jefferson’s soaring words about equality reveal a concept far broader than the persecution and bigotry of the society he was born into. I have to believe he foresaw a day when slavery would be unnecessary for people who wanted to do great things in Virginia. SO! We’re living in his future. Virginia can take the next step in bringing about what was surely his dream by ratifying the ERA.

  5. @Mynheer Peeperkorn Equality in 1776 referred to the nature of inherited power (aristocracy) in that the US would have no hereditary nobility ("all men are created equal"). It had nothing to do with equality as we see equality now. It was tied to land and power again through the connection to inherited nobility. It is the wrong document to use Equality before the law was all it demanded and women have equality before the law under the 14th Amendment.

  6. Do we need the ERA? Yes. When? ASAP Why? Because it’s right. Or put another way, because there are no good arguments against the ERA. There never were.

  7. @July "Or put another way, because there are no good arguments against the ERA. There never were." That reasoning has never stopped Republicans before.

  8. I remember the 80s when schafly, a lawyer, lectured women against working outside the home, while she did exactly that. oh yes we need the ERA.

  9. As a teenager in the 80s, I always wondered why nobody ever called her out on her hypocrisy regarding her own family values. In a funny way, she was a role model to those of us who didn’t believe that women should stay behind “to tend the hearth and home.” Why should we stay at home, when she was out — far from her husband, children and home — leading press conferences and trying to sway legislation?

  10. @DLF Plus one of her sons is gay. She was such a hypocrite.

  11. @carol Yes, she urged mothers to stay at home and cate gor their children themselves whole she had nannies and housekeepers to care for her 6 children while she was out working to please herself. She was a total hypocrite.

  12. While we’re at it, why bother to codify any laws which might perpetuate the notion that human life has value? Think of all the innocent corporations.

  13. According to the Supreme Court corporations have rights just like people and since they have a lot more money than most people they really have an elevated status above any particular one individual this really sticks in my craw

  14. I would like to not only see women be required to register for the draft and potentially be called to serve in combat, but all ages of men and women (who have not already served in the armed for es) be required to register and serve should our national defense require it regardless of age or infirmity. No trump or Cheney or Limbaugh deferments. Then we'll see how cavalier we are about sending our citizens into harm's way.

  15. @Brad, You may want to rethink "regardless or age or infirmity". Do you believe that a 75 year old grandmother should serve? Does she bring her own walker or does the Army supply one for her? I agree that women should be subject to the sames rules as men, but taking it to your extremes makes no sense.

  16. @Brad Good idea to re-institute the draft. My notion is to take some of the " military soldier budget" - say half - and develop a domestic service corps as an option. Let the domestic servers work in our national parks repairing trails, read to children in under-served/under-staffed public schools, visit with lonely senior citizens, and perform other good deeds to strengthen our common good.

  17. Brad: My 78-year-old mother has had two knee replacements and back and open-heart (quadruple bypass) surgery. She is not exactly what you’d call “combat ready.” However, if there’s a job in the military that’s defined by making the most delicious pot of soup, writing a lovely thank-you note, holding an infant, or making a beautiful quilt, my mom could surely rise to the ranks of a Four-Star General.

  18. Washington State both ratified the ERA and amended the state constitution with essentially the same language in the early 1970’s. If you want to see what ratification would mean, look at our laws. After the state amendment we went through the Revised Code of Washington and brought state law into compliance with the ERA. It continues to guide official policy and legislation.

  19. If you can grant a right, you can take it away. I'd rather see an amendment that says all humans are created equal all day every day in every situation. No one should be denied their rights based on a piece of skin that is shaped one way for men and another way for women. Yes, each person is unique. Let's celebrate the diversity, the potential, the abundance that each person offers and stop pretending that one kind of person is better or more deserving than any other.

  20. Honey This is a lovely sentiment, but’s sadly, not practicable at present in most states. I closely followed recent efforts in Delaware to pass the ERA with this type of inclusive language. Guess why it failed? Push back against trans and gay people being included under such a broad statute. White, cis-Gender legislative majorities don’t appear to believe that “all people are equal under the law”

  21. @Honey We already have one: Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or 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; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

  22. @OneView That guarantees only that the federal government will not abridge a citizen's rights. Not that it's working particularly well.

  23. The North Dakota Legislature has a bill before it to undo the prior approval of the ERA. They claim the ERA is no longer necessary. They have demonstrated over and over that they know more than the citizens of our state. This would just be one more example.

  24. @Emariel These attempts to rescind earlier state action to approve the ERA are as pointless as attempts now to gain additional state approvals, long after expiration nearly forty years ago of the approval period that the Congress specified. Both are political theater, signifying nothing.

  25. As the fourteenth amendment has it, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or 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; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. it also grants the Congress the power to enforce its provisions by legislation. Female persons are persons and, if born in the US, are protected. On its face, the equal rights amendment is redundant with the fourteenth, and so is the nineteenth amendment.

  26. @Thomas D. Dial So then why, do you think, are we saying we need it? I'll tell you. The 14th talks the talk, but the country isn't walking the walk on these issues. A more specific law might help us get there.

  27. @Thomas D. Dial That’s not the way Scalia saw it.

  28. @SFR The full text of the operative part of the ERA is "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 Congress would have no more authority to enact legislation if this were passed than it has now. Moreover, constitutional provisions are not self-enforcing, but depend on legislation and enforcement of the laws.

  29. ERA or no ERA, just think about this: Never, in the history of this country, has there ever been such a small percentage of men living with, and supporting, the mothers of their children and their children. (It's googleable). Feminism has not worked out the way many women wanted it to. Or am I missing something here?

  30. @Kenneth Johnson You are missing the fact that, whatever men do or don't do vis a vis their children, more and more women are seeking and gaining meaningful work. They now need programs to assure them of equal pay and to help with childcare and after-school programs for their children. Other Western countries offer these things. Why not ours?

  31. Well, I think to the extent it’s because women have the social permission and financial wherewithal to leave abusive it unfulfilling marriages, that’s great. To the extent it’s men not taking on the responsibilities associated with parenthood - either by actually being the ones who leave and don’t pay child support or by being so useless their partner decides she is better off without him, I guess you *could* blame it on feminism, but personally I blame the men.

  32. @Kenneth Johnson I think it is very sad that there are so many children whose fathers do not live with, love and support their biological families. However, I do not blame this on feminism. I blame it on a culture where young women are seen primarily as sex objects to be exploited and sex is seen as a casual sport with no strings attached. Feminism is necessary so that women can provide for their children (by earning a decent salary) since so many fathers will not.

  33. Yes, many of the things Schafly feared have occurred. The question is whether they would have occurred sooner with the impetus of a Constitutional amendment. We’ll never know.

  34. Those who want to take the country backward prevent the ERA from being passed. Ms. Schlafly was wrong in thinking that giving women equal rights would "destroy motherhood." In fact is has made things better for men and women. Most intelligent men want equality for women. Fortunately the women that are important in my life believe in equal rights for all. Apparently there are many women that don't believe in equal rights. Witness the fact that more women (mostly white) voted for the assaulter in chief than voted for the candidate that believed in equality for women. "The Times, they are a changin'"

  35. Women mostly voted for HRC (60%). More White women voted for Trump (54%). White men carried him (68%). I just think it’s important to know the facts.

  36. Nothing in the Civil Rights Acts has been used to narrow the rights of blacks. The intent of the acts is to guarantee equal rights to blacks. And because that is clear, the courts have never ruled that these acts allow discrimination. Even the most conservative justices have consistently held that the civil rights laws do not allow job discrimination, discrimination in the schools, discrimination in the criminal justice system, or voter discrimination. If the ERA were enacted and its intent were as clear as that of the Civil Rights Acts, there is likewise no reason to believe that women would lose food subsidies, the right to separate bathrooms, the right to equal pay, and protection against sexual harassment. Equal rights laws are meant not only to guarantee equal rights, but also to promote the interests of minorities. Interpreting such laws to constrict rights is irrational and cannot reasonably be justified.

  37. @michjas The Civil Rights laws grant equal protection to women as well as minorities, and it is not a Constitutional Amendment. It is not clear how an amendment is helpful.

  38. @ebmem The article is about how the ERA would be detrimental. You argue that it might not be beneficial. You may be right, but you miss the point.

