Equal Rights Amendment, a Pro-Life Feminist Perspective
The impetus for this article is the effort currently being undertaken to finish ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. The web site for this effort is 4ERA. It was written at the request of a woman who is working with this web site. Although I personally am no longer pursuing the ratification of the ERA, I would support any effort to ratify it provided its meaning and intent are clearly understood. Part of the motive for writing this, then, is to explain how I view this issue, in depth.
Alice Paul, a wonderful, kindly woman with a phenomenal inner strength, wrote an amendment for the United States Constitution. It came to be called the Equal Rights Amendment. When you look at the history of our feminist foremothers, you will learn that they never intended to pursue a course of action that would have resulted in placing women in a straitjacket. Instead, the purpose was to give women equality of opportunity under the law. There was no hint of an idea that it was intended to impose on us obligations that it wasn't imposing on men. I had the opportunity to have a phone conversation with Ms. Paul in the 1970's, and I could hear the pain in her voice as she talked about the fact that a cause she didn't even believe in was being used to defeat her life's work. I am speaking of the cause of abortion. None of the suffragists supported it. In fact, all of them were adamantly opposed to it, and the reason laws against abortion were passed in the states was because our feminist foremothers pushed them. It was their actions that brought the American Medical Association to a position of opposition to legalized abortion, and it was their actions, together with those of the AMA, that caused the states to pass laws against abortion. Our feminist foremothers saw what a horrendous form of slavery legalized abortion really was, and they wanted protection from this, and they got it! And it was in this context that they crafted and fought for the ERA. They never contemplated the ERA being used as a straitjacket to coerce women into a male outlook or male style of living. When the Supreme Court considers a portion of the Constitution (or any other law), it considers the context in which the portion or law was written. And the context of the ERA was very different from the agenda of the women who belong to the National Organization for Women and other such organizations. I will consider their outlook, because in order to gain equality under the law, we will have to convince the American people and the court that it doesn't call for a straitjacket, and that if it is interpreted in that way, it will lead to far more inequitable treatment of women than what they endured at the time, which was significant.
Well, what went wrong? We had a suitably crafted amendment that would guarantee to women equality under the law. Then something happened, and now all the work that was put into the amendment was destroyed. And the person who did it was a woman who achieved equal opportunity on her own through superiority, and who lived the life of the ideal feminist, and she worked to take that opportunity away from the rest of us. I am speaking of none other than Phyllis Schlafly, who not only bore all the children she wanted to bear, but also got a law degree and became a lawyer. She is also a highly published and regarded author, and the founder of a national organization with considerable political clout. Why, then, has she acted in what I regard as a hypocritical way, to deny those same achievements to women who are not as fortunate as she? Why did she introduce what are to me specious arguments to defeat the ERA? Let us take a closer look at the situation. Would the ERA mandate the things she said it would? Remember, she even went so far as to introduce the "potty argument", that we would have to put up with unisex restrooms!
At this point, the Equal Rights Amendment is effectively dead. If we are going to revive it, there are going to be several things necessary. One of the first is a sea change in the Supreme Court. We currently have an activist court that is using the Constitution to fashion a regime that is to their liking. They legislate from the bench. They seek to refashion our society in the mold of a One World Order where one huge Supertyrant will tell all of us what to do, and there will be no such thing as rights, and there will be no safe haven where someone can escape his tyranny. They wish to renounce the noble experiment in freedom this nation represents in favor of a vision that enslaves everyone. This needs to change. Our nation's founders sought to protect us from a tyrant who ran the world's greatest empire. It would not be in the best interests of women for us to allow the Supreme Court to undo the accomplishment of our founders in the name of equality. What we need is a court of strict constructionists who will interpret the Constitution, including the ERA, if it is ratified, in accord with the original vision of our founders. And the idea that women should be forced into a straitjacket could not have been further from their minds! They knew we are different, and they celebrated this.
An amendment that truly meets the rights and needs of women would recognize this difference, and a Supreme Court that was thinking clearly would so interpret the amendment.
