The E.R.A. – no real equality yet. Why not? | An Alternative View | Diana Diamond | Almanac Online |

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The E.R.A. – no real equality yet. Why not?

Uploaded: Jan 20, 2020
When I was standing at the altar at age 21 rehearsing for my wedding, uttering the vow “to love, honor and obey,” I told the priest I would not say “obey.” Why should any adult person take a vow to “obey” a spouse? (My fiancé knew I was going to do that.) “But you have to,” the cleric replied. It’s part of the vow.” Yet on my wedding day, I simply said “love and honor” to those assembled in the church. And the priest could not do anything about it.

I’ve always been a feminist – then and now. And when Congress authorized an Equal Rights Amendment for state approval back in 1973, I was delighted and became part of an intense heated national debate supporting the E.R.A., which required ratification in 38 states by 1979; the deadline was later extended to 1982. By even then, only 35 states had done so.

The E.R.A. promised equal rights to women, and was aimed at improving pay equity for them, strengthening domestic violence and sexual harassment protections, and blocking discrimination against pregnant women. The amendment reads, in part: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

It sounded like such a basic right for Americans that, naively, I thought it would be easily adopted. I certainly was wrong. Seems like some men in our country wanted to keep women barefoot and pregnant, as the saying goes, while the women said they don’t need such an amendment – they were happy with taking care of their home.

Can you imagine that last week Virginia finally was the 38th state to approve the Equal Rights Amendment? But suddenly, some men (mostly Republican ones) are arguing that Virginia’s approval doesn’t make the ERA a constitutional amendment, because the deadline was 38 (!) years ago. Those famous Virginia Slims ads of the 1970s – “You’ve come a long way, Baby,” were just plain wrong.

But why am I surprised? There have been overt and covert objections to women having equal rights with men for years – in fact, all my life. I will agree that for some men, I think this attitude is unintentional – perhaps simply habitual.

The equality debate is now an explosive issue in the presidential election. Can a woman win? As the NYT aptly commented in its Jan. 16 editorial, “countless hours have been devoted to examining the often unconscious gender bias that female candidates still contend with. Among other troubling disparities: Women who deviate from traditional gender roles face a risk of backlash from men (and women) who value those roles; women in positions of power tend to be considered less legitimate than their male counterparts, and ambitious women are viewed more negatively by men and women alike, than ambitious men.”

Yes.

The Catholic Church’s record on equality for women is abysmal. There is none. Women have always, and still are, second-class citizens with only men having the power to make decisions – including decisions regarding the status and role of women, Yet so many church members are conditioned to this that there are few complaints. There absolutely needs to be objections to this secondary status from both men and women in the church.

But let me get more personal and provide a few anecdotal experiences.

When I was looking for work just after I had married, I was asked at each interview, “When are you planning to have children? “I don’t know,” I responded. “Do you plan to have children?” “Yes I do,” I said. I didn’t receive job offers until one executive woman hired me. In my middle adult years, I knew my pay was less than my male colleagues in the same position. When I asked why, I was told, “They have to support a family.” I was a single mother at the time.

When I was working for a high tech company in Palo Alto, I can remember sitting at meetings with department heads (all male), as we collectively searched for what we needed to do next. I would make a suggestion, and everyone politely nodded. Five minutes later, a man would make the same suggestion and the reaction from other men: “That’s a great idea, Tom!”

When I was working for a newspaper and was managing editor, the executive editor called me and asked, “That new man you hired six months ago. Do you think he is management material?” I told him that others on my staff (females) have considerably more experience and leadership qualities than he does.” Nevertheless, he was promoted.

Things are better now – certainly among the millennials and Gen Zers. But we still have a long way to go.

So will the Equal Rights Amendment ever be adopted in this country? I’m guessing no. Not okay, and certainly a shame.

What are men so afraid of?
We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

 +   6 people like this
Posted by hockey stick, a resident of Green Acres,
on Jan 20, 2020 at 6:58 pm

no real equality yet. Why not?

