Author of AMERICAN WOMAN The Poll Dance: Women and Voting Kimberley Johnson gave a powerful and entertaining speech at the We Are Woman Constitution Day Rally on Saturday. She was one of many speakers including Feminist Majority president Eleanor Smeal and the National Organization for Women president, Terry O’Neill.
Other notable speakers included Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Johnson’s activist buddy, teen activist, Madison Kimrey.
The focus of the rally was voting rights and the new push to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
“It was an amazing day and I was so glad to see that despite the rain, so many people showed up to support the cause!” Johnson said. And she added “It is clear that women are laser focused on what is happening to their rights. They are paying attention and legislators better wake up!”
Have you noticed that when some elected officials weigh in on climate change they say they aren’t experts but when it pertains to women’s innards, they’re all board certified gynecologists?
Government officials, who have zero understanding of the female anatomy, seem to be OBSESSED with legislating our body parts.
These same officials vote against fair pay. They’re blocking the minimum wage increase and they’ve implemented restrictive voting laws that make it more difficult for you to vote.
Are we going to allow these legislators keep their jobs?
There are some who say the War On Women is a myth.
If that’s true, why can women be legally denied a prescription for birth control because it goes against the religious leanings of a pharmacist?
Some judgmental Puritan at your local drugstore can trump your doctor? Are you okay with that?
And why are we still battling against economic and gender discrimination?
We currently have a hostile congress that is purposely halting progress and taking us backwards.
Two years ago when I was speaking at the first We Are Woman rally, I learned that the Equal Rights Amendment was never ratified into the constitution.
And I also learned on that day – that many Americans don’t realize this fact.
Here’s the ERA text:
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex
ON ACCOUNT OF SEX
This gender inclusive text will benefit all Americans and it will make Equal Pay – FEDERAL LAW!!!
That should make congress happy – More free time for them!!!
They won’t have to argue anymore if women DESERVE equal pay for equal work.
An amendment to the Constitution requires thirty-eight states to ratify it. The ERA was introduced by Republicans in 1923, overwhelmingly passed both houses of congress in 1972 and subsequently ratified by 35 staes by 1977.
Everyone believed it would pass until Phyllis Schlafly essentially killed it with her Stop ERA campaign.
She used fear and lies and warned that equal rights would mean unisex bathrooms and that women would be drafted.
She neglected to tell people that congress has always had the ability to draft women – but they have chosen not to.
Enough people believed the lies, and the amendment languished.
Congress imposed a deadline to the ERA – and that deadline EXPIRED in 1982.
The one and only amendment that would make gender discrimination a federal offense EXPIRED
Did you know that the 27th Amendment, dealing with congressional compensation was originally proposed on September 25, 1789 and ratified on May 7, 1992? That’s 203 years! No deadline for that one, but women? We got ten years and then it was game over. WTF?
Congress has the authority to remove the deadline.
Do you think they will if we don’t speak up?
Are you going to wait for elected officials to give you the recognition and the equality that should be your birthright?
In 1920, Dr. Alice Paul, with the assistance of Lucy Burns and other dedicated American suffragists, made sure women would have the right to vote. Their efforts secured the 19th Amendment – women’s suffrage – into the Constitution.
But Alice knew that women also needed constitutional recognition, and in 1923, she penned the Equal Rights Amendment.
Alice died in 1977 and never saw her dream realized.
We have the ability to change that.
We have the power to make Alice’s dream a reality with our votes and our collective voices.
Alice said, “Deeds, not words.”
I have a question for you:
Are you going to demand ratification of the ERA?
And then are you going to back it up with action?
One day, women will see a RATIFIED Equal Rights Amendment.
It won’t be the end of feminism, but it WILL be a gigantic stride in the ongoing movement.
Feminism is, and should be, a celebration of the female spirit and the unique strength that women possess.
We STILL don’t have full, guaranteed constitutional equality. We deserve it. It is our right. We are woman. Hear us roar!
And let us VOTE in numbers too large to ignore!!!!