When Cathy Callaghan and I founded Feminists for Life, she had achieved what many women see as a distant dream. She has a PhD and she was a tenured professor of linguistics at Ohio State University. She also earned black belts in judo and karate. Before we could begin to launch the effort that resulted in the forming of this organization, I needed to convince her that the feminist movement was necessary. She thought that any woman who wanted to achieve what she had achieved was free to do so. As I pointed out to her, however, not all women have the brains she does, and not all women are capable of being two or three times as competent as a man to accomplish the same things a man is allowed to accomplish. When she saw that women need to have the same opportunities as men, she began to support feminism. But the two of us, like our feminist foremothers, recognized that abortion is a horrible form of enslavement for women, and so our organization was brought into existence.
A genuine form of feminism is what is known as equity feminism. The arguments crafted against the ERA came from the perspective of a concept of an equal straitjacket for women. Equity feminism proposes that equality under the law is available to women, but that we are not required to renounce our gender and become fake men to achieve equality. Instead, the laws are to be designed to give us opportunities, not obligations to renounce who we are. Men have a right to be men. A true Equal Rights Amendment will give women an equal right to be women! It would mean an equal opportunity, not an equal outcome! Equality under the law takes into account our diversity, and provides us with the opportunity to achieve all we can be. This is true not only for the two genders, but also for people of different "races" and cultural and ethnic groups. We have never interpreted any provision of the law to require Asians to act like Europeans! Equity feminism, then, is the radical idea that women are entitled to be all we can be, and thus, the law must protect that right to be women!
It is also absurd to suggest that the ERA would require that we figure careful percentages and guarantee that there is an equal number of men and women pipefitters, kindergarten teachers, and so forth. We have a right to choose our own profession, absent any form of coercion to fill someone's quota. The American people must clearly understand that the ERA is not to be construed to require any kind of "affirmative action" program. Not only are such programs fundamentally unfair, but they also defraud the people who supposedly will benefit from them, by concealing lack of competence for a position. We have a right to know about, so that we can correct, such a lack of competence. It is equally absurd to suggest that overall, women must have absolute equality in income to men. Many women want to stay home with the children. They want to have shorter work hours and more flexibility with these hours. What we should educate the American public to support is the idea that a woman's time spent at home with the children counts as valuable experience for the purpose of obtaining a job. We also need to recognize, as a nation, that most women work at dead end jobs simply because it is the only way the family can afford to pay its taxes. We need to lower taxes significantly so that women who want to stay home with their children have the ability to do so. Everyone will ultimately benefit from this. The social cost of children being raised in day care will be reduced, and correspondingly, the amount of tax money that will have to be collected to provide services to dysfunctional children. Industriousness and responsibility will be encouraged, and much human suffering will be alleviated. Let us educate the American people that the ERA will require the lowering of taxes so that women can choose to stay home with the children. We don't simply need to protect the right of women who want to pursue a career. We also need to protect the right of a woman to refuse a dead-end job simply because it is the only way the family can financially survive. Taxes must be significantly reduced permanently. And this includes hidden taxes like the ones levied on corporations, which have no choice but to pass those costs on to consumers, and it also includes estate taxes, and taxes on the sale of family assets, which can often destroy a family. All taxes must be levied directly on the family so the family is aware of how many taxes it is paying. And once a person has amassed wealth, that is his or her property and s/he has a right to leave that to the family, without the government coming in and plundering the family.