  39. More than half of white women voted for Trump, and at this point there is no possibility of winning 2/3rds of Congress or State legislatures for an equal rights amendment. How do we win white, working and middle class Christian women to equal rights for women? Women need secure, decently paying jobs, free college or training school, health care, good public education for their kids, daycare and preschool, paid maternity leave and sick leave. Supporting women and children undermines patriarchy by making women more independent. A progressive program of taxing the rich to pay for jobs and social services shows women they can accomplish their own aspirations to benefit their families.

  40. Life insurance premiums are different for men and women because women on average live longer than men. Whites on average live longer than blacks but the Court has struck down unequal premiums for the different races. A strict interpretation of the ERA would forbid different insurance premiums for men and women.

  41. @david The ERA, as written, would not prohibit private entities like insurance companies from discriminating rationally (that is, on an actuarially sound basis) between based on sex. Everyone knows, or should, that although women, on average, are not as large or strong as men, they are, on average, more resilient in some ways and longer lived. It is no less sensible to offer them lower life insurance premiums for otherwise identical policy terms than it is to uprate teen age drivers for automobile insurance. Under the ERA or, indeed, under the fourteenth amendment, Congress could regulate that by law. It is uncertain, and somewhat a matter of opinion, whether that would be good public policy.

  42. Who decides what is "RATIONAL" discrimination. Once you start making exceptions based on "RATIONAL " reasons you no longer are following the ERA which as written allows NO differences between men and women. How do you explain allowing different premiums for men and women but not different premiums for whites and blacks. If it is rational to have different rates for men and women then it is rational to have different rates for whites and blacks. The Court has struck down different premiums based on race. There are differences between men and women. The ERA would not allow ANY law to make distinctions as to how men and women are handled by the law.

  43. @david Rational, in the context of life insurance, means mainly determination of premium rates based on actuarial tables, based on experience, that document the fact that women of almost any age are likely to outlive men of the same age. That provides a rational basis to set lower life insurance premiums for women than for men. insurance premiums lower than men's. The same reasoning applies to annuities and pensions, which can be computed using the same actuarial tables, although public policy, under specific laws, may prohibit such rational discrimination in some of those cases. The ERA, if it were to be approved, would prohibit enactment of laws that discriminate between men and women. It says nothing at all about discrimination, rational or not, by private organizations. And although it would give the Congress power to enact enabling legislation, it does not require that it do so or that it deny material facts when it makes laws.

  44. Justice Scalia made his position clear - he stated that the Constitution including all current amendments, does NOT consider women as having equal rights. We really need to pass the ERA to clear this up.

  45. The ERA would forbid gender based affirmative action. That may be good or bad but that is what a strict reading of the ERA would do.

  46. In general, when discrimination against any segment of society is successfully reversed, there's inevitably a push-back; the excuse is that because the reversal was so successful, corrective action is no longer needed. The classic example is when Justice Roberts said as much to justify gutting the Voting Rights Act. Without an ERA in the Constitution, and in the current political climate especially, women's rights will be fragile indeed. And while we're at it, let's have a Voting Rights Amendment too.

  47. Its not a individual right but a right of all for centuries Europe was the primarily investment in the country which all say has our goverment bought and sold as we are a debter nation that sets policy so lets look at the owners rather the pupuit s on policy as well with Trump

  48. Hypocrisy? All members of Congress are paid $174,000. That’s not the case for Congressional staffers. A study by Maxwell Palmer, .. found male staffers working both for House representatives and senators get paid substantially more than their female colleagues. The working paper ... is the first to analyze the wage gap among Congressional staff. It’s a reminder that despite the big strides made by female candidates during the 2018 midterm elections, Congress still has a long way to go towards gender equality. Democrats who often champion equal pay legislation have been known to be the worst offenders of gender pay discrimination. ... (Quartz) What else need be said?

  49. Women like Phyllis Schlafly needed to justify or validate their choices by denying choice to others. Every person is entitled to equal rights. Then if you choose to stay home and bake apple pie, be my guest!

  50. @MS And if you choose to send your children to day care, where they will be raised by minimum wage workers, you are entitled to do so. If women valued equal rights and equal pay, they would pay their childcare workers more. But women value childcare at minimum wage.

  51. @ebmem if women were paid more, they could afford to pay more for childcare. Also, why do you assume only women should take care of kids?

  52. @MS Phyllis Schlafly's project was to use the law and social manipulation to deny others choices she had been able to make. Ms. Schlafly wasn't the iconic stay-at-home wife and mother she brandished to pressure other women and justify maintaining a discriminatory status quo. She was a smart, ambitious woman who was fortunate enough to be able to pursue the professional life she wanted. Unfortunately, she made it her life's work to ensure that other women would have a hard time achieving their own personal and professional goals.

  53. Admittedly I hadn't not given Schlafly a single thought in decades, she was like the mosquito on a summer's night, irritating. When she died my first response was "Finally". No tears were shed or even the slimmest bit of sadness. The progress she and her ilk impeded was staggering. For most right thinking people in this country she will not be missed, not for a moment.

  54. @Charlie in Maine. Agree 100 percent. I would go so far as to say I would enjoy dancing on her grave.

  55. This is all very hypothetical since several states that ratified the ERA have withdrawn their ratifications, leaving the ratifiers far short of the number needed. But if it were ratified, can anyone doubt that the gender warriors would be pressing the courts to interpret the ERA to give them rules that they could never get through Congress, such as "equal pay for comparable work?" Not to mention the question whether the ERA would be interpreted to cover discrimination on the basis of gender identity. So here's a real world based hypothetical for you. Assume the ERA is passed. How would it apply to the following case (which actually happened recently in Massachusetts): A transgender woman complained to the state's human rights council that she had been illegally discriminated against when the female workers at a woman's spa refused to shave and wax her male genitals as part of a Brazilian wax job offered generally to women. Does the transgender woman have a good claim of discrimination under the ERA? Be honest now.

  56. Laws should not be passed or rejected based upon extreme, one-off cases. In any event, the ERA would have protected citizens from government discrimination. The spa workers would have been off the hook, unless the government is getting involved in new revenue streams...

  57. @Douglas The Supreme Court ruled that, once a state has ratified an amendment, it can't unratify it. There is no provision in the Constitution permitting that procedure.

  58. @Douglas I’m sorry but ... that is funny. It just is! And perhaps if we could all get drunk and laugh about ourselves, trans and non binary and cis and every other oh SO serious declension of “gender”, we would all be so much more advanced than we are.

  59. I remember her. I was horrified by her. I still shudder to see her image in pictures.

  60. I put her, P. Schlafly, in same category as the Orange Juice (Anita Bryant) lady. Both were outspoken and created divide and hate. Growing up as a teen in the 70’s I really believed women would be equal. I was so hopeful. Now here I am with an almost 20 year old daughter and we are fighting for the same old crap, even abortion rights. Good grief.

  61. Yes, Janice Badger Nelson, but those of us who have grown up knowing Women came from the same place, in the same way, as men and are equal human beings will not allow this man-made suppression to continue. The proof is in The Women's March on Washington when 5 MILLION+ women around the world marched in protest of the p***y grabber in OUR white house, #MeToo, our hiring/electing Socially Conscious Women to take one-half the power and bring balance to OUR government and the millions of average, Socially Conscious Women who are speaking out and acting to bring change. NOW is the time and WE THE PEOPLE will make it so.

  62. @njglea Yes! And next we need a woman president.

  63. Schlafly and her ilk crushed my American dream of equality when I was in my 20's. I'm still angry about that.... Yes, we still need the ERA. If we are serious about equality, and I'm actually not sure that most of us are, then we need to reinstate the ratification process. I assume it will take a woman President for that to happen. With Trump as President and McConnell in the Senate and a rightwing majority in the Supreme Court, we are definitely stuck as 2nd class citizens and we may never be legally equal in this country. Right now a fetus is getting more rights than I am. Sorry, that's not my idea of equality....

  64. @sfdphd Sorry but the ERA does not guarantee abortion rights. Never has, never will.

  65. Until any and all people recognize that their opinions about reproductive rights are limited to their own lives and bodies, YES. Obviously.