You will get dissenters mumbling about rules, the amendment process, etc.., but none will answer your question. Because they haven't a real answer.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by john, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jan 21, 2020 at 12:51 am

When you demand equality with the gender that represents 93% of workplace fatalities, 80% of suicides, 95% of convicts, 99% of combat deaths and a stunning minority of minor child custody legal judgments... shoot lady, take it!!! When you're forced to bring up the Church and anecdotal evidence from 40 years ago however, it is obvious that you don't have anything real to complain about.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Reader, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jan 21, 2020 at 12:18 pm

"Seems like some men in our country wanted to keep women barefoot and pregnant. . . while the women said they don't need such an amendment " they were happy with taking care of their home."

Why on earth haven't you mentioned, let alone thoughtfully examined, serious, objective concerns raised even today (by intelligent conscientious people of both sexes) against the ERA? Are you even aware of them?

I supported the ERA. But there are arguments about it far more reasoned than anyone would guess from this blog essay. It really illuminates the state that public discussion this country has come to (especially in our region), when rather than investigating what other people think on an issue, and examining their arguments logically, it's acceptable now to routinely *project* what you think motivates them; respond to your own projections; and thus wrap yourself in an unexamined ideological bubble.

PS: The "Great idea, Tom!" situation cited above also happens to many men -- it's a notorious syndrome in organization psychology.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jan 21, 2020 at 3:12 pm

> Reader, a resident of Mountain View

Just curious, ... and those thoughtfully examined, serious, objective concerns and far more reasoned arguments are?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Reader, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jan 22, 2020 at 9:14 am

CrescentPark, you can research and answer your own question if it is serious and not just rhetorical. Much more to the point, so could the blogger if she chose to.

This blog has a lot of intelligent articulate writing. Such that when the blogger chooses, as she sometimes does, to express -- maybe even perceive -- only part of a larger picture, then that selectivity itself stands out to those readers who've looked harder. As all are free to do, whether or not they wish to.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Neighbor , a resident of Los Altos,
on Jan 22, 2020 at 10:22 am

Diana, thanks so much for writing this thoughtful post! The situations you used to illustrate the bias against women are similar to ones my aunt has talked about and that I have experienced. I'm really surprised at the negative comments! I also wonder why people are afraid to acknowledge the truth on this issue. Equality benefits everyone!


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 22, 2020 at 11:06 am

Thank you to John who made a valid point above. Men are not equal to women in so many areas and suffer in so many ways.

It is hard being a man today.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by DIana Diamond, a resident of Midtown,
on Jan 22, 2020 at 12:06 pm

DIana Diamond is a registered user.

Reader from Mountain View -

Let me echo Crescent Park Anon's question to you: just what are those "thoughtfully examined, serious, objective concerns and far more reasoned arguments (against the ERA) are?"

Yes, I know the arguments on both sides, but this is an opinion column and I do support the pro-ERA side unequivocally. What do you feel is wrong about equality for women? And equality for men and women of all races in our country? What is compelling you to not support the ERA -- fear? And please tell us, rather than tell us to read more about it.

Diana


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Reader, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jan 22, 2020 at 12:33 pm

Diana Diamond, with respect:

First, please do not mischaracterize my comments like that. I wrote above that I support the ERA (not the contrary). "What do you feel is wrong about equality for women?" further misrepresents what I wrote and believe (I do *not* myself feel anything is wrong with "equality for women").

Second, that response (unintentionally, I have to assume) reinforces the larger point I made: The trend to projecting what you think motivates other people, instead of listening to or learning from them.

Third, back to my specific complaint. If you do "know the arguments on both sides," why not have the intellectual courage to demonstrate that, seriously, instead of trivializing all debate as "men in our country wanted to keep women barefoot and pregnant. . . while the women said they were happy with taking care of their home." If I can easily find serious, contemporary concerns expressed today concerning ERA and its possible consequences, so can you. (I already made clear to CrescentParkAnon that I don't choose to join in the prove-it-to-me-while-standing-on-one-foot rhetorical game, thank you very much.)

