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What Ever Happened to Equal Rights for Women?

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Women didn't get the right to vote until 1920. Since then, nothing has changed for women; 35 years ago the Equal Rights Amendment (preventing discrimination based on sex) was defeated when it was ratified by only 35 of the 38 states needed for passage. Any chance of equal pay for equal work was lost. To this day women are paid roughly 20% to 25% less than their male counterparts for doing the same job.

I have long believed the reason the ERA didn't pass back then is that Gloria Steinem co-opted the debate about women's rights, approaching it from a New York point of view rather than a national one. Saying things like "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle" and "A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after," not to mention "make him sleep on the wet spot," didn't go over well with women in the Midwest who considered themselves feminists but still wanted to be mothers. If there is one person to blame for the failure of the ERA to pass, it's Ms. Steinem.

A country that discriminates against half its population cannot be held up as a great democracy. That's why I'm calling for a new push for equal rights for women. Surely without the ill-advised, self-serving rhetoric of Ms. Steinem, reason can prevail. Let's bring back--and pass--the Equal Rights Amendment!

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