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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Equal Rights Amendment

It's baaack! The ERA is back. I've just read an article in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL by Christina Hoff Sommers, author of "The War Against Boys".

A group of Democratic leaders and feminist activists have decided that women today do not have equal rights, and they want to bring back the Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA which was first introduced in 1973 says, "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." A large body of law has developed since 1973 which bans sex discrimination in jury selection, unemployment benefits anf family property law and promotes women's progress in the workplace, sports and other arenas. Female students no longer face barriers based on gender, college enrollments are now 57% female.

If this amendment were passed, would it grant equal rights to both men and women. I do not think so. From everything I've read and heard, this amendment seems to be the Women's Extra Rights Amendment.

This amendment would force the Boy Scouts to admit girls, religious institutions that do not allow ordination of women would lose their tax exempt status, single-sex schools and summer camps for boys would be phased out.

There is now a big push for single-sex schools, of course, favoring girls. I've heard the "experts" say that girls learn better in a single-sex environment because they are made to feel inferior by boys. By this thinking, there should be single-sex schools for boys because teenage boys are distracted by teenage girls.

There is a popular saying, "You've come a long way baby", and without the ERA. Without making it the law of the land, we have the WNBA, a female Secretary of State, Supreme Court Justices, female company presidents, female police, firefighters, mail carriers. The list is too long to go into here.

We have accomplished all this, not because of a constitutional amendment, but because of the attention placed on the inequalities before 1960. It is amazing what can be accomplished by bringing a problem to the attention of the business world and letting common sense take over.

There is still much to be done, but a constitutional amendment is not needed. What is needed, and is happening, is a change in the thinking of individuals. A law cannot do that, it can only be done by education and example.

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