No Equal Rights For You!

In case you consider the concerns addressed in the book I promoted yesterday to be exaggerated, allow me to offer the following evidence that that the GOP is indeed waging war on women–that the Republican Party is working overtime to ensure that we females remain decidedly second-class.

The “Grand Old Party” is focused on denying us bodily autonomy, and in case we missed getting the message, has recently reinforced the message by refusing to extend the deadline for passing the Equal Rights Amendment.

The ERA passed Congress in 1972, having been first proposed in 1923. Constitutional amendments, under U.S. law, must be ratified by three-quarters of all state legislatures, meaning 38 states.

In 2020, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the ERA, but it did so after the 1982 deadline to ratify the amendment had passed.

The Senate resolution would have removed the deadline so that the ERA could become the 28th Amendment. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Murkowski were the resolution’s lead co-sponsors.

Murkowski and Collins were the only Republicans to support the extension. The vote was 51 to 47 to invoke cloture on a motion to proceed, falling short of the 60 votes it it needed.

This would be a good time to reiterate my opposition to the filibuster as it is currently employed. In its current iteration, it bears little or no resemblance to the original rule.

A filibuster used to require a Senator to actually make a lengthy speech on the Senate floor–unlike today. In its current form, it operates to require government by super-majority, and it has become a weapon routinely employed by extremists to hold the country hostage.

The original idea of a filibuster was that so long as a senator kept talking, the bill in question couldn’t move forward. Once those opposed to the measure felt they had made their case, or at least exhausted their argument, they would leave the Senate floor and allow a vote. In 1917, when filibustering Senators threatened President Wilson’s ability to respond to a perceived military threat, the Senate adopted a mechanism called cloture, allowing a super-majority vote to end a filibuster, and in 1975, the Senate again changed the rules, making it much, much easier to hold the Senate hostage.

The new rules allowed other business to be conducted during the time a filibuster is (theoretically) taking place. Senators no longer are required to take to the Senate floor and publicly argue their case. This “virtual” use has increased dramatically as partisan polarization has worsened, and it has effectively abolished the principle of majority rule. It now takes sixty votes to pass any legislation, and has brought normal government operation to a standstill.

Operating together, gerrymandering, the Electoral College and the current iteration of the filibuster have allowed a minority party to exercise unwarranted power and throw sand in the levers of government.

In this case, a majority of Senators voted to assure the equal rights of America’s female citizens–but that majority vote was blocked by the members of what I have come to call the “anti” party–anti-woman, anti-Black/Brown, anti-Gay, anti-“woke.”


I still remember long-ago arguments with what were then fellow Republicans about the necessity or advisability of the Equal Rights Amendment. Those who opposed its passage tended to rely on the language of the 14th Amendment, arguing that women could achieve legal equality under that language, and that a separate amendment was unnecessary.

In the wake of the Dobbs decision, which upended fifty years of 14th Amendment jurisprudence, that argument no longer passes the smell test.

Passage of the Equal Rights Amendment would establish gender equality as a fundamental constitutional right–something that, thanks to Justice Alito, we now know the Constitution doesn’t explicitly guarantee.

It would also bring the United States into compliance with international standards for human rights. (Granted, those standards are widely disregarded, but the United Nations has recognized gender equality as a fundamental human right.)

It took a hundred years for women to win the right to vote–and we have now fought (thus far, unsuccessfully) for an Equal Rights Amendment for exactly that long– it has been proposed and supported by feminists for nearly a century. (A representative of the National Women’s Party, Alice Paul, was the person who first introduced the Equal Rights Amendment to Congress in 1923.)

Currently, an overwhelming majority of Americans (81%) support passage of the amendment. The White Christian Nationalist cult that now controls the Republican Party disagrees.( Actually, it disagrees with pretty much anything promising equality for non-whites, non-Christians or non-males…)

Congress will not reflect the desires of the majority of Americans–and women will not have equal rights– until and unless we reform the systems that have turned our country into a failed democracy: gerrymandering, the Electoral College, and the current iteration of the filibuster.


  1. None of the reforms needed to restore democracy are possible so long as the Supreme Court is occupied by corrupt, religious zealots.

  2. Not much to debate with Sheila’s post and Theresa’s comment. The only addition I have is our democracy ended when press freedom ended. Our continued persecution of Julian Assange and frying whistleblowers shows me all I need to know about those crafting the storylines of communication.

    When the press is corrupt, it’s also a signal that the government is corrupt. From there, follow the money or a tool for the corrupted…

    My rant ends with Clarence Thomas must resign, and we need a free press where editorial control lies in the hands of the people.

  3. “Congress will not reflect the desires of the majority of Americans–and women will not have equal rights– until and unless we reform the systems that have turned our country into a failed democracy: gerrymandering, the Electoral College, and the current iteration of the filibuster.”

    Have the Republicans deliberately put in the forefront the howling idiocy of Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert as their spokeswomen and simpering Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court to pass laws to keep women in their place?

  4. I just now read yesterday’s post and ordered the book. Plan to buy one for my 18 year old granddaughter – just need to find out which form of it she prefers.

    Sheila and Morton – Thank you for writing the book!

  5. Speaking of equal rights in Indiana, I’m excited to learn that Dr. Jennifer McCormick, former Republican now a Democrat, announced her campaign for Governor.

  6. At the risk of repeating myself (again and again) the US is effed up forever due to the hateful lying bigots and corporate whores who have hijacked almost every aspect of the state and federal governments… thank gawd my wife and I recently bought a lovely little casita in the mountains of Costa Rica where we will be living full-time before the 2024 elections. I can’t wait to leave this fascist right wing hellhole behind for good!

  7. Justice Felix Frankfurter told us in the early 50s that the only Constitutional right that women had was the right to vote. That was a significant time after the passage of the 14th Amendment. His words should have been a warning to us, in fact they were meant to be a warning to us, if we want women to be equal, we MUST have an Equal Rights Amendment. We have failed to pay attention when it counts on too many occasions in the good old US of A. Let’s not do that again.

  8. Republicans insist on the 7th century philosophy that women should be property. The equally backward women who vote for Republicans are an utter disgrace to their gender. The old, white men who run the RNC and who fund it and the political whores in all levels of government are the people taking dead aim at their feet and driving people like Joseph away. Sadly, Mr. Momma, you will find the same kind of creeping corruption in Costa Rica before long. The voraciousness of capitalism, greed and backwardness will get to your new home eventually. After all, Costa Rica is still run by the Catholic Church. What could possibly go wrong?

    Their paymasters want absolute control over ALL the money… stupidly thinking that that control makes them whole. Pathetic.

  9. Thomas is going to go down in history as the dictionary definition for “Corrupt to the core!”
    the dictionary picture of him will have Paul Ryan and the Tea Party/Freedom Caucus in the
    background, standing on the shoulders of the Koch Brothers, themselves standing on the
    corpse of the ERA!

  10. So the will of the people is held hostage to legislative rule-making? Why are sixty votes in the Senate necessary when majority rule has been the rule in democracies since the days of the Greek agoras? Answer – scheming politicians.

    What to do? Rid ourselves of scheming politicians. How? Perhaps making such legislative rule making a campaign issue on a par with major issues such as budgets and taxes would do the trick in educating the polity to such evil cancer on our democracy. Perhaps not. Anyone have any ideas? Our democracy is at stake!

  11. I totally agree with Shelia, our country was founded on the idea of freedom of religion and separation of church and State. Women need to run for political office, men have proven that they are unable to get the job done.

  12. Back when second wave feminism was a thing the press was not our friend. They, as usual, went for the most extreme of the feminists, found some radical feminists who were man haters, and promptly labled feminims as what those radical feminists claimed.

    I emplore you all to get your adult kids, and your grandkids, and your great grankids if they are old enough, and watch the documentary “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” on Prime. A very well done documentary showing where we cam from in the late 40s and early 50s and where we ended up in the mid 70s. which was far from where we were aiming, but also very far from where we started. Young people don’t understand where we came from, but they very much need to.

  13. Equality under the law is an aspiration still out of reach for many Americans in many different ways. Will it ever become the right for everyone that the Constitution promises?

    I used to believe it would in my lifetime. That goal has been postponed by authoritarianism taught by entertainment/propaganda/advertising media as part of the selling of wealth redistribution up.

    The lobby for wealth redistribution up has found it effective to tie their wagon to maintaining underclasses

    How long will it take now given that interference?

    I simply don’t know.

  14. Combating the Wrong Wing has been like playing whack-a-mole. We address one problem and they create two more. The gains made in the last election show what can be done when one issue unites us. In that case it was the Dobbs decision. I think the Democratic Party needs to prioritize their goals and attack one or two major problems. Where they start may be less important the chalking up a win to give us renewed hope.

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