If this Amendment to the Constitution is so vital why is there no sound reason given, and why the dramatics to push it?
“I come here not as a constitutional lawyer,” said actress Patricia Arquette last week, in a statement that surprised exactly no one. She was testifying before a Congressional hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment and, as if she intended to prove her words accurate, Arquette went on to make a profoundly ignorant statement about the Constitution.
“Women have waited 232 years to be enshrined as full and equal citizens,” she continued. Imagine how many females in this country had to be surprised to learn they are not, in fact, actual citizens of the United States. But Ms. Arquette next proceeded to display every reason why she should not be a spokesperson for this new drive to reinstitute the ERA. “Because in 1787, women were left out of the Constitution intentionally.”
Now, in one fashion, the activist thespian is somewhat accurate in her statement, but not in the manner she thinks. While it is true that women are not mentioned in the Constitution, and it was intentional, it was not due to a nefarious design by the framers. There is a detail that will come as a surprise to Arquette, and the other females and politicians in the country leaning on this factoid.
The truth they miss or avoid is that the words “men” and “man” also do not appear in our crucial document. It was written for “people”, and “all persons”, and there is no gender affirmed. Turns out the framers actually were not a gaggle of misogynistic white oppressors, as implied by the likes of Arquette, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, who mangle the history.
Yes, I do need to explain this means that women were in fact included in our founding policies and rights, and therefore the claims of women having diminished citizenry are hyperbolic nonsense. But for some reason, there is a renewed push to have the ERA brought back to life. It is telling that the people behind this effort consider themselves “Progressives”, as they attempt to resurrect an expired piece of legislation from nearly 50 years ago.
The ERA sprang out of the activist ’60s, and was drawn up and voted upon in the early ’70s. It successfully passed Congress, but in a needed civics lesson for many on the left, that was only half of the battle to alter our Constitution. The individual states had to vote on ratifying the new addition, and on that respect, it failed. The ERA was passed by Congress in 1972 and sent to the states. The seven-year process for completion was extended to ten years by Congress, and still, it failed to achieve the required threshold. By the time the deadline arrived in June of 1982, only 35 of the required 38 states voted to adopt.
Every few years, it seems a renewed effort crops up to attempt to get things moving on the expired amendment process. The recent #MeToo movement appears to be the most recent impetus. And, as such, celebrities such as Ms. Arquette are cropping up to make asinine claims.
Actress Dana Delany declared that as of now women are not equal. Alyssa Milano commented after the hearings in a video, and in her affected prolix she even alludes to the central theme of the Constitution, which rendered all of her claims invalid. “I don’t have equal rights under the Constitution,” she claims, with abject ignorance. And then, as if to disprove herself, she manages to illustrate the idiocy of her own claim. “It is time for the constitution to reflect the powerful principles of its first three words: We the People’”. That is correct, Alyssa — “People”, of which you and your gender are included.
To illustrate the utter vacancy behind this push all one needs to do is ask, what is accomplished with ERA’s passage? What is lacking for females in America that would be addressed in this amendment? I have been asking this frequently, and any answer I receive concerns matters already existing in federal legislation.
Females cannot be singled out based on their sex, for one example, as a result of a law few acknowledge addresses this issue — The Civil Rights Act. In that law, Title VII prohibits employment discrimination or harassment based on sex. Okay, but what about the oft-trumpeted problem in the workplace, gender pay equality? The long-debunked claim that women are paid less for equal work, were it real, is already illegal based on the Equal Pay Act, where all employees get paid the same for the same work, regardless of gender. Both of these laws predate the creation of ERA; The CRA passed in 1964, and the EPA passed in 1963.
Numerous other federal statutes protect women from unfair treatment. The Family Medical Leave Act allows for treating of newborns, and there is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act to prevent firing or the denial of hiring based on a woman’s birthing progress. Title IX addresses equal access to educational and athletic opportunities on college campuses; on financial matters, there is the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and in regards to dwellings, there is the Fair Housing Act.
Most any other discriminations can be prevented, or deemed illegal, under the U.S. Code Title 42, Chapter 21, which addresses discrimination based on gender, age, disability, race, and/or religion. This covers a wide array of areas, such as education, employment, business, federal services, and more. Chapter 21 serves as the basis of many of the civil rights legislation passed on the federal level, and gender protections are nearly always the first of the items listed as being covered.
Some are willing to say if ERA is such a harmless or redundant policy then what is the harm in passing it? This is pure deflection because it does not address the desire to make a fundamental change to our founding document for something that is shown not to be needed. The fact that so many celebrities and politicians have to resort to lies and hysteria in order to sell this is all the reason to discount the effort entirely.