Who Benefits from an ERA?
ERA is for EVERYONE
ALL AMERICANS, every ONE of us, millennials, stay-at-home women, working women and all males benefit from an Equal Rights Amendment, which IS a guarantee for males, too! Note in the body of the Equal Rights Amendment itself that the final word is "sex"--male and female.
Our Nation's Economy benefits markedly, as well, through fewer sex discrimination court cases, fewer receiving Medicaid, food stamps and Public Assistance, plus more tax revenues and a 15% growth in predicted GDP/Gross Domestic Product* with increased numbers of women workers AND because the ERA uniquely requires No Funding!
That includes ALL Males
Although most people agree that females do take the brunt of sex discrimination, males are subject to it, too. Both sexes have been slow to recognize that. It has become increasingly clear now that males have also been shaped by society's roles for them, which do not benefit either sex. Time to break out of the molds, and to create our own lives' trajectories, unfettered by old, even medieval cultural definitions of constraining, even unhealthy sex roles. We can start by ratifying three more states to Pass the Equal Rights Amendment. LET'S BEGIN!
For eons females all over the world have been unwittingly been the subject, as a group, to unmitigated disparaging and ill treatment by society Just for Being Female. Unfortunately that tide has spread, penetrated unexplained except for the small numbers who speak, act and live as if females deserve such illogical injustice. In industrialized nations: "No way can any woman be President of the United States"; "Girls are sissies, glad I am not a girl"; "Women were meant to stay in the kitchen, take care of the kids and the house, period." "Our women have it a whole lot better than in the Mideast countries, so what are they complaining about?" "We GAVE (Wrong!) them the right to Vote; what more can they want?" Mostly the speakers don't realize that their rationales just don't hold up, and even if they did, many would not want to "risk" correcting themselves because, sometimes unconsciously they are fearful that change in a fairer direction would somehow cost them their unreasoned stature of power. Some, even women, may be just afraid, intimidated or threatened by Change itself.
For all these reasons, when American women began to remonstrate, to stand up not so timidly for their rights publicly, say at the time of some unusually strong women and a few men at the 1848 Seneca Falls (New York) Convention proclaimed their Declaration of Sentiments against girls' and women's denied equal treatment. The "women's movement" over the next century waxed and waned until 1972, when the Equal Rights Amendment to our Constitution finally got U.S. Congress attention, wherein the wholly male Congress, after 50 years of objecting, did finally pass it out to all the states for 38 to decide whether to vote for it or not. Thirty-five soon did, and the few states that voted again to rescind earlier votes were never granted that authorization, so just ONE more of the still-unratified state legislatures are still holdouts. We forge on to do that as soon as possible. Justice delayed is justice denied.
During the 1970s while the American states were deciding to grant equal treatment to the sexes, women energized at the prospect took quite a lot of abuse--being arrested for protesting, being insulted, harassed, bullied, spat upon and force-fed.
Granted, most of that was male-generated then. And is, even today. BUT we today are amazed and grateful for the hordes of men and boys who act humanely toward women and assist in the tough work of gaining an Equal Rights Amendment. Times have changed, and the average decent male is more mature, and knows that a nation which keeps more than half its population repressed even in subtle ways, does so at the major expense to the nation as the U.S.A. loses about 20% of working women's revenues in their wages unreceived, court costs for sex discrimination cases, food stamps and public a$$i$stance costs unremittingly high. Economists are pointing out now that U.S. now stubbornly foregoes a 15% boost in the nation's Gross Domestic Product while "enjoying" labors of an underpaid underclass, women. Or that the cure, the Equal Rights Amendment uniquely REQUIRES NO FUNDING.
Meanwhile, some American males are awakening to their own unfair treatment by societal mores, bringing it to females' attention. The first wave of feminists, of which I--Sandy Oestreich--was one, entirely blamed males for their unfair treatment (though I did not and do not now,) as we marched for ERA ratification and passage in masses not seen these days. When I stepped back into the ERA fray in year 2000, I objected to projecting blame upon all males for the pushback that stalled passage. It felt to me like blaming the victims--a status we females were sadly, used to. So, early on, when speaking twice a week to open up minds to the idea of equal treatment, rather than "equality" which is so abstract that it is difficult to define; "equal treatment" is quite measureable, thus more useful, I began weaving men's distressed treatment into my speeches. Most of those now working hard for ERA passage have seemed to pick up the logic. How could they/we have over-looked it when the last word in ERA statement is "sex'--and there are at least two of them. ERA BENEFITS MALES, TOO! Although most admit that females take the brunt of sex discrimination, MALES EXPERIENCE SEX DISCRIMINATION, TOO! Males need the Equal Rights Amendment passed, TOO! Wow!
Sex discrimination is a fact of life. We have allowed society to divide us, to antagonize us by reinforcing the awful acceptance of it as a way of life. It's our duty now, all of us, to Listen carefully to each other, recognizing that we must overthrow this nasty, dangerous prejudice against The Other, so male and female can work together for the benefit of both, for the Common Good, for better relationships as are revealed by research studies, for families, for children who need diversion from such futile adversarial attitudes.
So, MEN, get "with the Program" as many, many do, to energize change, appreciate it and grow ourselves to a better America. Welcome aboard, men and boys, let's work it out. Together, we can get ONE more state legislature to recognize how foolish is our past, and to actually HOLD Legislative public Hearings, then Vote For the Equal Rights Amendment! Not going to fix everything all at once, but it is certainly a fabulous Goal. Let's get started. Let's hear from some of the fine men, FOLLOWING, who write in accord with Our wish for YOU, whoever you are.
By Rob Okun: http://womensenews.org/2007/08/men-also-share-fruits-womens-equality-day/
By Juliette Terzieff: http://womensenews.org/2007/08/era-supporters-press-their-case-again-and-again/
By David Ault: http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/era-gaining-equal-rights-for-men/
*We heartily recommend a quick tour of the paperback that sealed for me, a wife, the idea, "what happens to one of the sexes, impacts the other", so why not work Together...what a novel idea! The Hazards of Being Male, a Signet Book of the New American Library, Times Mirror, 1977, by Steve Goldberg, PhdD.