We must also make sure that the ERA is not used to make single motherhood more probable. I honor the single mother who has the courage to bear her baby instead of seeking an abortion. That said, a child really needs two parents who are committed in a loving relationship where every family member is cherished. Most women want children by a man who will cherish her and her children and commit to them with a meaningful commitment. Single motherhood most often happens because women misunderstand male sexuality, and this is exacerbated by the idea that there are no gender differences in sexuality. A man is sexually aroused from looking at a beautiful woman. Although we have a right to wear whatever clothing we choose, within reason, it is simple foolishness to suggest that wearing provocative clothing doesn't ever make rape more probable. So even though wearing provocative clothing or flirting do not justify rape, women should be prudent and refrain from doing both anyway. Better we not be the victim of rape than assert the right to be provocative. Women also do not understand that men will make representations of caring that simply don't meet the test of the hardships of life. Many men will outright deceive a woman as to their intentions, and represent true love and caring when all they want is a sexual experience. And many men think they are committed until a woman becomes pregnant, and they then discover they didn't mean it like they thought they did. They can run away from the fact of the pregnancy; we women cannot. So in case of panic, men will abandon the mother, either literally or emotionally, or even try to coerce the mother into an unwanted abortion. About half the abortions that occur are because the mother wants more desperately than anything else for the father to cherish them both and provide for them. There is simply no one who can take the father's place. And many women simply do not have the resources to provide a decent life for their children in the context of single motherhood, and although we can usually help solve the financial problems, this still doesn't provide a loving and committed father in the home. In the long run, the losers in the case of single motherhood are the mothers and children. And we also don't tell women that it is likely they will meet someone in two or three years who will cherish them both, so that they do not have to be afraid. Keep in mind that most women who seek abortion do so because life as they know it is over if they bear a child. We do not face uncertainty well. We are not trained to do so. I would very much like to see a rite of passage that either boys or girls may undergo, which, when successfully completed, will make them eligible for legal adulthood. This should be some kind of physical challenge involving survival in the wilderness or something similar. This will teach them resourcefulness and foresight. Along with this, let us make sure that all children who elect to undergo this rite are sufficiently educated so that they can take on adult responsibility, including the educational competence necessary to hold a decent job. To that end, we really do need to shut down the public school system, and turn education over to free enterprise, where competition will hone the effectiveness of the education we provide for our children. When the school system can compel us to pay for its services, no matter how incompetently it educates, there is a fundamental weakness that can only be corrected by accountability. Public schools will never be accountable, and they don't work well in a pluralistic society anyway, because no matter what is taught, it will violate the rights of most families. And we don't need to be creating a class of homeless people (including women and children) who could not afford to pay the exorbitant property taxes so that the government takes their home without compensation. What we do need is a system where when a person reaches puberty s/he is prepared for adult life and allowed to enter into adult life. We need to encourage financial independence and competence, and we need to encourage emotional maturity so people can make lifetime decisions about their significant other.
Let us also teach women that men don't necessarily mean the honeyed words of love they utter, and to have enough self respect not to sell themselves at a discount. Sexual activity has a much deeper meaning, and this is especially true for women, and a sexual experience outside of a committed relationship doesn't begin to allow a woman to experience the full complexity and sheer beauty of a fully realized sexual experience within the context of that relationship. And as old-fashioned as it may sound, marriage is the best guarantee of that commitment. I don't even care if it is a common law marriage, provided that is what it really is. Legally, a common law marriage takes place when the couple announces to the world that they are married, has a celebration, and then lives together in the same household. The public commitment and celebration are the essence of common law marriage. There must be a public commitment. Without that, any woman who has a sexual experience with a man is cheapening herself and destroying her own self respect, even if she gets away with it! So we must make sure that the ERA does not in any way impair a woman's right to that cherished commitment before running the risk of having a child. The American people must understand that a woman has a right to that relationship, and that because the sexual temperament is different between the genders, the ERA must never obscure that difference, or undermine knowledge of it in any way. We should honor all mothers, single or married, but we must encourage women to act in our own best interests by refusing any casual sexual encounter that may lead to either pregnancy or STD. There should be no stigma attached to single motherhood, especially for children, but at the same time, we must recognize that single motherhood is bad for mothers and children, and do whatever we reasonably can to discourage it. And the ERA must be construed to back up our efforts to do so.