  66. I agree with the author's last paragraph about careful wording of any Constitutional amendment. The 14th Amendment was supposed to provide equal protection under the law for individuals, but it has been used mostly to defend the rights of corporations. I would not like to see that happen with any future amendment. Future Amendments should to take into account that the people interpreting the laws may not be acting in good faith.

  67. The thing about the ERA is that it applies to men as well. In short, nobody gets special treatment anymore.

  68. The whole point of an ERA is to allow women to pull even to men wherever they trail male privilege, as in wages and the career ladder. To suggest that it should also benefit males by imposing rules upon family courts, divorce actions and bringing females under the Selective Service is an obscene perversion of the intent.

  69. who's asking for special treatment ?

  70. There was a study done in comparing women's participation in the STEM professions between developing countries- China, Peru, Morocco, and developed countries of the US and West Europe. It was found that there are 2 or 3 times of more percentage of women from developing countries than the counterparts of developed countries participated in Stem profession and the primary contributing factor is the law- namely, the more the government protect the woman right the more woman moved away from these professions out of their free choice whereas the women in developed countries have been free to compete against men and they succeed on their own merits of hard work. Another example is, there are a dozen female self-made billionaires in the US whereas there are 10 times more female billionaires in China- a developing country with smaller economy. The conclusion is affirmative action sometimes impede the women's economic circumstance despite its best intention.

  71. @Ted chyn Do you have a citation to support your claim that there are ten times more female billionaires in China than in the US? I've been working in China for the past nine years and this seems pretty far fetched. According to Wikipedia, of the richest 10 female billionaires in the world, 4 are in the US and 1 is in China. is not surprising because sexism and adherence to traditional gender roles are far, far more pervasive in China than in the US. Major law firms in China often won't even interview women law graduates because the firms think the women won't be able to go out drinking with clients, and that women lawyers are just going to get married, pregnant and quit working. There are no women in positions of power in the government - none. The few who have high offices are purely figureheads. I wonder if all your other claims are equally unsupported.

  72. @Douglas Check Economics 2018

  73. It has always offended me that equal rights for women would get stuck in an amendment (and even then we still can't pass it.) We are no longer bound by our founders' prejudices. Change the wording of the original Constitution to "All women and men are created equal" right in the document. All It would take is an expert calligrapher and a country that knows right from alt-right.

  74. @common sense advocate Where in the Constitution does it say "all men are created equal?"

  75. @Josiah Actually, the Constitution's text does even better: 14th Amendment: Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or 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; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

  76. I am a trans woman. When I became a woman my citizenship Status went from 1st class to 2nd class I know what it's like to give up male privilege and there was a lot to give up. I'm not sorry that I did it but I do have a clearer idea than most women and most men Of what the real differences are in our society in terms of how women are treated differently than men Women who are born as women and raised as women from childhood come to accept and take for granted they're 2nd class citizens ship status. I think that too many women are comfortable with the idea that being unequal is just part of life and must be tolerated. I've seen and lived life on both sides of the gender continuum and the female side is still most definitely stuck in "coach".

  77. Needing only three more states, the Equal Rights Amendment could have passed decades ago, if its supporters, especially women's groups, had demanded a draft and one that included women. The equal "right" (a.k.a. obligation) to risk getting killed in service to the country is the most fundamental of equalizing images. It is questionable whether an E.R.A. would solve the abortion "problem", inasmuch as abortion only applies to women. It would be ludicrous, but a state could pass a law declaring abortion illegal for everyone, men and women, in which case a Constitutional defense of abortion rights based on a simple E.R.A. might leave us pretty much where we are now, such rights predicated on a right to privacy as established in Roe v. Wade. I say "might" rather than "would" because in an earlier Louisiana case, Anderson v. Martin (1964), the Supreme Court did look past the prima facie equality of the law to the its substantive effects.

  78. Sorry, as a woman who worked as an attorney in unglamorous businesses surrounded by men, I do not think equality can be legislated.

  79. Not for us, but for our daughters - and sons. We've already seen the result of complacency. And equal rights should not depend on what state you live in.

  80. Legislation allows lawsuits, Unhappy JD, and money is all the boys understand,

  81. I taught at a private preschool years ago and the director told us that many women who worked would have preferred to stay home and be with their children. These women needed the extra money and did not really want to work. They were career oriented out of necessity and not because they wanted to be. No one will care for child to the extent that you will. Maybe men need to be paid more so that their wives can stay home and look after the children. Child rearing can be very rewarding and fulfilling.

  82. @WPLMMT Did you ask the women? Of course many people would like to stay home with their children. I imagine a few dads would as well, since child rearing is rewarding and fulfilling for many people. Definitely everyone should be paid more so that more people have the option to stay home with their children if they would like.

  83. @WPLMMT Men also work because they need money. That’s likely the primary motivation for many men for working the jobs that they do. Both men and women should be able to either work or stay at home and raise their children as they please. Neither sex should be relegated to only one domain.

  84. Maybe women should be paid more so that their husbands can stay home with the kids. I here child rearing can be very filling.

  85. The fact the the Civil Rights Act, which has to be periodically renewed, hangs on the thread of the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution in the era of Trump and Kavanaugh, means that the next thing to work on, and pronto, is a constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to vote. And, in case you are wondering, do not rely on Arizona to ratify the amendment; the vote would be very close in the lower house and right now the vote is a tie in the state senate, which means one more republican would be needed to win support there. But the head of the senate judiciary committee has stalled the vote there and will not let the committee vote on it.

  86. Isn't it just basic? Equal rights for women? Phyllis Schlafly was just out to feather her own nest, which she did, at the expense of many hard working women at all levels of society. Females have been excluded, or diminished, at all levels since the Constitution was written, despite Abigail Adams protestations. The notion that women have achieved a level playing field is ludicrous. It should be a matter of respect for women, that their standing is finally part of our country's Constitution.

  87. Instead of discussing women like Phyllis schlafly Shouldn't we be discussing women who hold us back in the present let's start the discussion with the wife of the vice president

  88. When the entirety of the Republican apparatus can't even mention "equal pay for equal work" for fear of losing support, yes, it is still necessary. When Republican groups are fighting tooth and nail to restrict, prevent and abolish women's right to choose to the point that some women live in areas that would require them to go to another state, yes, it is still necessary.

  89. I am old enough to remember attending a Junior League meeting in Birmingham wherein Phyllis Schlafly was the speaker. That was during the time frame when the ERA was proposed as an amendment to the constitution. It needed a specific number of states to ratify it and Schlafly toured the country to ratchet up opposition among women's groups. The ERA, abortion rights, and civil rights have all, in their own ways, generated solidarity among women, both white and black. On it's face, the opposition to the ERA was an ugly, overt, effort to deny women equal status as a matter of law. Back then our laws were made and enforced by men, with very few women in positions of advantage. As a result of the past two generations of women coming together to speak out and advance our rights. equal pay and employment opportunities are now a matter of law. Abortion/privacy rights remains one of the last civil rights frontiers yet to be conquered. What a time to have lived in the U.S.A.

  90. It is truly disturbing to read so many comments equating the Equal Rights Amendment with pay and military service. Equal Rights means just that, with pay for employment, or service in the military no more than aspects of ALL the Rights guaranteed in the United States Constitution. Until the pernicious effects of Male Privilege, codified through centuries of laws and common practice, are erased from the Culture as a whole, it seems to me this debate revolves but never evolves. Phyllis Schlafly was the embodiment of the concept "Females can never, and ought never, be Equal to Males." I recall all her arguments, and the 'homey' pies and preserves were symbols easily recognized as representational of Women's True Place - a kitchen. Schlafly fought as hard against equality for people of color as she fought against equality for her gender. She was in agreement with the concept of a natural, ordained societal order predetermined and absolute. All the bits and pieces noted in other comments appear to be talking points Schlafly utilized in her speeches depending on where and to whom she was speaking. It became despairingly obvious her points were effective, and I cried when the ER was defeated. I realized Universal Equality was universally feared because those with Power did not perceive the amendment as raising all boats, rather as depriving them from having a seat above all other boats. #45 uses a similar argument against immigration, and it works for him as well.

