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Ordinary Shoes
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Now that's a blast from the past. Some of you younger folks might not even know what the ERA is. 

I'm watching Mrs. America on Hulu today. It's very good. But also fascinating since it represents history that happened in my own life (yes I'm old). 

The movie is about the battle over the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment which was set to be ratified by the majority of the states until Phyllis Schlafly took on the issue. 

The babies being lugged by housewives to anti-ERA rallies are my contemporaries. 

So is it time to finally ratify the ERA? Does it matter anymore? I don't know. 

Schlafly is an interesting person. She was smart and hard-working but she dedicated her life to fighting against women's rights. 

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When I was in 5th grade or so, one of my friends brought a sign to school that said "ERA Now." I thought it was odd and vaguely other-ish / liberal. Now, I'm like, you go girl, for being so passionate and courageous as a child, whether I agreed or not. They were a nice family. 🙂 My brother dated her sister for a while.

Anyway...Schlafy. I definitely agree with her on Roe v. Wade. Not a fan of her views on immigration or of the politicians she has endorsed. 

Evidently she feared that the ERA would cause women to be drafted? I don't think *anyone* should have to register for Selective Service. But that's a whole other issue. 

Interested to hear people's thoughts.

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1 hour ago, MercyA said:

When I was in 5th grade or so, one of my friends brought a sign to school that said "ERA Now." I thought it was odd and vaguely other-ish / liberal. Now, I'm like, you go girl, for being so passionate and courageous as a child, whether I agreed or not. They were a nice family. 🙂 My brother dated her sister for a while.

Anyway...Schlafy. I definitely agree with her on Roe v. Wade. Not a fan of her views on immigration or of the politicians she has endorsed. 

Evidently she feared that the ERA would cause women to be drafted? I don't think *anyone* should have to register for Selective Service. But that's a whole other issue. 

Interested to hear people's thoughts.

I'm not sure she actually feared that the ERA would cause women to be drafted. That's discussed in the movie and it was a pretty far fetched suggestion. According to the movie, she saw opposition to the ERA as an opportunity to exploit. She opposed it but it wasn't that interested to her until she realized it was going to be a big issue. 

She's a complex person. She fought to keep women home but wasn't a traditional homemaker. She ran for congress. She had help in her home. There have always been women like her who succeeded despite sexism and then claimed that there was no sexism. Women are the jailers of women in the patriarchy. 

It's actually kind of sad. She was clearly brilliant and could have achieved so much more than she did. 

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Virginia ratified it a couple of years ago and it seemed like it was going to get some more traction.

I gave up on Mrs. America because of the way it both sides'ed the whole thing. It wasn't bad, it just started to grate on me personally. Like, one side was a movement, the other side was one woman who was backed by a bunch of talking heads. Not to say that her ideas weren't influential and that many didn't agree and support. But I found the framing really misleading. Cate Blanchett is obviously really gifted as an actor though.

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I finished all 9 episodes yesterday. I binge watched. LOL. 

A few things struck me as someone who was a child in that time. They kept using the term "women libbers." I haven't heard that term in years. 

There was a backlash that began with Reagan's election. I remember how we didn't call ourselves "feminists." That was kind of a dirty word. But what's ironic is that we insisted that we weren't feminists while we sought higher education and went to work. My mother and most of the mothers of my friends went to work in the 1980s. My generation (Gen X) of women went to work after college and most of us stayed in the workplace. 

Now most of us call ourselves feminists. The only women I know who don't call themselves feminists belong to conservative religions. 

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I saw a debate between Phyllis Schafly and someone else—I think maybe Patricia Schroeder—on TV during this time period.  I favored the ERA and couldn’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t.  It was kind of interesting to hear what she said though.  It wasn’t all about gay marriage, unisex bathrooms, and women being drafted, all of which were mocked as impossible and not implied by the ERA in feminist publications like Ms. Magazine at the time (oh wait…).  A lot of it was about protective laws that provided that homemakers couldn’t be totally screwed in divorce or separation situations.  It’s interesting to think back on the arguments pro and con with the perspective of 40-50 years of subsequent history now.

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18 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

 

She's a complex person. She fought to keep women home but wasn't a traditional homemaker. She ran for congress. She had help in her home. There have always been women like her who succeeded despite sexism and then claimed that there was no sexism. Women are the jailers of women in the patriarchy. 

 

This has always puzzled me. 

