92% of Americans think that women have equality under the law. They are mistaken.
The only right actually secured for women in the Constitution is the right to vote.
● right to own property
● right to custody of our children
● right to healthcare
● right to work
● right to have our own bank account and lines of credit
● right to equal pay
● right to fight in the military
● right to autonomy over our own bodies in any way
● right to education
● right to purchase sex toys
● right to fill-in-the-blank are made right now by a patch work of court decisions
...are statutes and laws that are not permanent amendments to the Constitution.
These ‘privileges’ are alienable. They can be taken away. The ERA would convert them legally, federally, into inalienable rights. At present, these “privileges” and this ”equality” are just gifts from the courts and legislatures and they can be taken away or curbed.
Additional Facts to Share
- The ERA would, quite simply, provide the Constitutional bedrock needed to insure the permanence of rights now only tentatively afforded to women by a patchwork of laws at the state and federal levels. As we have seen with recent actions restricting concerning voting rights, the “rights” afforded in mere acts and laws are not secure, and can be repealed or ignored. (See ERA Task Force)
- The 14th Amendment to the Constitution, often cited as a reason not to pass the ERA because it provides equality, thus making the ERA no longer necessary (and one that Virginian legislators often point to), is not valid for several reasons: Section 2 of the 14th Amendment specifically includes the wording male citizen and male inhabitant 3 times and is very gender specific in its applicability to males; if it was intended to cover females, then the 19th Amendment would not have been necessary to give females the right to vote, for the 14th Amendment did not give females that right. (Richmond NOW)
- Some state reps want Congress to act first before considering it at the state level. Point out that this creates a Catch 22 log jam that leaves women’s equality in legal purgatory. While many in the U.S. Congress and Senate (including Warner and Kaine) have signed onto bills calling for removal of the ratification deadline imposed in 1982, others feel a freshly ratified state is needed before taking action. Virginia would be a beacon for the nation if we took leadership on this important bipartisan, economic, and civil rights issue. (Richmond NOW)
- The ERA does not make new law. It only reinforces laws, ordinances, statutes, and amendments in state constitutions that are overlooked, ignored, or misinterpreted now — such as the Equal Pay Act, 1963 and its more recent reiterations. Indeed, Congress would no longer have to revisit the matter fair pay or its methods of enforcement. (See Virginia ERA Network)
- It costs nothing to ratify, or to implement. (See Virginia ERA Network)
- It saves taxpayer dollars and reduces the number of civil lawsuits in the courts. If equal treatment and equal pay are foregone conclusions, protected to the same strong degree as race, religion, and national origin. (See Virginia ERA Network)
- The ERA is good for families and the general welfare. Countries have noted a positive sociological effect wherever sexual equality is the standard. Studies show that: (1) rates of emotional depression decline, (2) divorce rates decline, families stabilize, (3) marital harmony increases, (4) communities gain cohesiveness, (5) economies grow (UN; Norway/ Sweden report). (See Virginia ERA Network)
- It’s just the right thing to do. It’s embarrassing that every constitution written since the end of WWII includes women’s full equality, but ours does not. It’s embarrassing that women in the US struggle, at great personal and financial cost, to access rights and privileges that simply happen for women in other major industrialized nations. We lose all that energy and talent as it dissipates into the fog of social and economic insecurity.
- Women’s and progressive organizations are mobilizing around the ERA. We will remember, and hopefully reward, the actions you take to secure ratification.
IS THAT ALL?
If you have a few more keystrokes in your fingers, consider using this messaging guide to write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Tell your whole community why you support the ERA, tell them about Helene’s pilgrimage. Get your community energized!
- How to write a letter to the editor: click here.
- All the Virginia local papers, and then some: click here.
#EqualRightsAmendment is income equality, civil rights, family stability. Tell your colleagues to join you to #RatifyERA! Thank you!
Support & vote for SJ216, encourage colleagues. #CivilRights for women cannot wait another year! #LetsRatifyERA #VANOW Many thanks!
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TIPS FOR YOUR EMAILS
** Remember to include your postal address with your signature to emails.
** We suggest that you remind yourself to email them several times.
** Please use your own words as much as possible. Unique efforts count more heavily.
** You might also list the civic or political organizations where you are a member.
The ERA would, quite simply, provide the Constitutional bedrock needed to insure the permanence of rights now only tentatively afforded to women by a patchwork of laws at the state and federal levels. As we have seen with recent actions restricting concerning voting rights, the “rights” afforded in mere acts and laws are not secure.
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The Virginia State Chapter of the National Organization for Women
Simone and Paradise gratefully thank Diana Egozcue for building Virginia ERA Network, and for her tireless work for equality over the years!