Why Aren’t Women in the Constitution?
The Fight for the Equal Rights Amendment with Representative Carolyn Maloney.
In today’s episode, the hosts focus on the E in the acronym V.E.R.Y. and discuss equal rights with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. Since women are not mentioned in the Constitution at all, the Equal Rights Amendment has been hoping to enshrine women’s rights in our founding document for almost a century.
All episodes begin and end with the 2017 single “Rise” by rock group Betty (www.hellobetty.com)
“We’ve come together to raise your outrage quotient that women in our great country were totally left out of the Constitution, not one mention, and we still can’t get in. We want our equal rights, and we want them now.”– Betty Spence (02:51)
What are you pissed about? Tell us at: www.ladylibertyisverypissed.com.
In this episode:
A brief history of the Equal Rights Amendment (4:30)
How equal rights are creatively attacked (7:50)
Why the ERA isn’t in the Constitution (09:48)
Data and statistics about the ERA (14:52)
How we can continue to make change (18:58)
The Link Between Equal Rights and Reproductive Rights
Congresswoman Maloney is pissed that women’s rights have been bulldozed away. There have been constant attempts to roll back what women have fought for. In the last election, over 100 women were elected to Congress and for the first time passed a bill to codify Roe v. Wade. But we need pro-choice, pro-equality members of Congress and especially Senators in this midterm election.
Women shouldn’t be fighting to keep hold of what they already have. If the ERA was the law of the land, these rights wouldn’t be at risk in the same way they are now. In fact, many people think that the Equal Rights Amendment is the last hope for reproductive freedom.
(08:30) “We have to ratify the ERA. It is the most important thing that we can do for women’s rights in any area.”
Article V of the Constitution
It’s quite the process to get the Constitution of the United States changed. So far, 27 amendments have been through the full process, which includes getting a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate and then being ratified by three-quarters of the states in their own legislatures. The ERA has met both of those conditions in 2020 when the Virginia legislature became the last state needed to reach that three-quarters mark, but for over two years, it hasn’t been published into the Constitution.
Much of the work to meet those requirements was done by the ERA Coalition, which has over 300 partner organizations across the country.
According to the language of the ERA, it went into effect that day. However, in the more than two years since that day, the Constitutional Archivist has not entered it into the Constitutional document. He has not done his duty to certify the amendment.
The Role of the Archivist
Women are being asked to do more when it comes to the Equal Rights Amendment. The Archivist assured Congresswoman Maloney that he would, in fact, certify the amendment once it was ratified.
Under the Trump administration, the Archivist asked the Department of Justice what to do. Since this was a Trump-aligned Department, they told the Archivist to not certify the amendment.
Data About the Equal Rights Amendment
Gloria Feldt discusses statistics about the ERA, with the majority of Americans supporting it. It’s not a partisan issue, and support of the ERA crosses party lines. Many Americans think that it’s already a part of the Constitution, which may be why so few people are fired up about it.
Carol Jenkins tells listeners that the ERA Coalition is launching Elect Equality, which rates candidates on whether or not they support the Equal Rights Amendment. This rates all 100 Senators, all current House members, and those running for election.
The midterms are happening right now, and it’s important for voters to pay attention to the campaigns going on in their area, look at how to vote, and vote for candidates who are pro-equality.
“Change does not come easily, but it will come if you never give up and if you elect candidates who are going to fight with us in Congress and vote the right way on the ERA.”– Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (18:58)
Sherrye Henry reiterates that change will be difficult and discusses some findings from her 1994 book that projects women won’t have equality in the United States for hundreds of years.
Imagine what our founding mothers faced. The original proponent of the Equal Rights Amendment Alice Paul was put into an insane asylum because she supported women’s suffrage. They had such an impossible task, and it’s up to all women and men who support them to use the vote that they fought for to ratify and certify the Equal Rights Amendment.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney
After nearly 20 years in Congress, Maloney’s position as a hard-hitting progressive leader is indisputable. She has shown a talent for fostering lasting bipartisan agreement in an increasingly polarized government, without giving up the ideals and causes she’s fought for throughout her career: promoting equality, protecting consumers, building infrastructure that serves New Yorkers and the region, extending and protecting healthcare coverage for all, protecting the environment, and working to understand and find solutions for everyday issues like affordable housing and small business support.
Image Source: www.carolynmaloney.com