The Equal Rights Amendment has long existed in the mainstream political agenda. On account of ideological differences, it had yet to be ratified by the necessary states — until now.
So what’s next? The deadline for ratification passed decades ago, so the apparent ratification seems more symbolic than substantive. Before you form an opinion, remember: just because it has “equal rights” in the name, doesn’t mean every quasi-feminist in the nation has to immediately swoon at the proposition.
Dodge the fatal fall into the trapping pit of the modern political left. Much to the chagrin of the ERA’s ardent female supporters, the ERA is a men’s amendment.
A wage gap due to discriminatory hiring and … wait for it … pay disparities among women and men. This decades-old act didn’t fix centuries-old sexism, and neither will the Equal Rights Amendment.
It’s an established, archaic footnote that reappears in our current events: women and men have not historically, nor are currently, treated equally. But will a law change this? Nope.
So you may be wondering: If this law won’t fix equality of the sexes, what will it do? Well, I’ll tell you. A whole lot of crock.
This broad-strokes legislation is expansive and could potentially include anything under the sun, since all implementation would be at Congress' discretion. An Equal Rights Amendment means that there would have to be equal opportunities and institutions for each sex.
What could this entail? For starters, no more private gender-based schools. Schools could no longer operate as all-boys or all-girls institutions. In addition to women’s studies majors or courses, there would exist legally required men’s studies majors or courses. If a school could not afford to offer both or implement an additional major, it couldn’t offer either of them. That means schools could be left without proper education of women’s studies, disparaging women’s equality in its doing.
The largest change that the ERA would enact-- major changes to family law. Women would no longer receive preferences with regard to child custody and alimony negotiations.
These inclusions in family law have long rendered women a sense of equality, as many divorced women in the U.S. are often unemployed or near retirement age when they decide to end their marriage. Is it fair that a woman, who shouldered the burden of homemaking and child rearing, while sacrificing a career and intellectual livelihood, could also be left without custody of her children in the case of divorce? Absolutely not.
The ERA will only complicate these situations further and deny women privileges that would otherwise have leveled the playing field within family law.
These impacts are only a handful that will arise out of the implementation of the ERA; the rest would be in Congress’ hands to implement at their discretion.
In our country, men and women aren’t equal. They most likely never will be because men and women are inherently different.
Many of the current laws and initiatives in this country, especially those that would be impacted by the ERA, help to reduce the disparity between men and women on all fronts. You could argue all day about the positive and negative consequences of the ERA, but before you even bother, just ask yourself this: Do you want an amendment that destroys decades of legal reparations for women’s equality, all so men can retain social power and have their own inequalities rectified?
Don’t fall into the liberal trapping pit. Analyze what the ERA could mean for you, as a student, and for your friends and family, and remember: the ERA is a Men’s Amendment.
Sarah Grindstaff is a sophomore from Saint Louis studying political science.