Equal Rights Amendment Laws don’t always match the culture. If a person is asked whether the Equal Rights Amendment became a law, most would say that it did. Unfortunately, passed by Congress in 1972, the ERA was 3 states short for ratification. It stated ‘Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex,’ and this amendment is considered one of the most important, even though it never passed as a law.
Multiple major events occurred throughout the 19th and 20th century that eventually led to this proposition. People all over the US were affected by an unfair treatment and discrimination, women for the most part.
Child abuse, house rape and the disrespect they had to experience built up and they had to take action to achieve a justified conduct. People were just so used to women being viewed as “housewifes” and meant to be raising children, taking care of their husbands and not have a valuable position at a workplace, that this change would be drastic for everyone.
They are people in precisely the same way that men are and in the progressive era they demanded to be seen as full citizens of the United States. Despite all the complications, significant changes were to be made after the fighting for equal rights began. People refer to the 30 years between 1890 and 1920 as the “woman’s era” because it was in that time that women started to have better economic and political opportunities.
That is when they were aided by legal changes such as getting the right to own property and control their wages. By 1900 over 5 million women were working for factories.
Women were always a huge contribution to the economy as producers and consumers because they always worked, some for wages, some for the household. The largest female organization at the time was WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union) consisted of 150,000 members. It does not initially discuss equal rights but brought advantage to ensure the society that women should be able to vote. Drinking was becoming a problem during that time period, government was trying to pass the laws that would fix the situation and make it harder to drink, and to do that it would be very helpful if women could vote because men would usually be the ones to have a drinking problem, so they would not want prohibition to come along, it gave women a reason to show a society that their opinions matter and they can improve the United States. Also they were fighting for more education opportunities and women who were able to get education would create new movements.
The first major step that was taken by Alice Paul who was a college educated American women’s rights activist, she noticed that women were not using all their power so she ruled differently and there were many more things she wanted to accomplish, she was forming the National Women’s Party, it was a first major decision made that really contributed to the movement. The intention and persuasion of this political party was aimed towards reaching equality for women. Initially females were considered weaker than men and not capable of completing the same jobs as well as not being able to be on the same plank as them. Despite the opposition from a lot of men and even women which caused severe complications, because the opposing side was well organized, the movement ended up being successful and enforced further steps on the way to the amendment. ERA was first proposed to the Congress in 1923 which took a lot of effort of the community and of course, members of the party.
That time it didn’t get as far as it did in 1972, it was several states short for ratification and not as many people approved the amendment back then. Some were saying that it would ruin family values and women would take over the jobs that men are meant to be completing, which was feminist and wrong, every human being deserves to have equal opportunities and the freedom of what they want to be doing. Things did really start to change after the first time the proposition was put out there and reached the Congress, for decades the NWP was gaining more power and support from the community. There were multiple organizations along the way that supported the movement and pretty much all of them had the same purpose, it was the matter of how far they would be able to pursue the idea and how many people would be willing to join that organization which would determine how powerful it would become. Lobbying and protests were a huge part of a long journey to equality.
All women wanted is a chance to be independent, they wanted respect and wanted people that were against the progress of the movement to get a better understanding of their perspective. They wanted to fully live and not be limited in their actions and options. Native born white women got a bit more privileges, when women started having jobs they were actually getting paid for, such as getting higher positions than others. One of the other organizations that enforced the proposal was NAWSA (the National American Women’s Suffrage Organization) that was mostly made up of middle to upper class women. This organization was a pretty significant part of the resolution of women’s suffrage. They fought for being able to vote and have the same rights granted to them as men. Through all the discrimination women had to experience, they still fought for their rights, they fought for what they initially deserved.
They never lost Hope and that was their main power supply. The issues the ERA concerned were almost countless and the community went through years of battling disservice. One of the relatively recent events, the civil rights movement of 1964 was insanely impactful for black women that were suffering noticeably more than white women. The controversy of the topic is that some women did not have enough confidence to believe that they could change the full perspective of U.S. citizens. The arguments opposing side would mention is for example: if the woman was a firefighter and was stationed in the same department as men, or in case the war happens, the things that women would bring up almost sounded like they were afraid of what their husbands might do. Also, they were saying that it is going to create this huge bureaucracy, the opposing activist Phyllis Schlafly was pretty much trying to defeat the ERA. Even though she might have had a point in her arguments the amendment turned out to be much more beneficial for women to earn more freedom of action and opportunities than expected. History shows that the movement has gone through success and failure but the one thing they didn’t fail to do is keep trying. Most suffrage organizations supported wartime service and even though some opposed, patriotic support of the war by women, especially their service working in wartime industries, convinced many that it was wrong not to give them a right to vote.
Outcomes achieved were essentially advantageous. As mentioned all the organizations had the same concept and goal, they would come together to combine their power and fight for what they deserve. Giving more rights to females improved many things, like more produce and economic benefits as well. There will never be a perfectly equal community, but in order to survive in the society, people need each other, no matter what color your skin is, whether you were born a girl or a boy, what nationality you are, the person you become that’s what truly matters. Achieving things like ERA takes a lot of time and effort, but it brought US together more than ever, the people that weren’t happy about it were drastically wrong. It opened up a new world for millions of women not just under the law, they won this fight for themselves they achieved more than the society thought they ever could at the time. and let them live a better life without humiliation and all the complications mentioned. It took some time to actually adjust, though slowly but surely things started to become better. Despite the fact that ERA did not end up becoming a law the process that led to the eventual agreement was huge to this whole country. Surprisingly even the strong opposers started considering the situation differently. There has been humiliation discrimination and violence in this world, there still is, but in the end of the day it’s a United country.