Monday, June 27, 2011


under the u.s. constitution,
discriminating against a person of color
is punishable by law.
discriminating against a woman

some americans have been trying to
fix this discrepancy for 88 years,
without success.

thank goodness, they're not done trying.

the equal rights amendment [e r a]
to the u.s. constitution
was originally written by american suffragette alice paul
& introduced in congress in 1923.

51 years later, in 1972, the e r a
was passed by both the u.s. house & senate
by a two-thirds vote.
it had a decade to become ratified
by two-thirds of the states [38].
it died in 1982, lacking only three more states' approval.

the amendment consists of 52 words,
with the key line being:

"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's the sentence that means
men & women will have equal rights under the law.

that's the sentence that will make the courts
treat gender discrimination with the same strict scrutiny they use to deal with racial discrimination.

who would have thought american women
were considered lesser citizens than black men??
of course, they got the right to vote first, too.

june 21st, u.s. senator robert menendez of new jersey
& u.s. representative carolyn maloney of new york
reintroduced the e r a,
now known as the women's equality amendment.

why? because as long a way as we've come,
over the past few decades,
as many glass ceilings as we've shattered,
as many positions of power we've proven we can excel at,
as many military members as we've sent into war,
women are still underpaid & underrepresented
here in the good ol' u s of a.

president obama – surrounded by strong, smart, capable
women & girls who also happen to be
the people he holds closest to his heart –
has put his full support behind passage of the w e a.

quoth my president:
"history shows that countries are more prosperous
& more peaceful when women are empowered."

& so, a week prior to the national holiday
celebrating the freedoms offered by our country,
i must ask in response to mr. president's observation:

why not america??

image source: banning+low.

No comments: