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We demand an amendment to the Constitution

The+resurgence+of+women+fighting+for+these+rights+is+reminiscent+of+the+suffrage+fighters+from+the+1920s.+This+fight+for+equality+began+almost+100+years+ago+and+continues+to+this+day.++
The resurgence of women fighting for these rights is reminiscent of the suffrage fighters from the 1920s. This fight for equality began almost 100 years ago and continues to this day.

The resurgence of women fighting for these rights is reminiscent of the suffrage fighters from the 1920s. This fight for equality began almost 100 years ago and continues to this day.

Illustration by Katie Sullivan

Illustration by Katie Sullivan

The resurgence of women fighting for these rights is reminiscent of the suffrage fighters from the 1920s. This fight for equality began almost 100 years ago and continues to this day.

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We demand equal rights for both men and women.

Women earn 77 cents to every man’s dollar, ignorant society members view women as the lesser sex, the media can distort the female image, and the glass ceiling effect still occurs … in 2015. It’s not 1920 anymore, a change needs to be made.

Thankfully, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) states: equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. So women can legally take a stand with the backing of federal law, right?

Wrong.

Major issue number one: sexism is still a thing in 2015 (95 years after women received the right to vote).

Major issue number two: this “amendment” is not actually written in the Constitution of of the United States of America.

History

After the right to vote was given to women in 1920, Alice Paul realized that the right to vote was only the beginning. She wrote the first draft of the ERA in 1923.

In 1972, it was passed by the Senate and the House to move on to the states for ratification. The amendment needed 38 out of the 50 states to approve it.

By 1977, 35 states ratified the ERA, just three shy of 38.

As soon as momentum was gaining, an opposition force showed up led by Phyllis Schlafly, a woman herself. She based her force on the idea that if the ERA passed women would not be supported by their husband, privacy rights and labor laws would diminish, and women would be drafted into war.

Schlafly gained followers despite the Pro-ERA marching, lobbying, and protesting. The ERA was not ratified or added to the Constitution.

“Unfinished Business”

Three William and Mary Law Students have devised a plan to fix this amendment.

The basic idea is that Congress previously demonstrated that the states can ratify an amendment no matter how long the amendment has been waiting for the states to okay it, seen by the Madison Amendment.  Congress also demonstrated that they can ignore or extend any deadlines given to a certain amendment, as demonstrated by multiple different amendments and the ERA amendment (Congress set a deadline of 7 years for the ERA but extended it from 1979 to 1982.) As long as three more states ratify this amendment, it can become a full-fledged federal law.

Thank you, William and Mary students, Allison Held, Sheryl Herndon, and Danielle Stager for figuring this one out.

The ERA is not only needed, but it is warranted. It is absolutely ridiculous that the Equal Rights Amendment, declaring equality to all persons, is not federal law.

Make a change in history by publicizing the need for the law, joining marches, and simply bothering to treat everyone with equality.

Morgan Taylor is a Copy Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

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We demand an amendment to the Constitution