Before leaving the topic of single motherhood, there are things we can and must do in society to make life easier for women who experience the misfortune of a less than ideal relationship for the birth of their first child. For example, we need to be networking with each other. This means that we will be able to find people of like circumstance who would be compatible and could live together and share child care and expenses so both mothers can go to school or hold a job. We can also work together to establish homes where a woman and her child can have a room at minimal expense, with a kitchen and common dining room, so that the rent will be within the means of a woman who is struggling with the process of starting out, and she can save for the future instead of living beyond her means. We can put together these types of efforts, and should, as part of our movement toward equality for women. This same idea can be used for any person starting out at a low level job, and in fact, we can pool resources for any number of things to make it possible to get a start in adult life without going deeply into debt.
What about homosexual "marriage"? We must make sure that the American people clearly accept that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman, simply because that is the way we are designed. Our genital organs fit together. The genital organs of two people of the same gender do not. And to ratify a deadly lifestyle that shaves a couple of decades off life expectancy is simply a form of national and cultural suicide. We we must clearly understand that the ERA is not intended to mandate homosexual "marriage". Without that understanding, we cannot go forward with the ERA. Please keep in mind that the women who designed the ERA did not intend to support the idea of homosexual "marriage." We must also keep in mind that one of the greatest purposes of laws that provide for and protect marriage is for the sake of children. Their interests and rights are paramount. And not only will no child ever result from a homosexual sex act, but it is not in the best interests of children to be raised in a household where they will be taught a deadly lifestyle, gender confusion, and possibly be subject to molestation. It is a sad fact that the percentage of molesters is much higher in the homosexual community. It is also much more common coming from stepfathers, which is another reason to make sure our society regards marriage as a covenant with deeper meaning than can be bestowed with laws. It would make me perfectly happy if the government never licensed marriages in the first place, but yet gave full recognition to the rights of all people involved in a marriage, both spouses and children. And we must make sure the ERA is never construed to allow homosexuals to adopt children. Again, the right of the child to a healthy household where s/he will be taught a virtuous and healthy lifestyle is paramount. Adoption is basically a legal act that creates a relationship where none existed. The government effectively plays god. And since it is not normal nor natural, nor even a possibility, for a child to result from a homosexual sex act, it would be wrong for the government to supply what God will not.
Let us look now at each of the main arguments that Phyllis Schlafly put forth to defeat the ERA, in light of the position of equity feminism as described above.
One of the arguments Ms. Schlafly proposed is that the ERA would require women in combat. Well, now, that's just plain silly! Although there are women who are aggressive and tough enough to be an equal asset in combat, the vast majority of women as a group are not of the same physical strength and temperament as the vast majority of men. I hold a second degree black belt in taekwondo. I also teach. I have noticed something very interesting about women's temperament. Women CAN learn to be excellent taekwondo artists, but all other things being equal, they do not behave like male taekwondo artists. In hard style martial arts, one of the characteristics of the art is the kiai or kihap, which is a loud vocal sound made for a number of different purposes. It tightens up the abdominal muscles to protect the abdomen from blows, and so that the artist can strike with a taught body, which increases the power of his or her blows. It scares the opponent. It calls attention to the person (useful when a vulnerable person is being attacked by an aggressor, whether the martial artist is the object of the assault, or s/he seeks to protect someone else from aggression) on the part of the aggressor or on the part of other people who may help defend the intended victim. It is a form of communication. In all the years I have been involved in taekwondo, I have learned that the vast majority of men will produce a creditable sound, but most women will not. Even women of high rank do not necessarily have a convincing kiai/kihap. I know a woman with a third degree black belt, an excellent technician in forms, an excellent sparring partner, who can break several boards with impunity, but her kihap is miserable! In general, what does this mean? it means that women just aren't the same when it comes to combat. Even this woman of high rank breaks fewer boards than a man of the same rank (on average). And she maintains a gentle feminine demeanor when she is not in uniform.