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50 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I saw a debate between Phyllis Schafly and someone else—I think maybe Patricia Schroeder—on TV during this time period.  I favored the ERA and couldn’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t.  It was kind of interesting to hear what she said though.  It wasn’t all about gay marriage, unisex bathrooms, and women being drafted, all of which were mocked as impossible and not implied by the ERA in feminist publications like Ms. Magazine at the time (oh wait…).  A lot of it was about protective laws that provided that homemakers couldn’t be totally screwed in divorce or separation situations.  It’s interesting to think back on the arguments pro and con with the perspective of 40-50 years of subsequent history now.

Yeah, I think this is the direction of her thinking, the point about the draft is an example of that.

The question becomes, what happens when you stop looking at the underlying basis for the difference in male and female lives, and allowing that to be reflected in public policy, public institutions, and society more generally. The underlying reality being reproductive role. Possible outcomes seem to include things like not really recognizing that reproductive role might be something other than a choice like which brand of cornflakes to buy and equalizing measures might never lead to a level playing field. 

It is really interesting that some outcomes which were predicted and seen as problematic by some were poo-pooed at the time by those pushing in the other direction, but now have come to pass after all. Which suggests that the people doing the poo pooing don't have the greatest foresight when proposing legislation, or were telling fibs.

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14 minutes ago, SlowRiver said:

 

It is really interesting that some outcomes which were predicted and seen as problematic by some were poo-pooed at the time by those pushing in the other direction, but now have come to pass after all. Which suggests that the people doing the poo pooing don't have the greatest foresight when proposing legislation, or were telling fibs.

This is particularly true of abortion legalization.  It’s interesting to be in my 60s for sure.

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18 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Women are the jailers of women in the patriarchy. 

 

Very well said.

It's an unfortunate truth that many women have fully succumbed to their training. I see it on this board all the time, and of course in politics. 

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20 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I'm not sure she actually feared that the ERA would cause women to be drafted. That's discussed in the movie and it was a pretty far fetched suggestion. According to the movie, she saw opposition to the ERA as an opportunity to exploit. She opposed it but it wasn't that interested to her until she realized it was going to be a big issue. 

When the ERA was defeated in my home state in 1992, my parents said many of their friends voted against it due to the draft idea. While I don’t doubt many of the opposition leaders didn’t really think one would lead to the other, they certainly did a good job of convincing voters.

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21 minutes ago, Frances said:

When the ERA was defeated in my home state in 1992, my parents said many of their friends voted against it due to the draft idea. While I don’t doubt many of the opposition leaders didn’t really think one would lead to the other, they certainly did a good job of convincing voters.

Yep. The power of fear based politics convinces people to vote against themselves over and over and…

Sigh.

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3 hours ago, SlowRiver said:

Which suggests that the people doing the poo pooing don't have the greatest foresight when proposing legislation, or were telling fibs.

I think that’s an overly generous perspective. I think they were full of crap and not only knew it would lead to that, but wanted that result and were just BS mollifying and mocked the opposition as ridiculous to get there.

Edited by Murphy101
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23 minutes ago, MEmama said:

Yep. The power of fear based politics convinces people to vote against themselves over and over and…

Sigh.

It’s not straightforward that this is against women’s interests though.

I mean, look at how things have played out.  We have the Equal Opportunity in Employment Act.  Wouldn’t we be better off if in addition to that there were more protections for women who stay home with their children if their husbands decide to leave them than there are now?  If the ERA had passed, that wouldn’t even be possible to consider.  

 

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34 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

It’s not straightforward that this is against women’s interests though.

I mean, look at how things have played out.  We have the Equal Opportunity in Employment Act.  Wouldn’t we be better off if in addition to that there were more protections for women who stay home with their children if their husbands decide to leave them than there are now?  If the ERA had passed, that wouldn’t even be possible to consider.  

 

I guess I’m not familiar with what you are asking. Are provisions for stay at home parents being seriously considered? 
 

I guess I do think that actual equal protection is positive (well, expected, really) for all Americans. If the ways (white, cisgendered straight) men are treated is the gold standard, why should it not be the same for all of us? 
 

Idk if you are referring to specific legislation actually currently under bipartisan consideration, but I’m pretty keen on passing actual equality and continuing to work on other issues. I mean, universal healthcare, universal childcare, banking protections, and so on would cover most hardships should one partner leave their stay at home partner. I don’t understand why passing the ERA would hinder those issues even more (it’s clear what already does).

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59 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

It’s not straightforward that this is against women’s interests though.

I mean, look at how things have played out.  We have the Equal Opportunity in Employment Act.  Wouldn’t we be better off if in addition to that there were more protections for women who stay home with their children if their husbands decide to leave them than there are now?  If the ERA had passed, that wouldn’t even be possible to consider.  

