First, as a matter of full disclosure, I am an old, white guy. I am somewhat amazed, and overwhelmed by all the allegations of sexual harassment that have surfaced lately from all facets of American society.
Ranging from the presidential campaign and continuing through the current senate race in Alabama and permeating thru the entertainment industry and all facets of society, sexual violence or harassment against women is completely and unequivocally unacceptable. It’s high time that victims are heard and given a creditable voice.
But I have a bigger question. Why has the Equal Rights Amendment gone un-ratified for 45 years? In 1972, Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment and sent it out to the states for ratification. It has reached as many as 36 of the 38 states needed and the deadline for ratification has been extended, but it has never become the law of the land.
The text of the Equal Rights Amendment reads:
“Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
Sections 2 and 3 deal with the enforcement and the date of implementation of Section 1.
If we, as a society, can’t agree that women should be treated equally under the law, then how can we be surprised that women are not taken seriously when they try to defend themselves against abuse and bullying? And it goes beyond sexual abuse to include wage and promotion discrimination in the workplace. The problem is far bigger than what a constitutional amendment can solve, but it seems to me that ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment would be a good place to start.