The military is a peculiar entity. A person who enlists into the military voluntarily gives up constitutional rights and signs a contract where among other things, he promises to submit to the authority of his superior officers, even if those officers command him to do something that is likely to put him into mortal danger. Being in the military is not a right; it is a responsibility. The military has every right to construct its forces to make a maximum efficiency fighting machine. The military has the right to refuse to put women on the front lines for the sake of that maximum efficiency fighting machine. And women do not have the right to demand that the military place them in positions where they will be less efficient than a comparable man. The same is true of homosexuals. If the military decides that it will undermine morale to accept homosexuals, it has the right to refuse to accept them! And the military would have other good and sufficient reasons to refuse to accept women into certain positions. The foot soldier lives under very deprived conditions. The anatomy and physiology of the man make this much less problematical than it would be for a woman. Also, men have a natural trait of chivalry. This means that if women are on the front lines, the men will be more concerned with protecting the women than with completing their mission successfully. And this can be fatally detrimental to the unit. So if we have any sense, we will not interpret equality under the law to give women a right or obligation to perform the same as a man in combat. Instead, we will recognize that the military has the duty to work for maximum efficiency, and this means not deploying women to the front lines. Remember, the military has a job to do. There is no such thing as the right to join the military. The military isn't about rights. It's about responsibilities and about voluntarily foregoing rights to get a job done. Thus, the idea that the ERA would force women to serve in combat is ridiculous. No sane person would see this as a reasonable outcome for the amendment. The mere fact that many members of NOW and other such organizations want to force women into becoming fake men doesn't change that fact. Obviously, the vast majority of the population doesn't buy into their "vision" of what feminism really is. Many women refuse to be designated as feminists, even though they hold to the vision of our foremothers and live it. They don't like what these NOW members are laying out for them, and they don't want to be associated with it. And since ostensibly the idea is that women should be free to be who we are, the idea that we should associate with this efeminization of women is just plain silly. And it is equally silly to propose that men should be emasculated to become like women!
And what about the draft? The draft is slavery. It has no place in a free society. So if the ERA can be used to eliminate the draft, that is a good thing. But make no mistake: the draft isn't about rights, and the idea that it would extend the requirement to be subject to the draft to women is just plain ludicrous! Granted, there are some insane people around who think it should result in women being subjected to the draft. Let's just shun those people and make sure they do not have a voice in policymaking.
But there are those who would say it's unfair that women should be exempt from military service but not men. Not so! As long as we have an all voluntary military, people can choose. And even if we didn't, it is our responsibility to bear and nurture the young, and that is a responsibility that is fully comparable to military service and should be honored as such, and we as women must insist on it. Until men can start bearing babies, it is not unfair that they shoulder the responsibility of defending the nation's families.
The idea of unisex restrooms shouldn't require much comment. The difference between the genders is stark in relation to the use of the bathroom. We have, in our wisdom, provided for a different environment for the two genders in this country, and it goes without saying it wouldn't protect anybody's rights to take that away. Granted there are some unisex restrooms, but they should not be required. I hope this is sufficiently self-evident that I shouldn't have to comment further. Speaking personally, one of the things that worries me a lot is the possibility that a transgendered individual who started out as male will seek to use the women's restroom. I am sure I am not by myself! Nor would I want to be in a restroom which is not locked to the outside world where a man could invade my domain. Since restrooms are somewhat private, I can also see a restroom where the outside door isn't locked while it is in use as being the perfect venue for a man to rape a woman or girl in privacy. And it is a fact that the vast majority of rapes are men on women (though men on men is becoming sadly more common.) No rational person would consider requiring unisex restrooms as a logical outcome of equality before the law. So let's just lay that one to rest right now.
Another problem with the current climate that we need to avoid with the ERA is the move toward giving men the same right to demand and possibly receive custody of children in a divorce proceeding. Our feminist foremothers expended considerable effort to get legal protection for the right of a mother to keep her children in that situation. They clearly understood that at least in those days, when women's personalities hadn't been warped by the move toward becoming sexual men in their outlook and behavior, and women still sought to protect their own virtue, divorce most often happened because the man rejected his own wife or was betraying his covenant to stay faithful to her alone, or made life miserable through systematic abuse. At that time, men automatically got custody of the children, and because the woman had no property interest in the home and other property of the married couple, the woman was usually left with nothing. Our feminist foremothers secured to us the right to keep custody of our own children in that case, and now certain so-called "feminists" want to take that away from us in the name of equality. In reality, the children's rights should come first. The children have the right to remain with the caretaker, or in the case where one of the parents has committed adultery, with the innocent parent. And babies have a right to remain with their mothers, especially when they are being breastfed. We must make sure that the ERA reflects the outlook of our foremothers at the time it was written. That outlook was that women had a right to keep their children when the marriage failed. We must retarin that right, and we must convince the American people that the ERA will guarantee the right of the child to remain with his or her primary caretaker. One more thing. It may seem strange that the parent who committed adultery should not receive custody. But consider that marriage is a covenant, and the covenant-breaker is not in a position to teach the children ethics.
This brings us to the topic of abortion. I see abortion as the most insidious form of slavery ever invented. I am not alone. Our feminist foremothers abhorred abortion. They recognized it as an attack on themselves, an attack they wanted no part of. To see what they had to say about it, please visit Voices of our Feminist Foremothers.
Let's take a close look at what abortion really is. In reality, it is medical rape! Only a fool would call rape a "right". Why is it medical rape? When a woman conceives a child, immediately a subliminal form of bonding takes place. The fertilized ovum moves down the Fallopian tube to the uterus. On the way, every time s/he bumps into the wall of the Fallopian tube, hormonal messages are exchanged. There is communication. These hormonal messages cause a woman's body to change so that the baby will be welcome to implant and grow. Once the baby implants and begins to grow, s/he starts to send stem cells into the mother's bloodstream. These move through the bloodstream to the mother's brain where they take up residence. At the birth or abortion of a baby, massive numbers of stem cells are released. The baby permanently becomes a part of the identity of his or her mother. The experience of pregnancy is the most intimate relationship between two human beings that can ever exist. A pregnant mother is really a dyad. And you disrupt the bond of that dyad at your peril. Having a baby is an integral part of our sexuality. Denying us the right to bear and breastfeed babies is to compel us to adopt a male sexuality, and renounce our own. I never understood why Louise Summerhill, founder of Birthright, said a woman has a right to bear her child, until I thought this through. Now it is clear. We should never be required to stunt our own sexuality and submit to medical invasion of our bodies to solve a social problem! It would be no different from a situation where a man was required to submit to castration as a precondition to completing his education or advancing in his career. To even consider abortion as a solution to anything, or as a desirable opportunity for women is an abomination.
Let us look more closely. What actually happens in an abortion? In the most common scenario, an abortionist (almost always a man; wonder why!) invades deeply into a woman's body, into her most intimate self, a far deeper penetration than a rapist, with a sharp metallic instrument, which he will use to scrape and cut in an environment where he cannot see what he is doing, and in the vicinity of a tender organ which is easily damaged, where he can accidentally perforate or slice into the wall of the uterus, causing possibly fatal exsanguination, or scarring that will result in grave difficulty for the woman later on. He does this for hire; she pays for the "privilege". It is no wonder that many abortionists also sexually abuse their patients in other ways as well. Why not? Women come to them and give them permission to rape them medically! So they're fair game, are they not? Do you really think that abortionists do abortions out of the goodness of their hearts? No way! They do it to make a ton of money! And at women's expense! Abortionists are some of the most misogynist people on the planet! Some of them may kid themselves with early ideals, but they lose that real fast! It's about making money by medically raping women! And that's all it is! So don't be surprised when you learn that more women are being butchered than ever. It's legal; abortionists are no longer afraid of getting caught. Many have grown careless. In fact, it is reported that some abortionists race each other to see who can do more abortions in a day. A woman is placing her life in the hands of a man who can destroy her in five minutes. Medical complications are no respecter of the willingness with which a woman agreed to have an abortion, either.
