Here are the details for the story of gender equality in a nutshell. Women in America have no Constitutional protection for guaranteed equality. They do however, have protection for the right to vote, guaranteed by the 19th Amendment (called womens suffrage), which passed in 1919 by one thin vote. The Equal Rights Amendment, which would have Constitutionally guaranteed equality and protection for your healthcare choices and financial situations, including equal pay for equal work, was NEVER passed into law as a proposed Constitutional Amendment. Although it got the necessary 2/3rds vote of Congress on May 7th, 1992, it was never RATIFIED by the required 38 states to make it a Constitutional Amendment. All these other so called Equality of pay laws, fancy sounding Acts for Justice or Presidential executive orders, are not worth the paper they are written on because employers, states, and sharp lawyers can easily get around them, which is why women are still getting 77 cents for each Dollar a man makes. But you do have the right to vote and you are in the majority, so let’s see what can, and should be done, to achieve guaranteed justice for women.
My assistant Lisa, who is very well qualified to give advice about using Social Media to build a base of followers, told me over and over to “Never Blog or Tweet about Politics or Religion, because followers are usually split about 50-50, and when you take one side, you alienate the other side.” People are locked into their beliefs, whether reasonable or not, they stick to their guns, no matter what proof comes out to show their beliefs may be totally wrong and could possibly be hurting them.
Under ordinary circumstances, Lisa is absolutely correct, but I am overwhelmed by Outrage, just how many women are being taken advantage of, and we as a country are not doing what is required to change things to correct the injustice. Either women don’t know anything about the law, don’t understand the complex issues of the problem as it now exists, don’t want to rock the boat “we’ve come so far over the years, why change our momentum” or most importantly, they don’t care enough to try to make a change. Simply stated, as things stand today, you as a woman, I repeat, are only getting .77 cents on average for every 1 dollar a man makes, doing the same work as you. If you don’t think it is an OUTRAGE and don’t really care, don’t waste your time finishing this blog. Just leave and get busy doing something less frustrating to you, (I have a strong urge to say “like burying your head in the sand,” but that’s not nice). If being a second class citizen without any interest in making the effort for equality is O.K. with you, bye-bye. Have a nice day and hope you come back to read my next blog, it will probably be about dating or male-female relationships. But I have daughters, granddaughters and I strongly believe in justice for all women now, so I’m in it to help accomplish the progress women deserve.
The end of the last paragraph could be yours and one of Americas longest running problems. While doing research for this blog, I came across a black and white photo dated 1872. It showed six well dressed women behind a large sign saying ” No self respecting woman should wish or work for the success of a a party that ignores her.” For over one hundred and forty-two years, leaders of your gender have been trying to get a constitutional guarantee (amendment) that will make women equal to men. You really should want to work to make it better, at least care enough to hear my very workable suggestions and how to get them accomplished. It’s not going to be easy, but let’s at least look into it and try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
The Constitution is a brilliant document, though not perfect. But for it’s time and under the difficult contentious conditions when it was written, it had great wisdom and foresight. Our founders included a provision to be able to change or add to the Constitution when an amendment was voted in by the representative branches of Congress, and we have done it as a nation 27 times. In my opinion, there were some glaring errors in the original document, for example, they concluded that a black person was considered 3/5th of a human being. I don’t know how or why they arrived at that percentage. The southern states, (the confederacy), that was willing to risk fighting to the death of it’s brave young men to preserve the right to own slaves, simply because they considered slaves their property, just as if they were; a mule, a horse, or any other possession. They still remain sore losers, for example, the Confederate flag is still a significant part of the state flag of Mississippi. The south, through its many still racist politicians will still not let slavery die, by consistently voting to continue making it progressively more difficult for minorities to vote, violating the intent of the constitution at every election. The members of the state assembly voted to close down the voting booths on the weekend before Election Day. On the Monday before Election day, they closed down some of the voting machines. Then on Election day they shut down the polling places for several hours while people are waiting on long lines to vote. Instead of making it easier to vote they do the opposite, especially in minority precincts. Their behavior is unconstitutional and an illegal act. I wish the Attorney General of the United States would get involved to guarantee citizens their legal access to the polling places.
Women do not have Constitutional protection. There should have been a 28th amendment called the Equal rights Amendment guaranteeing equal pay for equal work. It’s been “in the works but was never completely passed. It needed and still needs 2/3rds of Congress (the House of Representatives and the Senate) plus ratification from 38 states. At one point in our history we were very close to passing it, now mainly because of wealthy business people funding the conservatives, we are far away from granting women not only equal pay for equal work, but Constitutional equality to ensure those words; “all men are created equal,” “with liberty and justice for all,” “equal justice under the law,” “government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” should have applied equally to women.
I often wonder how many women have heard bits and pieces of all these patch-quilt bills created to help them to be considered equal, but the fact remains that women are still not guaranteed equality with men under the Constitution of the United Sates of America. The first 10 Amendments, called the Bill of Rights, should have guaranteed ALL citizens equality before the law is still an unfulfilled dream after all these many decades. To supplement and attempt to guarantee the closing of loopholes, the Civil Rights Act, The Equal Pay Act of 1963, and recently The Lilly Ledbetter Act were all passed to help guarantee equality. Just last week I watched Eric Cantor look right at us through the television screen and say so convincingly that he was in favor of voting to pass the new Paycheck Fairness Act, while he was secretly arranging a filibuster to stop it in it’s tracks. The Republican House Whip, whipped his cohorts into a frenzy to unanimously vote AGAINST the bill leaving women where we are still stuck, being 77% of a mans 100%, in terms of pay.
Now what? Tomorrow, in my next Blog, I will tell you how we can accomplish our goals for equality.
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