I have always been, am now and will continue to be a proud feminist. Now sixty-eight years old, I still remember clearly a myriad of allowances my cousin Anthony, three years my junior, was afforded as a male but I could not go, do, or have as a “girl”.
I recall positive attributes considered males i.e. she’s a Tomboy, while negatively viewed characteristics or achievements were feminized, i.e. you run like a girl.
Boy’s will to do well in math and science, girls shall bake and sew. Boys were valued in the workplace over women, thus credit will issue only in a husbands name. Pregnant women, had to quit working, woe to a widow! War widows had to give their jobs as well as their husbands up to returning soldier’s families as if they and their children were less valuable. As a woman- I am every bit as good and valuable as any man- I have always known that even when no one else has. As a woman, may I ask do you feel less valuable than a male human being does? If so stop reading. If you believe you are every bit an equal to every other human being read on!
Equal means Equal- nothing more – nothing less. Equality means everyone has the same rights and responsibilities as the others- again no more no less. Since the early 20th Century, women have been fighting for equality- they finally got the right to vote but not equality under the Constitution. Black MEN got the right to vote Fifty years before we did. Then black men got equality under the Constitution. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.rbc/rbpe.00902000
We are told that we have equality under the Constitution guaranteed by the 14th Amendment which gives all free persons equal justice, but why does the 15th Amendment then clarify “All men free and equal” have the right to vote?
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.rbc/rbpe.00902000 The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
I will tell you why, equal justice is not equality- justice modifies the word equal! The 13th freed the slaves, the 14th gave equal justice to citizens, and the 15th gave all citizens the right to vote!
If women were citizens and equal justice meant equality, they would not have needed the 19th for the explicit right to vote. The next 50 years women were arrested for voting we were not considered voting citizens under the Constitution of the US. The 19th gave us voting rights but isn’t it interesting that nowhere in the Constitution are women called Citizens, as are black men thrice!
Alice Paul wrote the Equal Rights Amendment ERA but it never passed instead we barely got the vote. That by one vote from the son of a mother –who shamed her son at the last moment to save the amendment.
The ERA reads as follows: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
Women stated a movement to liberate themselves from discrimination and toward equality and I am proud of the movement and all that we achieved however, for all that we gained- we have lost site of the basics. Equal means equal- plain and simple. The movement has moved so far to the left that it has abandoned half of the nation’s women. The National Organization of Women, NOW for example, has antagonized, degraded and humiliated half of our Country’s women by becoming Liberal hacks and demonizing conservative and centrists. They have sold out to the Democrat machine and have polarized women into two camps unnecessarily.
I suggest you read from the following links that lists the timeline of events of the Women’s Rights Movement from 1921 to 1979 then from 1980 to present. Please note the movement changed drastically in the early seventies. We got much of what we needed by 1973 but ERA was still not in our reach. The movement changed, women settled for the power over life and death with Roe vs. Wade and forgot about fighting for the equality listed below.
1972- Title IX- bans sex discrimination in athletics in schools.
1974- The Equal Credit Opportunity Act- equal pay for equal work.
1976- The first marital rape law is enacted in Nebraska, making it illegal for a husband to rape his wife.
1978 – The Pregnancy Discrimination Act – prevents discrimination against women who are of childbearing age.
1984- EMILY’s List (Early Money Is Like Yeast) is established as a financial network for pro-choice Democratic women running for national political office.
1986- Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, the Supreme Court finds that sexual harassment is a form of illegal job discrimination.
1994- VAWA- The Violence Against Women Act tightens federal penalties for sex offenders, funds services for victims of rape and domestic violence, and provides for special training of police officers.
1996- In United States v. Virginia, the Supreme Court rules that the all-male Virginia Military School has to admit women in order to continue to receive public funding. It holds that creating a separate, all-female school will not suffice.
1999- The Supreme Court rules in Kolstad v. American Dental Association that a woman can sue for punitive damages for sex discrimination if the anti-discrimination law was violated with malice or indifference to the law, even if that conduct was not especially severe.
2003- In Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs, the Supreme Court rules that states can be sued in federal court for violations of the Family Leave Medical Act.