[Technical aside: This website doesn't accept in comments the same set of characters it uses in the articles commented on. Quotation in my first comment, lifted straight from text above, included an Em dash that rendered as a mystery character when the comment appeared.]


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Take A Lesson from Diane..., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jan 22, 2020 at 2:32 pm

Because most of the women running for public office (past and/or present) are not attractive to most male voters from the standpoint of their personalities & outward dispositions.

And it has nothing to do with political party affiliation as Meg Whitman or Carly Fiorina (both Republicans) were/are just as distasteful as Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren (Democrats).

About the only woman politician who has learned this valuable lesson is Senator Dianne Feinstein who is respected for both her moderate political platforms & not being an obnoxious or overtly outspoken feminist.

Ocasio-Cortez will eventually learn this lesson the hard way...by never getting higher than a congressperson or possible VP candidate on a left-wing Democratic ticket.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by DIana Diamond, a resident of Midtown,
on Jan 22, 2020 at 4:45 pm

DIana Diamond is a registered user.

Reader from Mountain View --

My sincere apologies for inaccurately suggesting you are against the ERA. You DID declare in your comment that you supported it.

Perhaps the issue you have \with my blog is my not spending much time (or even acknowledging) the "thoughtful" arguments against the ERA. That is certainly the job and responsibility of a reporter; a columnist has the liberty to take his/her own point of view and push for that (as so many op-ed columnists in the NYT and elsewhere do (Maureen Dowd, Frank Bruni, Tom Friedman, etc.)

And when you suggest I am generalizing about how men and women feel, you are absolutely right -- except for years I have heard such comments from men and women I have known.

But again, I am sorry for my mischaracterizing your position.

Diana


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Rick Moen, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jan 22, 2020 at 7:37 pm

Dear Ms. Diamond:

Thank you for yet another articulate and thoughtful column. Having gone through supporting E.R.A. ratification back in the day, I was shocked that it fell short of ratification. I heard all of the supposedly 'serious, objective concerns' against that basic statement of equality under the law, and found them variously presuppose that obviously wrongly decided state-court decisions would become the law of the entire country or to rely on wild leaps of broken logic. Yet, this rhetoric raised enough carefully fabricated doubt that E.R.A. missed both the original 1979 Congressionally imposed deadline but also Congress's extension of that deadline to 1982. Meanwhile, five of the existing 35 ratifying states purported to rescind their ratification (something that may or may not be lawful, being neither provided for in the Constitution nor yet adjudicated). Post-1982, three additional states have ratified, with unclear legal effect -- and, of course, currently a hostile DoJ and Senate as new obstacles.

I'm pessimistic about this simple and much-needed statement of legal policy being adopted in my lifetime, as the smokescreen of excuses never went away even though the faces have changed. As you say, there is much work to be done, including concerning employment opportunity and salaries, and so, so many other places.

Rick Moen
[email protected]


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cradle Catholic, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 22, 2020 at 7:41 pm

Becoming familiar with the Scripture instructive detailing how the church is to be structured will explain why men are official leaders and decision makers.

It does not mean women are to be silent, or to be seen and not heard. But there is a structure that is given to the Church regarding leadership.

While it is consistent with the Old Testament, directives for the church structure is found in St. Paul's New Testament letters, specifically to Timothy (first letter) and it's repeated in the letter to Titus.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Take A Lesson from Diane..., , a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jan 24, 2020 at 9:43 am

> Becoming familiar with the Scripture instructive detailing how the church is to be structured will explain why men are official leaders and decision makers.

>> It does not mean women are to be silent, or to be seen and not heard. But there is a structure that is given to the Church regarding leadership.

^^^Catholic Church mandates don't necessarily apply to the entire world and should simply be viewed as suggestions.

Besides, members of the Church of Christ will beg to differ on whether the Catholic Church accurately represents the true voice of Jesus...given all of its censorship/editing/exclusions within the New Testament.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Just Say NO to Authoritarian Religions., a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jan 25, 2020 at 3:07 pm

> Besides, members of the Church of Christ will beg to differ on whether the Catholic Church accurately represents the true voice of Jesus...given all of its censorship/editing/exclusions within the New Testament.

The Inquisition didn't play too well either along with the numerous accounts of child molestation by priests.

The Episcopalians (aka Catholic Light) don't seem to have a problem with women clergy.




 +  Like this comment
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jan 27, 2020 at 4:34 pm

"The "Great idea, Tom!" situation cited above also happens to many men -- it's a notorious syndrome in organization psychology."

How true. Ideas die at their first airing. Too radical. Everybody forgets. But the subconscious works on. Later someone else, possibly goaded by their subconscious, "gets a great idea" and pipes up with that very same nugget. Prepped now by their own subconscious musings, everyone else is now receptive and the second suggester gets the credit.

Curm's law: Never be the first with a new idea or, if you must be, repropose it later if you want the credit.

OK, I'm for the ERA. But its real assassin was the indefatigable Phyllis Schlafly, who almost single handedly stopped its initial momentum with deadly effective lobbying. I never understood why she did that, or why so many found her persuasive.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Objective Observer, a resident of Mayfield,
on Jan 27, 2020 at 4:43 pm

>>> Ocasio-Cortez will eventually learn this lesson the hard way...by never getting higher than a congressperson or possible VP candidate on a left-wing Democratic ticket.

My observation:

IOW, AOC will have to learn her place and keep it. Her cardinal sins are, in increasing order, being young, being female, being attractive, and being unavailable to the complaintant


 +  Like this comment
Posted by charmi, a resident of Gemello,
on Feb 20, 2020 at 11:36 pm

Graphic design is everywhere nowadays. We are seeing it in TV Shows, over smart apps on our mobile phones, and also in making a business card. When I was in school, my parents discovered drawing classes from free classifieds in Pune portal. From then, I love drawing and doing artwork by applying all my creativity.

I always wanted to go to the art industry so that I can continue to do creative work. In school, drawing was my favorite subject. My friends were also taking my help when it comes to drawing. I always got good marks in drawing and that inspired me to participate in art and creative work. It's not that I only took part in school activities. I am living in Masulkar Colony and at that time, we were used to organizing an event where all kids showcase their talent. Some were giving a performance on dance, some were doing skating, while some were showing their creativity. I was also doing artwork along with friends and having fun. After doing all the activities, we were playing various games with parents as well.

I have also taken part in an event where I had to paint on the street wall. As I grew older, drawing has become my passion. I was pursuing my degree in arts and found top college through free classifieds in Pune portal. Then one of a friend, who was pursuing a degree in computer science, has told me about graphic designing. I was not interested in study at all and found this course. This lets me feel free, and I was not worried about my future, as I have decided my direction.

Then I was thinking about joining Graphic Designing Classes to get a certificate and free classifieds in Pune portal has helped me in it. I have gone through various classes and found the best class at Dr. B.A. Chowk in Pune. Trainers were very supportive and let me think about the design on my own and sometimes I couldn't create a new design so my tutors were always there to give me creative ideas. And at the end of the course, I got a certificate with an A+ grade.

Still, my graduation was not completed so in the meantime, I have created some more logos, business cards, and wedding cards. And once I have completed my education, I have applied in many companies but some companies have such terms and conditions that I would not acknowledge, while some companies were paying a low salary. Then I thought let me take this job to get experience and signed an agreement.

After one year, I have learned many things and upskill my level and then I wanted to do things in my own way. That's why I have left that job, opened my own office and started doing freelancing work. I have posted on free classifieds in Pune portal to get projects. Also, I have used a portfolio to show my designs to the client so that they can have an idea. Thanks to those classes where I have learned, and the company where I had upgraded my skills.

So if you love creating new things, then don't waste your time, and start learning!!

Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by [email protected], a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks,
on Feb 21, 2020 at 4:09 am

[email protected] is a registered user.

[post removed]


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Pune Model, a resident of North Bayshore,
on Feb 21, 2020 at 4:35 am

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