The Equal Rights Amendment: Background information when reading Never Have Your Dog Stuffed

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Never Have Your Dog Stuffed

And Other Things I've Learned

by Alan Alda

Never Have Your Dog Stuffed by Alan Alda X
Never Have Your Dog Stuffed by Alan Alda
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2005, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2006, 272 pages

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The Equal Rights Amendment

This article relates to Never Have Your Dog Stuffed

Print Review

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that was intended to guarantee equal rights under the law for Americans regardless of sex.  Although the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment guaranteed American women's right to vote, suffragette leader Alice Paul argued that vestiges of legal discrimination remained and proposed the ERA.  The ERA was introduced at every session of Congress from 1923 to 1970 (it was opposed by The American Federation of Labor, other unions and most "New Dealers" who contended that women needed government help and should not be forced into the workplace to compete with men).  It was finally adopted by the House of Representatives in 1971, and by the Senate in 1972 with a 7-year time limit set for getting it ratified by the states.  At the end of 1979 only 35 of the required 38 states had ratified it, and five of the 35 had adopted resolutions to rescind or modify their earlier ratification. 

Modern-day opponents of the ERA argue that its passage would obliterate traditional distinctions between the sexes; would require women to register for the draft and serve in combat; would remove laws that protect women, such as labor laws in heavy industry; and would require the integration of all single-sex schools, sports teams, and even restrooms; and that the ERA is simply not necessary in light of other provisions of the Constitution that provide sufficient support for equality.  Supporters contend that these are myths and scare tactics designed to obscure the real advantages of gender equality.  Most, on both sides of the argument, agree that at this point in time, for the ERA to be passed into law it would require re-ratification by the states, as the original 7-year period has long expired.

Filed under Society and Politics

This article relates to Never Have Your Dog Stuffed. It first ran in the October 5, 2006 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

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