2005- In Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education, the Supreme Court rules that Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, also inherently prohibits disciplining someone for complaining about sex-based discrimination. It further holds that this is the case even when the person complaining is not among those being discriminated against.
2009- Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which allows victims of pay discrimination to file a complaint with the government against their employer within 180 days of their last paycheck. Previously, victims (most often women) were only allowed 180 days from the date of the first unfair paycheck.
2013- Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the ban on women serving in combat roles would be lifted. In a Jan. 9 letter to Panetta urging the change Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said, “The time has come to rescind the direct combat exclusion rule for women and to eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service.” The move reverses the 1994 rule that prohibited women from serving in combat. The change will be gradual; some positions will be available to women immediately but each branch of the military has until 2016 to request exceptions to the new rule.
2013- Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (originally passed in 1994). The new bill enhances judicial and law enforcement tools to combat violence against women, provides support for victims, and extends coverage to young victims, immigrants, Indian women, and victims of trafficking.
2016- Women will be allowed to serve in any job in the armed services, provided they meet gender neutral performance standards. This move, initiated in 2013 and finalized under Defense Secretary Ash Carter, will open approximately 220,000 jobs to females.
Women’s Rights Movement from 1980 to Present
We have come a long way baby but me tell you what the far left has offered you since 1970’s instead of full equality which would have necessarily granted you all of the above!
The following which is what the left abandoned ERA for was not covered by the Equality amendment. Leftist women have abandoned equality since the seventy’s because they sold out to the Democrat Party who gave them the idea that equality was peanuts compared to the power over life and death. This is the issue dividing women and stopping the ERA in its tracks. We almost had it- the good ole boy’s enticed women with something even more appealing. Freedom from the drudgery of home, hearth and children. Equality was not as important than the sexual revolution and free love without the responsibility that prevented them from the stigma and strings of babies! Women were split over the divisive reproductive issues that since take up the bulk of the far left’s time and energy.
1973- Roe vs. Wade gave women the right to abortion
1989- Pennsylvania’s 1989 Abortion Control Act providing 24 hour informed consent to alternatives, risks and other information to consider.
1992-In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court reaffirms the validity of a woman’s right to abortion under Roe v. Wade. The case successfully challenges Pennsylvania’s 1989 Abortion Control Act, which sought to reinstate restrictions previously ruled unconstitutional.
2006- The Supreme Court upholds the ban on the “partial-birth” abortion procedure. The ruling, 5–4, which upholds the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, a federal law passed in 2003, is the first to ban a specific type of abortion procedure. Writing in the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy said, “The act expresses respect for the dignity of human life.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who dissents, called the decision “alarming” and said it is “so at odds with our jurisprudence” that it “should not have staying power.”
2016- the Supreme Court decides that a Texas law imposed on abortion clinics is unconstitutional and provides an unnecessary burden on women seeking abortions.
Can women agree to differ about abortion and the right to life? I think so! As far as the equality issues, I do not see many if any that all women can disagree with so why are we at odds with each other.
Since the women’s movement 50 years ago, we have Title IX success, and we have women in the armed forces and in many high offices and representing us in Congress at 17 %.
We have VAWA, sex discrimination laws and fair pay laws but still 4 women a day are murdered by a partner, women are raped on campuses while the rapist has his hand lapped, girls are snatched from their bedrooms or at bus stops, women are being paid less, we are 52% of the population but only 17 % of the government, in the armed forces our women are raped and mistreated.
So NOW and the other organizations rallying for half a century have taken credit for passing laws that are virtually useless to most women unless you need an abortion, birth control or gay rights and while they look good on paper as a list- the majority of American women cringe when they hear the word feminist because it is now associated with what the left spends the last 5 decades bitching about rather than doing something about the equal rights of all females and what we have in common and the equality we all need in our homes, on our jobs, in our schools, in our relationships and in our government from local to federal.
Do not allow the far left to take your femininity away from you. We women hold up more than half society and we do it proudly. We are responsible for everything good, and society would cease to exist without those of us who remain Pro-life feminists!