And even if a woman escapes medical injury, the damage that it will do to her personhood is incalculable, and I have yet to meet any woman who wasn't permanently harmed by it. I have talked to hundreds of abortion experienced women. And in all that time, I have met exactly one who told me she freely chose abortion, with no extenuating circumstances, who knew exactly what abortion is, and what her baby was like. And you know what? She was a really ugly person, a disgrace to our gender! Was she unharmed? Not in my opinion! Then there was another woman who worked at the local abortion mill. She told me she had had an illegal abortion, and she no longer experienced emotions. Was she harmed? Absolutely! Do women freely choose abortion? No! As Frederica Mathewes-Green says, "There is tremendous sadness, loneliness in the cry, 'A woman's right to choose.' No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg."
The vast majority of abortions are coerced, and it is fair to say that in nearly all cases where a woman thinks she is freely choosing it, she is being defrauded about what it really is and the effect it will have on her. It is typical for a woman at first to feel relief. But that usually doesn't last long. For one thing, the abortion doesn't change a single circumstance in her life. What made the abortion seem necessary is still there. The woman is still in no position to have a child. She is still vulnerable to poverty, or disruption of her education or career, or still being used by some man who just wants to pleasure himself at her expense. Once a woman has had a chance to think about what she just went through, she is most likely to find a way to stop thinking about the abortion experience. She won't say anything to anybody. Sometimes, she goes into denial and denies that the abortion harmed her in any way, or that it violated her own ethics. Sooner or later, she will probably come out of it, and it may be devastating and unexpected when she does, and may cost her her life. If she's "lucky", she'll die before she comes out of denial. And sometimes, a woman simply suffers in silence, because no one else can truly understand. She has not only lost her baby, but by her own decision! She let someone hack her own baby to death, and that someone is a veritable axe-murderer. She is the one who paid a lot of money to a medical rapist and mass axe-murderer and then laid down on a table and let him invade her. This is why abortion is so often called a silent grief. No woman escapes unscathed after an abortion. An abortion changes her forever, and usually not for the better.
So abortion is really medical rape, with all the emotional and spiritual consequences of any rape. In fact, abortion is an outrage! And they call that a right! How stupid can we get?
So it is critical that we understand the effect the ERA would have on the question of abortion. We already have abortion on demand up to the point where a baby is half born, and that has been locked into place for a third of a century. We now have over thirty million emotionally wounded women, some of whom have also been medically maimed, and some butchered and killed, as a result. How could the ERA make that any worse? In fact, we need to cultivate the idea that the ERA could make it better! Think of this: if a man has a right to be free of medical rape, so does a woman, and we need to guarantee that right! A man has a right to be free of coercive castration, and a woman has a right to be free of abortion. We women have the right to refuse. Currently, that right isn't protected. It's time it was, and the ERA could serve as a vehicle for this, provided we develop the right outlook. And if we want the ERA, we will have to change our outlook! And we are going to have to change the outlook of the rest of the American people as well. So we must establish the idea that the ERA isn't a vehicle for drafting women, putting us into combat situations, forcing us to use unisex restrooms, or locking us into abortion.
So getting the ERA ratified will not only require a sea change on the part of the Supreme Court, but also a sea change in our own outlook. We must make certain that we will not accept any of these absurd scenarios that have been suggested by either side, as to what the ERA will do. We must make it clear to our courts that these scenarios are not an option.
There are, then, two possibilities. Either we can get the ERA ratified as it stands, with the understanding that we will not allow the Supreme Court to put women into a straitjacket as a result, or we will need to start over with somewhat of a rewording. Here is the rewording I propose: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of gender. This amendment shall not be construed to coerce members of either gender to renounce or forego the personal qualities and privileges of his or her gender, abilities, or temperament."
It must be clearly understood that any result of the ERA which would lock women into renouncing who we are is simply not a possibility. It is an absurdity.
The bottom line is this: we will need to reshape the debate about equality under the law. We will need to re-establish the purpose of the ERA, and we will need to reshape the Supreme Court so that it is made up of strict constructionists, not one-worlders. To my mind, that is a prerequisite for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. We need to reshape the debate. Let us get busy!
Background graciously provided by: