What is the ERA?
Wording of the votable body of the Equal Rights Amendment, created in 1923 and changed in 1943 still reads:
"Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."
Thus ERA simply acts to prevent all sex discrimination as proven. Discrimination can be defined as "to note or distinguish a difference" (here, in a sector of the population) and treat that sector differently from others, unjustly. Little understood is that the Equal Rights Amendment affirms equal treatment to males as well as females, so that treatment by society, government, etc., should be equally applied.
Females have long taken the brunt of sex discrimination, as it has been carved into the human mind for eons and is thus taken for granted, often applied subconsciously. Our job here is to raise that consciousness by asserting that equal human and civil rights must be applied in this case to the human sexes if the U.S.A . is be considered humane and a fully civilized representative democracy.
Our national Constitution is The Law of the Land, as it is THE law. No other law, ordinance or statute can supersede the contents of the Constitution as decided by the United States Supreme Court (acronym, SCOTUS). Our forefathers realized after creating the Constitution itself, it needed some way for the new nation's democratic principles also to allow for the American people to be acknowledged as having set-aside rights. So they created the amending process.
As an amendment to the United States Constitution, the Equal Rights Amendment proposes sex-equal treatment (a.k.a., "sex equality", or gender equality") for all Americans. It would codify the 28th Amendment, the last one to date, in our U.S. Constitution. The United States House and Senate (known as the Congress) or the Supreme Court can vote add or change existing ones, thus they are called amendments. The first ten of those are called The Bill of Rights. Municipalities or cities and towns have similar processes. We, and now thousands of other fine organizations, seek to amend the U.S. Constitution so that it guarantees sex-equal rights to all Americans as our representative democracy promises. Most nations formed as a result of WWII already have codified equal rights of the sexes.
The amendment process was deliberately made very much a challenge to effect by the Founding Fathers for the sake of Constitution stability. (Note that all the Founders were male, which slightly but importantly affected their pronouncements, notably the 14th Amendment, the only definitively male-only amendment; see Section II. ) Since 1848, awareness of females' various unfair treatment has grown, but societal norms remain stony-strong. The job to expose and weaken them to change them is our challenge now.
Constitutional amendments can take two paths. The one always chosen so far requires that the U.S. Congress vote by a 2/3 of the members in favor of the amendment in question. Note that It actually took Congress about fifty years to decide to vote that perhaps women and girls could be considered citizens and thus be entitled to vote! And another 50 years to decide that women could deserve human and civil rights via the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972. Congress then was required to send the ERA out to 3/4 of the state legislatures with the requirement that 38 of vote for / ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Over the ensuing ten-year period, including one vote to change the arbitrarily-devised time limit from seven to 10 years for the planned completion of the state ratification process in 1982, all but three of the 38 states vetted and voted for ratification. Thus just ONE unratified states of the 13 remaining unratified states continues to hold America hostage to politicians wary of change, especially for American girls and women.
We of the 20-Year-old founded National Equal Rights Amendment Alliance, Inc. (a 501c3, a non-profit corporation) and hundreds other ERA organizations nationwide are and have been for almost 100 years at fairly steady work to amend the U.S. Constitution since the ERA was first written in 1923 to guarantee that women and girls are treated equally with men and boys in the U.S.A.
It's now the 21st century. It is beyond a doubt that it is time for medievalist opinions about American women's, girls' treatment--and, males'--be abandoned for a fair, contemporary, humane determination via passage of the ERA as soon as possible. Our economy, quality of lives, and America's image depend on it.