  91. @LaVerne Wheeler And I still question if she baked all those pies

  92. The notion that the ERA is still a legitimate amendment still seeking ratification is as contemptuous of the Constitution as any scheme cooked up by Trump . Its deadline was reached in 1979. The attempt to extend it to 1982 ended in 1982. The argument that having a new fight over whether the attempted extension was legal can revive the amendment itself is an interesting way to launch one's political career, however.

  93. @Sequel How, then, do you justify the 27th amendment, passed by Congress in 1789 but never ratified until 1992? The Constitution itself places no limitations on how long it may take to ratify. The deadline to ratify is a modern legislative invention dating back to the 1930s and as the ERA case illustrates, can be extended by legislation.

  94. Many voters don’t realize the Amendment Isn’t settled law yet Therefore it will be another cudgel against female presidential candidates.

  95. I was a 20 year old male when the ERA was approved in the Senate and as a man subject to the draft, I was never satisfied that the ERA would help us deal with matters that don’t really act as one might if men and women were interchangeable. The pressing example then was the draft. But others are child custody, child support and a host of matters handled by custom. Even the matter of who needs a chaperone in medical exams is not a matter subject to logic; thus, when a woman administers an EKG to me (my shirt is off) I do not need a chaperone; but when a male administers an EKG to a woman, (shirt still off) a chaperone is required. Sure we can create a check box for both male and female where they ask if a chaperone is preferred but such is just legal nonsense. A former registered Republican, I am a reliable voter for Democrats and despaired of Phyllis Shafly when she helped stop the ERA but I remain unconvinced that we can deal with the different treatment of men and woman without acknowledging that the sexes are different.

  96. @Terry McKenna Equal rights but not obligations. I'm waiting for the day when deBeers targets women's equal salaries (3 months) so they can buy that ring for their fiances Equal pay for Male models. Child custody Believe the victim (gender neutral) I am for full equality no distinction.

  97. Unfortunately, the press was not savvy enough to identify at the time what Schlafly's anti ERA movement was all about. It was a branding exercise. She did it because it ultimately elevated her not her pro family minions. Sound familiar?

  98. Yes, we do need the ERA.

  99. An historical note about equal pay for equal work. Domestics represented the largest category of women workers before 1940 but were excluded from wage and hour legislation until 1974. In contrast, many women industrial workers were covered by labor laws as early as 1908. By 1938, New Deal labor legislation covered both men and women. How had domestics been left out of these reforms? Surprisingly, prominent women's organizations, including the YWCA, the Consumers' League, the League of Women Voters, and the Women's City Club, refused to fully support the bills. Why were they so reluctant? First, the members of these organizations were middle and upper-class women worried about maintaining access to cheap household help. They, like professionals today, depended on domestics to do the housework while they pursued other interests.

  100. @david Sounds like a Phylis Schlafly move

  101. Two interesting impacts of the law that are never discussed. The impact that the notion that going to work is good and being a mom is not as good. The impact it has had on men. The impact dual income has had on income inequality. I find it fascinating seeing women of that time demanding more power (good for them) but there are never any moments where someone shows any interest on these obvious impacts at all. Really interesting how when one group is seeking more power, they really just don’t care how it affects others groups. Doesn’t matter who the group is, always happens. Someday someone may crunch the numbers and write a good book on how society has changed.

  102. @Jane I'm pretty certain that most slaves didn't want to be slave. It was most likely not as popular with today's little girls dreaming of being princesses or little boys dreams of being Spiderman. I'm pretty sure that when the proclamation was given that most of those slaves were eager to leave their masters behind. But you're right. I don't think they or many people who fought for their freedom thought "Yup, slavery is a tough call. If we set them lose there will all kinds of trouble. But on the other hand, how would you like to go living in the sunshine in Plantation home, Hunny?"

  103. Fighting for equality is fighting for oppression over freedom. Every individual should have the ability to make themselves as skilled, educated, and productive as possible and to have their skill and productivity rewarded on that individuals worth. Why would a woman want to make the same amount of money as a man who isn’t as skilled or productive as she is? We should all as individuals be free to maximize our individual value and worth. That is a fundamental principle worth fighting for.

  104. Yes, the author points out several practical needs to have an ERA, but to me the important point is: how can a society which likes to call itself free not have an ERA ?

  105. @eclectico Freedom happens on an individual level, not on a gender or group level. Equality is the opposite of freedom. A woman who has a high level of skill and productivity should be free to earn more than a man who isn’t as productive. We should all be free to maximize our individual ability and worth. Recent studies suggest that young single women in major cities make more money than their male counterparts.

  106. @John Please state you sources that give factual data indicating young single women making more money than their male counterparts. Also, why do the studies only use single women for their barometer?

  107. @John How can a woman be free if her reproductive rights are not hers to decide? Nor is what salary she will be paid for equal work of her male counterpart.

  108. The controversy over the ERA exists because women are not equal to men. Not yet.

  109. I actually believe that women now have virtually every right that a man has. I cannot see that a single area of law disadvantages women.

  110. As someone who grew up in the 60’s I believed that Feminism and Civil Right would create a better world. I know now how naïve that thinking was, all we have created in the last 50 years is a different world. I thought Civil Rights and Feminism were just the beginning of a movement to end poverty, laissez-faire capitalism and American militarism. Instead, we live in the most unequal and corrupt economy since the Gilded Age and a world where America is mired in endless wars. The movements of the 60’s morphed into identity politics and political correctness and have helped keep the country firmly in the hands of the far right. Now in this different world new people have power to use their biases and petty hatreds to create new injustices in the name of justice. The #metoo movement has forced more people to lose their jobs and ended more careers over unsubstantiated accusations than at any time since McCarthyism in the 50’s. The left uses accusations of racism, sexism and white privilege as clubs to stop any argument and stifle debate. The right is no better and often much worse. Honest debate is essential to a democracy and no one is willing to have one. Still I believe that the 14th amendment should be expanded to protect women and the LBGQT with a new amendment to guarantee everyone’s rights and protect them from fickle courts; I just don’t believe it will create a better world. Revolutions shuffle the deck, but I now believe man is incapable of creating a just society.

  111. We need the ERA even MORE than we did before. Why? Because of the encroachment of the religious right on our governments - federal, state and local. Between the evangelical Christians who support the Trumpkins and the GOP agenda of anti-reproductive rights and the orthodox Catholics of the Federalist Society who have successfully placed Catholics on the federal judiciary all the way to the Supreme Court, women are in real danger. It is not just sexism, misogyny, reproductive rights, workers rights, education opportunities, sexual and domestic violence, but our fundamental freedom to control our own lives. Don't believe that enough has been done legislatively or through judicial decisions that the ERA is not needed. Things change in our democracy - just look at how much has changed in the last two years alone. We cannot risk it - not for our daughters, granddaughters, or even ourselves.

  112. @Mimi Great comment! All this under the guise of "Religious Liberty!" Talk about the irony of the all the sexually abuse scandals now emerging out of the Catholic and South Baptist Churches. Religious liberty?!? More like Religious anomaly.

  113. I'd rather see an amendment that guarantees the rights of all workers to freely organize and bargain collectively, and which outlaws management harassment of unionized workers, and prohibits corporations from relocating for the purpose of seeking an unorganized labor force. That might actually address some of the inequality in our society. It might actually humanize our economy. And it would benefit the lives of women & men of all races, creeds, and colors. Protecting the rights of workers is the project MLK Jr. was working on when he was assassinated. And without that protection, ratification of the ERA will only benefit those in the middle and upper classes: the already-winning.

  114. @Duane McPherson We use to have the right to form unions. We gave that up when Reagan was in office. I was a young adult while it began and workers rights have continued to diminish ever since. You might be interesting in reading A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn ISBN-10:0-06-083865-5 ISBN-13:978-0-06-083865-2 Republican Kim Dexter Hendren had drafted a bill to have that book and all books written by Howard Zinn banned in Arkansas (passage was defeated). Tucson Unified School District has banned the book. When Mitch Daniels was Governor of Indiana he ordered to ban the use of any of Zinn's books. It's a history from the perspective of Native Americans, African Americans, Irish Americans, Chinese Americans, Mexican Americans, American Women, and the common worker in America. The Corporate side of things would like to see that and all of Zinn's books burns along with an effigy of Mr. Zinn. It is not difficult to read and it is not boring. It is very informative. Check it out, unless your school or public library has banned it. Then you might have to buy it on

  115. Societal changes are driven by technological change. (Changes in the way things are produced and distributed necessarily changes the way society organized.) Only when much of the work traditionally done in the home began to be done in factories and later when reliable birth control became available did the message of women's rights seem anything other than ludicrously radical. The private/public divide has been well and truly breached and whether people like it or not, social institutions will eventually catch up as they always do, but not before a nasty backlash and counter-backlash, as ever.

  116. No one is addressing the elephant in the room. How do women access the salary data of their male colleagues? Luckily I worked at a state university that is still required to provide access to salary data. Business does not provide this information to their workers.

  117. Trump and McConnell continue to pack the courts with right-wing judges. Yes, we need the ERA now.

  118. Thanks for this op-Ed. Yes, we do need an ERA. Your basic two arguments are good ones. 1) Women already have much of what was argued for, without an amendment. As I recall, when discussing a need for our Bill of Rights, a proponent said something along the lines of ‘ It can’t hurt to restate it, then’. 2) The ERA is already outdated, due to new considerations of gay, transgender rights, conundrums. Uh, that Second Amendment, mentioning militias is also pathetically outdated....but we are stuck muddling along with it. All the comments, once again make it painfully clear that our entire Constitution needs an update. Cue all the radical fears, on any side. But our system, depending on nine people to divine realities from a world now 250 years distant- unfair. To all of us. And getting worse. The electoral college, states’ rights, religious freedoms, and as was mentioned, the need for a Bill of Rights against private action, better privacy rights....and on and on. And on. Take a year or two- All law schools, scholars....present new possibilities....discuss on every media platform. Decide. It is past time. We can do it.

  119. @Jo Williams I'm whole heartily for the ERA but when I think about the pandora's box that would be opened by re-writing the entire Constitution I shutter. As it stands now the Constitution's relevancy is at the mercy of the Judges that interrupt it through their biases. A new Constitution wouldn't solve that.

  120. Revise the wording allowing something like "limited and reasonable separate but equal division by sex for clear and compelling public policy reasons," ratify the (revised) amendment, and bring the Constitution up to the civil fairness and equality standards of 1970.

  121. Seems to me that ERA proponents forgot that the are supposed to represent ALL women -- not just their kind. That is why it failed and would again. Title VII already provides these protections --- campaign instead to have it enforced

  122. It is very thought of traditional women to protect their beliefs. As young woman, my mother lived that life reluctantly. It caused great turmoil in our home. My father thought of her as property. Her family was more upper class than my dads. Everything belonged to him. As the oldest of 4 sisters and no brothers, my mothers pain and my fathers entitlement caused us difficulty. You would think for 2 attractive talented people, they could behave as adults. All we could do was to escape. The idea that she could choose her life was out of the question. How I came to believe in my own worth and independent came as a surprise. My way was to educate myself and pay my own way. I believe that male superiority is a myth perpetuated for control as is the church.

  123. We need a Constitutional equal rights for women amendment more than ever. Women's rights have been under consistent and increasingly strong attack by the far right and so-called "Christian" leaders. Trump wants to wipe out regulations requiring equal pay for females (which isn't happening in most situations in any event) and many other hard-fought for work protections; teachers unions around the country - please note primarily composed of women - have been under vicious and continued assault for years by Republican politicians at local, state and national levels; a woman's right to choose to control her own body, including whether she wants to carry a pregnancy to term, has been under relentless attack as well. And if you are a woman of color, your right to vote in many states has been mangled and in many ways effectively strangled. These are just some of the incidences of women and women's rights under vicious and continued attack in the United States. ENOUGH already.

  124. Title VII already exists

  125. What women need now is freedom from the religious freedom claims of those that want to control a woman's ability to decide when to have a child. It makes zero sense to allow those that are outraged at the number of unwanted pregnancies yet are opposed to making contraception available to women to have a day in the matter.

  126. Yes, we need the ERA more than ever. Look at the current backsliding. Who would have predicted that we would be questioning the right to birth control in 2019? I feel like I am in some dystopian version of the U.S. - because I am.

  127. There is an ERA in place, and it is in peril. It's called Roe V. Wade. The right to choose contraception (also under threat) and to choose abortion (no matter how agonizing the choice) is in its purest essence nothing less than the right to self-determination. Self-determination is the bedrock of upon which all rights rest.

  128. I favor the ERA for two reasons. First, it cements the equal rights proposition in the Constitution, placing it above Congress, the Supreme Court, the executive branch, and even the states. There will be no more subtle forms of discrimination. The second reason is as important. There are many things in our government that need fixing, some of which - money in politics, for one - can only be permanently fixed with amendments. I would like the ERA to demonstrate that we can and should amend the constitution for noble purposes that will strengthen our democracy. That path needs to be reopened as a way out of the swamp of partisan, gridlocked government. We were handed this government 230 years ago by our founders. We know they provided amendments as a path to learn from our mistakes. Let's show them we are smart enough to do so.

  129. @Ken L Agreed. Would add that founders mistakes included omission of women, people of color. Amendments needed to correct.

  130. @Ken L Two points are relevant here. The first is that the Constitution is not self-enforcing. Passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, as it is written, applies to laws enacted by the Congress or the states. It would not do anything, without legislation, to address what often are considered the major current issues of discrimination. Second, in the context of longstanding jurisprudence the Equal Rights Amendment is fully redundant with the fourteenth amendment as long as women are granted the status of "persons." It would be a null addition to the Constitution. Second

  131. @Ken L great comment, thank you.

  132. YES we still need the ERA and yes it should be added to the Constitution! Women are still paid less than men in every field - corporate boardrooms and officer suites are almost entirely male - and I am underwhelmed by what the author calls "record shattering" numbers of women in Congress, since only about 25% of the House and Senate are female, while we comprise slightly over 50% of the population!! OF COURSE we need the ERA, it's pretty obvious we do NOT yet enjoy the same protection under the law.

  133. @Carol Without enabling legislation that the Congress and the states could enact now if they had the will, the ERA would do absolutely nothing to remedy any of the problems mentioned here. It is worth repeating the operative text to make the point: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. " That is essentially like the language of the first amendment, which begins "Congress shall make no law ..." or the fourteenth amendment, according to which "No State shall make or enforce any law ..." These amendments do not apply to non-government entities, which explains (without necessarily justifying) the fact that private universities, for example, can enforce speech, assembly, and advocacy restrictions that public universities (or cities like Skokie, IL) cannot. The only way the ERA, or any other amendment, can be applied to the private sector is by enactment of laws that regulate private sector actors as, for instance, various civil rights acts have done in matters of commerce. And the Congress, under the fourteenth amendment, already has all the authority to do that that it needs. We could, of course, put all the legal details into the text of the amendment, but the ERA, as written, does not do that.

  134. @Thomas D. Dial. Um, the interpretation that the 14th Amendment enables Congress to enact legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sex depends on an interpretation that the 14th Amendment covers gender. That’s not in the plain text and we probably have four or five justices who would be happy to overrule that interpretation. The 14th Amendment cannot be relied upon here

  135. Yes. Scalia claimed that the Constitution, including the 14th Amendment, provides no protection for either women or men against discrimination on the basis of sex. I assume that based on his opinion, its possible that only a couple of forms of discrimination are actually prohibited by the Constitution. Those protected would be religion(via 1st Amendment, but only by government) & race (though I believe race isn’t explicitly mentioned in the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause). Scalia claimed that Congress should write laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex. I think several laws on the topic of various forms of discrimination may have already been written at the time he made this comment though honestly, I am fairly new to all this. However, either way, I have a question about Scalia’s suggestion to “write legislation” to prohibit sex-based discrimination. If the Constitution truly doesn’t currently protect against discrimination on the basis of sex, how does legislation actually help? Even if Congress wrote laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, couldn’t it still be challenged on Constitutional grounds? Again, if the Constitution doesn’t already protect against discrimination on the basis of sex, how could such legislation survive a legal Constitutional challenge? Likely stupid question. By at least I’m using my Trump-trauma to try push my knowledge of all such matters, especially with SCOTUS changes, etc.

  136. Yes, we still need the Equal Rights Amendment, even though other laws and changes in custom have opened many areas of opportunity for women. Look at the damaging reversals of norms and customs under this current administration. We need the Equal Rights Amendment to codify our rights, lest we lose them in a rising tide of authoritarianism. Congress should also codify into law the norms and customs of running the government, as a safeguard against future executive branch overreach, which as we are seeing now, is very detrimental to our republic.

  137. @Juanita Norms and customs are not reversed by politicians.

  138. We need the ERA now. Women are still losing discrimination lawsuits because they are not equal to men under the constitution. It’s deplorable. This is an advanced, developed nation in regards to money but with regard to equal rights for all, we are still in the dark ages.

  139. @Dr. Diane Perhaps they are losing discrimination lawsuits because they have not experienced discrimination?

  140. @ebmem Perhaps they are losing lawsuits because the standard of intermediate scrutiny is applied rather than the standard of strict scrutiny? Sex discrimination should be judged under the same strict scrutiny standard as other forms of discrimination such as taxes

  141. My debate coach sent me to ladies' clubs in my small town to speak to them about the ERA back in 1974-75. Those middle-aged, unemployed ("homemaker") women would ask what's to keep girls from being drafted if it passes? And I would respond, why shouldn't girls be drafted if boys are? And then they'd say, but we'll have to use the same bathrooms! Ah, some things never change. I'm retired now, my daughter's a doctor, my son is a feminist, but I know that we need the ERA more than ever, not because of economic considerations, but because our Constitution should provide that women have the same rights and responsibilities as men -- 98 years after we got the vote, when white American women just recently voted for the hog now living in the White House because they were afraid to elect a woman, or openly hostile to women in power, we need an etched-in-stone pronouncement that women are adults and equal. And then some day those little white ladies who are afraid of the ERA, who are afraid to be forced to be treated as responsible adults, may realize that the sky won't fall in an equal world.

  142. When I was a little girl in Sunday School and in school I was asking ministers and teachers 'How come everything is about men and nothing about girls?' I hope you noticed 2 things about that question. The first being that a young female child noticed that everything was about men and second that grown women were still referred to as girls. It was true in the 50 and even until the mid-70s in some states. My Grandma had a car and knew how to drive but when we went to church it was in my Grandpa's car and he always drove. When I was going to college it was certain that if a college-girl became seriously involved with college-man that she would quit college and get a job to support the both of them. Brides always took the man's last name when marrying. Housework was the wife's real job, even if she worked outside the home. If you wanted a wise and proper answer to a question, you always asked a man. If you want to buy a car or a house, open a bank account or saving account, or buy an insurance coverage you had to have either your father's or husband's co-sign for you. Do females need their rights specifically stated as being equal to men's? Most Definitely! The constitution of the US does not protect women as it does men when one is reading as it was intended and as it is written.

  143. The Constitution was written by men, accepted and ratified by the Continental Congress July 2 and July 4, 1776. When the words "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." were written, women were not included because at that time, men could not perceive of a woman desiring a job. Most of the men were wealthy land owners that couldn't see the work women did right in front of them. Women's rights will never be completely accepted constitutionally until we gain that amendment. One can argue that laws have been established along the way. I would consider these a stop gap without achieving the end goal that women have the right to choose, have equal pay (something I never had during my career). This doesn't ignore men's contributions, either, since those have been recognized far more frequently than women's.

  144. It's 230 years since the Constitution took effect; it took the Senate 130 years to recognize that women had the right to vote. More than 50 years on from ratification of the 19th amendment, our legal system was still reflecting doubt that women had a right to equal treatment under the law. Today, legislatures across the country are passing laws that would limit the basic rights of some women to make decisions about their well-being and medical care. So, yes. We do need the ERA.

  145. An historical note. The US Constitution did not restrict suffrage to males. From Article 1 Section 2. "The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature." Individual states chose to restrict suffrage to males but they could have restricted suffrage to only females. The 19th amendment said no state shall deny suffrage to either females or males.

  146. @david Thanks for the explanation. But I think the point is that the Constitution did not *guarantee* women's right to vote. It's worth noting that several states, including my native NJ, that had originally recognized women's suffrage, later revoked it. Others restricted voting rights to women who owned property. And, yes, you are correct, a number of states supported women voting prior to the 20th century. Still, as is true today, women's fundamental rights sometimes fluctuated state to state. Hence the need for the 19th amendment then and the ERA now.

  147. Phyllis Schafly succeeded in defeating the ERA based on bathroom paranoia. Nothing has changed.

  148. There will never be an end to these activists and their causes. Once they gain one point, they move onto another. Two years ago it was gay marriage, last year it morphed into transgender rights (and in the military). Now this article and others looking for causes to stick, demand using the same language that all activists use: 'their right,' 'against discrimination,' 'for equality' and the litany of other spurious claims that American society accepts at face value rather than investigate their meritoriousness. And the more we give into activists the more they ask. Similarly the more men give into women the more they ask. There will never be an end until they get what they want: a secure life filled with everything they expect and want in it. Their American dream. They want a dream and not to deal with making a life. Men are one means to provide that. Government is now another major tool at their disposal. Every year fools rush to get married unaware that an an entire marriage-divorce industry rife with attorneys and angry women are just sitting and waiting for a woman and her plaints to walk in the door and demand half of what the poor fool makes for the rest of his life and his support for her children, all the while seeking to deny him visitation to see his kids. At the university a whole major is devoted to women and gender. None to men. Questioning women means demeaning them, not observing them. What will it be next year? A woman for President. Ah yes.

  149. @Adam B. "There will never be an end to these activists and their causes." True. But only to the extent that there will never be an end to the injustices the privileged consciously or unconsciously inflict on those deemed less worthy.

  150. @Adam B. "the more men give into women the more they ask" That pretty much illustrates the bedrock attitude behind discrimination. But here's the truth: Women have the same inalienable rights that accord to men. The problem is not what men won't give, it's what they have taken because they refused to recognize women's full humanity.

  151. @Adam B. " These activists." What do these people want? These people ( you make them sound like alien creatures ) want NOT to be discrimated against in any way under the law.Protection against discriminatory practices under the law. Protections stipulated so if there is discrimination there can be legal recourse. What are you so scared of? Are you afraid people will be judged by their ability and men won't have the benefit of a thumb on the scale so it weighs in your favor? Time marches on. The 1950's must have been so great for you. The 1850's would have been even better. Before all these women and minorities got the vote and started acting like they were just as valuable as white men. Those were the days huh? LOL

  152. The modern women's "movement" has always been behind the curve of American progress. American women have the same rights as men -- no more and no less. In other words, they are equal under the law, the only place equality matters. All the rest is envy based on a twisted interpretation of individual rights, the concept on which our nation was founded. Groups and gangs and tribes don't have rights -- only individuals have rights. Outcomes have nothing to do with civil rights. The "pursuit of happiness" is just that -- a guarantee of equality under the law, not a guarantee of outcomes. There is no guarantee that your boss might not be a jerk or that you will thrive in your career while trying to raise a family. This goes for men as well as women. What do women want? If you ask a third-wave feminist, it's more rights than men, special rights, exclusive rights based on chromosomes, not ethics.

  153. @Ed L. Brings up memories of " America love her or leave her ". How ironic when talking about the ERA This post is archaic and reality supersedes your intellectual points. How would you rationalize the 13th Amendment in your post? America is a country of living actualities built upon the premise of the Constitution,the Bill of Rights , and laws passed by both the Congress and the States. It is not a theoretical exercise as you propose based on one sentence or thee words. The Preamble of the US Constitution makes that quite clear. Plus if you want the law to play its roll you need to have legal standing. No Civil Rights Law, no standing. No ERA no standing. This fight is not exclusively only about what women want but what the Constitution and the Bill of Rights would expect us to do when confronted with a challenge that, as in this case, does impede the liberty of the individual. It is what required, as well as necessary, to create a more perfect union for all of us.

  154. @Ed L. Women and Men will have equal rights when sex discrimination is judged under the legal strict scrutiny standard, rather than the current approach of intermediate scrutiny. What do women and men want? The same legal protection against discrimination as things like race and national origin receive under the strict scrutiny standard. Why do we make it easier to discriminate on the basis of sex by applying intermediate scrutiny? The answer is because many people including those in the courts actually want to allow sex discrimination.

  155. @Ed L. Nice try Ed. But your passing the buck. Follow the money instead. I found out I was paid $10,000 less, for ten years, than the less qualified, less experienced, less educated connected white guy who had my job before me. “What women want” you ask? I’ll tell you - Direct deposit- at the same rate as my male counterpart.

  156. So basically women are denied equal rights on the basis of gender, but those same rights are guaranteed for disabled, all races, all religions, etc. What does that really say about the degree of respect and status afforded women in this country, no matter their race, religion, etc, etc?...

  157. Two thoughts. Huge subsidy for lawyers. Child custody. No one has mentioned that.

  158. For Mother's Day, I'd like an Equal Rights Amendment

  159. If you are a women and you want to be drafted push for the ERA. You may think it will give equality but it won't but it will impose new responsibilities that you may not appreciate, no appreciate at all.

  160. Of course the ERA is needed. Tomorrow would not be soon enough.

  161. 2/3 of the congress and 3/4 of the states? Not realistic. Is this even on Pelosi's agenda?

  162. I thought we had blown up the myth about the pay gap when Scandinavia tried all the remedies you suggest and got the same 30 cents on the dollar difference average. That’s because the gap is only due to pregnancy. This very paper covered this. First female tenured Harvard economist showed this. When is mythology and reality going to reconcile? The pay gap is due to women’s choices solely minus a couple cents

  163. We need an equal rights amendment that covers everyone, not just women.

  164. Do American women still need the vote? Does government, federal, state or local, get to selectively determine which sub-groups may be given less rights than others for arbitrary rather than compelling reasons: gender, race, national origin, sexuality, etc.? Does Equal Protection Under Law only refer to select groups or to everyone nationwide? These are the times that try mens' and womens' souls. #ERA_YES

  165. Persecuting men in federal court for what is now the vague post-modern idea of “violence” whereby now words are “violence.” How millennial can we get. Totally dystopian.

  166. phyllis schlafly got paid a lot of money to tell women not to work. she had a long and lucrative career as a public figure telling women to stay in the home. there have always been those who would take crumbs to make sure others have nothing

  167. Watching the female presidential candidates battle misogyny I'm reminded that no Equal Rights Ammendment is going to bestow equality on women. It's going to take more than that.

  168. We’re like 20% into the 21st century. The rotary phone is long gone. I can’t believe we’re still having this conversation.

  169. This a prime, and fairly early, example of how the Republican Party lurched to the right in the 1970's leading up to Reagan and the decline of the middle class. Using fear and deception Schlafly rallied the army of paranoid Christians to deny their fellow citizens the "rights" (they enjoyed) to prevent assimilation of women into good paying jobs and a ladder to the top. So, we got two-worker households with one-and-half worker income. Never, ever vote for a Republican, unless you want to be cheated, lied to and denied.

  170. Absolutely necessary for the ERA to be ratified for our Constitution.

  171. As a young woman, I remember Phyllis Schafly - never liked her - thought of her as angry and bitter. I am happy to say my wanting for an ERA remains as it was when I was 16 when Nixon was president. Expansion of human rights will always be challenge for women and children. Perhaps my dislike, even hatred for Phyllis Schalfy's thinking can only be equaled by my strong dislike for the Republicans - who gave us Trump.

  172. Other than not being forced to register for the draft, and being exempted from the most dangerous jobs in the military, exactly what "rights" do women not have today?

  173. @Erik You are joking, right? A women does not have the right, in many states, to determine how to manage her own fertility. From birth control to abortion, men are seeking more ways to restrict women's access to a component of healthcare that is uniquely female. Once they are able to do that, they will continue to erode any other rights that women enjoy now that hint at independence from men. In my lifetime, women couldn't get credit in their own names, job openings were advertised as "male" and "female," employers could require that a woman be unmarried, or fire them for becoming pregnant. You think this is all in the past? I thought access to birth control was a given, too. We are both wrong.

  174. We all need the ERA. It's long overdue.

  175. We need the E.R.A. more than ever. Women's rights are only protected through court decisions and in specific instances such as the EEOC creed; race, color, religion, sex... it doesn't protect mothers. They can fire you in a heartbeat as long as they replace you with another women (a younger single one) then it's not discrimination! A universal Constitutional protection would free us from looking over our shoulders all the time and stop us form being a political football every election season! Because women's rights are only ensured through legal judgements they are under constant attack. (Roe v Wade). Women must always be prepared to fight to protect them. This hampers our ability to achieve the things we really need to have that will make us all equal and prosperous like paid maternity leave and accessible birth control and subsidized child care. Women pay the taxes to run this nation too and we deserve the benefits we need from our government the same as anyone else.

  176. Is the pope Catholic? Of course women need an Equal Rights Amendment. Then, at least a woman could bring a lawsuit for it's violation, thereby enshrining it further, as a law and an example of equal rights that ought not to be ignored.

  177. I don't think we need a women's right amendment, we need one that covers everyone.... wait I think one may already exist if we would enforce it.... Now I do believe we need the Violence Against Women Act, among others that give protection to women from domestic violence, there is a lot that could be done in this area.

  178. @Missy Unprovoked aggression and violence is already a crime. In fact there are countless laws on the books to deal with every instance and variety of it. Why would you favor a "violence against women" act but not a "violence against men" act? We already have "violence against human beings" laws. Aren't we all human beings? Is punching a woman worse than punching a man? Should the perpetrator get extra time and punishment? What if the perp is another woman? We need fewer and more concise and objective laws, not more laws which favor one sex over another.

  179. These statutory protections and interpretations of of the 14th Amendment can’t be revoked in the blink of an eye and many Americans are deadly seriously about doing precisely that. Abandon the ERA at your peril

  180. If there ever was a hypocrite about the ERA Amendment it was Phyllis Schlafly. The very wealthy woman who spent most of her time running around the country preaching to women about staying at home to take care of their children, while she, a wealthy woman left the care of her six children to others. She never mentioned that she needed to use uni-sex bathrooms in her travel. That is what you get on planes, trains and busses. She did not have to worry about equal pay for equal work, as she was married to a very wealthy man. The very fact that she worked hard to cheat women out of their Equal Rights speaks to the very reason that the ERA needs to be adopted. Most women cannot afford to stay at home anymore, even if it is their choice. It takes two incomes to raise a family now. But more importantly, the ERA will guarantee rights to women in the same way that men have had equal rights without a doubt. ERA now. Better late than never.

  181. Just not sure why the 14th Amendment isn't sufficient. Equality before the law is embedded in the Constitution. Extending equality constitutionally into private behavior is hugely threatening to individual freedom. It is not the place for social engineering.

  182. Laws, many of which have improved the standing of women in our society over time, can be changed and rescinded according to the whims of politicians, judges, and others. The constitution provides inalienable rights and a platform to defend our standing. But so far not to women because women are assumed to be in line with men. Imagine the possibilities for progress and reform in our country if women actually had equal footing and the liberation and constitutional security to shape and defend our nation and our standing. The powers that be will not give us that. We need to make it happen.

  183. Bottom line After 67 years existence age! Women still have to ask permission.!!!!! We can’t pull into our driveway with a new car or a new boat. Surprise surprise. !!!! We can’t insist the guy who got us pregnant watch our abortion cuz it was a lark for him and a commitment for the woman impregnated. We can’t expect our dad to be happy if he likes football and he has a daughter instead of a son. He won’t allow his daughter to try out for football. It might embarrass him. Grandpa tells you not to bother with college if your a girl. Your just gonna be barefoot and pregnant soon after high school. If you happen to waitress at a factory diner across from an industrial site expect guys your fathers age and older to make loud lewd remarks and ask u to sit on their chubby laps while trying to serve up burgers without them trying to touch u while your hands are full!!!! Ratification of the 14th amendment in all states is imperative for our future. We are in “ handmaiden territory. “ again. We are back in the 60’s with rights for “ the other” being taken away at lightening speed by conservatives on the benches trump used.

  184. The ERA would not address or change any of the real concerns you cite. While not wanting to minimize the concerns you describe I think a very important thing for women is economic equality. How many of the women prancing around arguing for the ERA are willing to pay their domestic workers [most of whom are lower class women ] a living wage. Note HRC would not commit to a $15 minimum wage. In the 1930's prominent women's groups would not support covering domestic workers under minimum wage legislation because these phony women wanted to maintain a source of CHEAP labor. see How many women [and men] are willing to pay higher salaries for school teachers or nurses [many of whom are women]. How many today are willing to preserve Social Security by raising the cap on wages subject to the SS payroll tax. During their debates Sanders repeatedly asked HRC to commit to that cap increase and HRC refused. It will be elderly poor women who will be badly hurt if SS benefits are slashed. Yes ratify ERA but address by legislation the economic status of women.

  185. @david And the economic status of women is largely determined by birth control and abortion which must be accessible on demand--as they are in Europe. The phony religiosity of the USA which supports patriarchy, misogyny and unregulated capitalism is driving this country into economic, intellectual, and social poverty and unnecessary inequality. For these reasons this country will not compete globally. The future for the USA looks grim, especially compared to its neighbor, Canada, with entirely different and more humane, inclusive policies.

  186. @nurse Jacki: Try moving to a different planet. The one I live on doesn't look like yours, and you don't need a spacecraft to get here. On my planet: Women only ask for permission to do things that impact another person directly. Then, so do men. To do otherwise is rude. Women buy the car that they want and can afford. My wife asks my advice on what car she to buy, but we have different tastes, so she listens and buys what she wants. That's OK; it's her car. She also enjoys driving mine. Women like sex as a lark too. Thank the Goddess for modern birth control. If they want to make a baby with the help of a man, they should talk about it first. Get the right man on board and you have a partner for the duration. Dad to be happy? Watch my brother in law with his daughters some time. You'd be surprised. And he does like football. And "grandpa" helped pay for their college (and their brothers' college too). Does anyone really ask a waitress to sit on their lap. Gawd, move to a planet where that doesn't happen. Like the one I live on. Really, you'd get booed out of the diner if you tried it here. I do take you last point though. The cons are a clear and present danger to our hard-fought progress.

  187. Schlafly was a hypocrite of the first order. The equality she enjoyed in the GOP was used to deny deny it to other women. A total fraud.

  188. If we are not equal humans as men then we should be their handmaidens then mothers then crones and then hags ....right????!!! We were called witches to get us off our high horses in the healthcare arena of the previous centuries up to “ holistic health options” We need someone to care for our offspring ? We need someone to work cuz most of us are “ slave class “wage earners. We need shelter and food as Maslow and Erickson pointed out after studying humans everywhere ;and government and fundamentalists in their Puritan legacy should leave women alone except for providing excellent childcare options if family ..., like gram and gramps or auntie or uncle can’t help with childcare! We continue to fight for full ratification of this in our constitution. It isn’t settled Law. That is why men threaten us with this amendment . Phyllis was old school and rich . She was irrelevant to my needs as a young mom in the 8o’s And I was a nurse with good pay and worked around my husbands day job to keep our two kids out of daycare We used other moms to help us and I helped them. Not every neighborhood is safe and not every mom struggling is middle class. Those women need excellent support and don’t get it. We need full equality. We need male legislators and judges to get off our backs. We will resist and we will fight back for our daughters. U will find a lot of 60 something moms with their daughters and granddaughters and sons and husbands in the streets protesting and Voting !!!!!

  189. Someone will call you, a sane American, "far left". Just laugh, mutter to the idiot that there is no "far left" because Schlafly existed and we still don't have a ratified ERA, and walk away. She will no longer suffer as we do—as she helped us ALL do—unfortunately. The picture of the loser paying undue respect to that fiend is only almost as disgusting. It's time to break with both dinosaurs of bigotry and ratify the ERA for good and all.

  190. That picture from 2016 of our “crotch-grabbing” president laying his hands reverently on Phyllis Schlafly’s coffin is truly worth a thousand words. One thing we can be sure of, is that if Ms. Schlafly were alive today she’d be among those adoring “Women for Trump” at his rallies, begging the president to restore the natural order and keep women in “hearth and home.”

  191. We need the ERA now more than ever. In fact, America needs all the Constitutional amendments it can. There are a lot of ignorant people out there. They bask in their self righteous right wing nut ignorance.

  192. The article erroneously states that 2/3 of the states have to pass an amendment. The correct statement is that 3/4 of states (then as now, 38) need to approve to ratify the amendment. The mistake was probably that 2/3 of the House of Representatives and 2/3 of the Senate have to pass the proposal.

  193. More so now than ever, given the misogynistic serial perpetrator of sexual assault currently occupying the White House.

  194. We see hundreds of years of English rule and investments they rule the USA or on the other side the red heads control it all as they claim why bother the bought and sold goverment if you have a complaint take it to who is responsible

  195. Check your text books. Some still have the Shalafly Stain! I’m old enough to remember this disruptive woman who didn’t know she was one!

  196. She was a horror show, much like Trump. The need for an ERA is needed now as much as it was then, especially with the misogynists in the White House.

  197. Do American women still have a collective identity as determined by Susan Chiara and her take on some “feminist” scholars? Nope. See the results of the last presidential election on this collective identity as a single being thingee and how it “privileges” a self anointed feminist to speak on behalf of the collective identity of all the xx Chromosomed natural persons gathered into a single unnatural corporate person. Though isn’t xxx—a super duper woman for sure— a Vin Diesel movie? Now there is freaky chromosome identity. I want to read the Chiara feminist take on that super femme. That would be interesting. More rational too.

  198. Phyllis Schafly made a career out of denigrating women who wanted a career. In spite of her, and in spite of her twisted philosophy, and her pathetic hypocrisy, women have progressed as individuals, as opposed to appendages of men. ERA would codify that. (PS -Mass, one of the bluest states only this year passed an Equal Pay Act. We have a long way to go baby. Still)

  199. “The true republic: men, their rights and nothing more: women, their rights and nothing less.” — Susan B. Anthony Ratify the ERA Now!

  200. Are you kidding with that headline, Ms. Chira? As I read this catholic/corporate operatives on OUR U.S. Supreme Court are trying to figure out how to take away even more Women's Rights. They will pick apart Roe v Wade until it's zero protection for women. That has been their goal ever since it was passed. That has been the catholic church/Robber Baron plan for 40+ years and they were finally able to buy enough of OUR government and judicial system to make it possible. WE THE PEOPLE are the only ones who can/will stop them. The ONLY thing that will protect women in their ability to choose what they do with their own lives and bodies - and men who want to be able to decide when to have/increase their families - is to PASS THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT TO OUR U.S. CONSTITUTION RIGHT NOW that says NO LAW SHALL BE PASSED IN THE UNITED STATES OR IT'S TERRITORIES THAT DISCRIMINATES BASED ON GENDER. No Law. That will stop this archaic attack on women.

  201. So why are women exempt from registering for the draft?

  202. The wording in the constitution absolutely must change to read, "All men and women are endowed with......"

  203. The answer to your headline is no. The answer would be the same if the word men was in the headline. Men graduate college less, occupy homeless shelters more, are in a jobs crisis in general and epidemic in the rust belt, they die younger, they get figuratively raped in divorce court, unlike women they are considered useless if they don't have a job etc. etc. Men are not crying out for an equal rights amendment because of the above. If you carp, rationalize, intellectualize, finger point, ax grind, cherry pick, co depend, enable, social engineer like Neo feminists do, you help elect an ego maniac demagogue like Trump.

  204. I think of Plyllis Schlafly more negatively than I do about Kapos in the camps. Schlafly did not have to betray her sec to survive.

  205. Ms. Slhafley- like most conservatives- was the consummate hypocrite. That apple pie and bread baking stunt was the only time SHE was in the kitchen in eons. She spent her time traveling the country making speeches trying to control other people's lives not home with her husband and children.

  206. OMG, yes more than ever, I’m 59, I’m ever hopeful

  207. Phyllis Schlafly was a hypocrite. She was no stay-at-home housewife and mother - she went to law school, wrote dozens of books, toured the country on speaking tours....when I watch "The Handmaid's Tale", the character of Serena Joy makes me think of Phyllis Schlafly. Would she really have been happy if she reached her supposed goal of forcing women back into the kitchen?

  208. I think some might have asked the same thing about the lynching law? inequality and bias based on gender alone still exists, so yes it's needed.

  209. Yes, we need the ERA.