 

Motherhood has always been feminism's blind spot. It's fatiguing, the number of conferences etc I've been too where mothers (especially mothers who choose to or must solely mother, outside of the paid workforce) are seen as problematic. 

I don't know enough about the ERA to comment, but some of us feminists do acknowledge the blind spot and hope to change that. It's difficult, in the current moment, where it's politically unpalatable to allow a connection between sex ( our reproductive role) and outcomes. 

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16 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

It’s not straightforward that this is against women’s interests though.

I mean, look at how things have played out.  We have the Equal Opportunity in Employment Act.  Wouldn’t we be better off if in addition to that there were more protections for women who stay home with their children if their husbands decide to leave them than there are now?  If the ERA had passed, that wouldn’t even be possible to consider.  

 

(I haven't watched any of the series) but I'm puzzled about this.  Totally agree that US policy is an outlier in areas like child leave, child care, child health, and IMO education quality; and the lack of such supports impedes mothers' ability to stay home with their children (either temporarily while the kids are young before returning to the workforce, or full time long term... whether married or single).

I don't really follow how "if ERA had passed, [public policies that better supported mothers' ability to stay home and care for kids] wouldn't even be possible to consider."  Such policies might well need to be designed gender/sex neutral -- parental leave rather than maternity, child care subsidies to all parents rather than mothers, universal basic income to all single parents below an income threshold rather than only to divorced moms, etc.  But wouldn't that be the better way to frame that sort of support anyway?  Single dads could surely use UBI and child care too?  And (if the will were there) wouldn't we need to design them that way ANYWAY, right now, without ERA?

 

(Also aside: I feel similar to Mercy re drafting for military service; but would support some versions of universal *service* if it were structured to include civilian service options like CCC-style infrastructure, teaching, medical support services, perhaps service in other sectors with labor shortages.  I don't believe the state has standing to demand people kill or be killed; but I don't have a problem with the idea that we owe some amount *time* for the privilege of living here.  National service can serve a range of democratizing / exposure / training benefits to both individuals and the society.)

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19 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

This is an oddly condescending thing to say on a board full of women.  

I am not sure why though. We have seen time and again that patriarchial, gender in equality based systems not only require buy in from women but also women to maintain them by teaching the younger women and girls to accept the system, and then act as gate keepers by not tolerating dissension in the ranks. Within Christianity, this is abundantly apparent in the book of Titus 2:4-5 in which older women are to teach younger women to be submissive, keepers at home, obedient to husbands. The modern concept of deaconnesses is based on this idea. 

This has played out time and again in Gothardism, Vision Forum, SGM, IFB, and many others in which women got pretty vicious with each other when a female "stepped out of line" and questioned the authority of the leading man. Many folks have squealed on Beall Phillips, Michelle Duggar, the Botkin Sisters, many others for how cruel they were to any women who did not fit the mold, and acted with malice to put down "questioning". Women are roughly 50% of the population. If 50% of the population rise up, it gets pretty darn hard for the men folk to maintain their power without massive acts of femicide.

I don't think the comment was meant to imply that a bunch of women on this board actively seek to maintain gender inequality. It was meant to imply, and is very true, that the system requires buy in from women " leaders" to maintain it by actively teaching it to the next generation of women, and seeking to oppress dissent.

In my experience, some of the worst proponents of the most abusive and controlling aspects of gender inequality has come from other women. But that doesn't mean all women I have known are complicit by any stretch just like not all men I have known are misogynists or seek to maintain gender inequality.

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19 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

It’s not straightforward that this is against women’s interests though.

I mean, look at how things have played out.  We have the Equal Opportunity in Employment Act.  Wouldn’t we be better off if in addition to that there were more protections for women who stay home with their children if their husbands decide to leave them than there are now?  If the ERA had passed, that wouldn’t even be possible to consider.  

 

Why? Why can't we have better protections for parents of any gender? 

Edited by kokotg
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4 hours ago, Pam in CT said:

(I haven't watched any of the series) but I'm puzzled about this.  Totally agree that US policy is an outlier in areas like child leave, child care, child health, and IMO education quality; and the lack of such supports impedes mothers' ability to stay home with their children (either temporarily while the kids are young before returning to the workforce, or full time long term... whether married or single).

I don't really follow how "if ERA had passed, [public policies that better supported mothers' ability to stay home and care for kids] wouldn't even be possible to consider."  Such policies might well need to be designed gender/sex neutral -- parental leave rather than maternity, child care subsidies to all parents rather than mothers, universal basic income to all single parents below an income threshold rather than only to divorced moms, etc.  But wouldn't that be the better way to frame that sort of support anyway?  Single dads could surely use UBI and child care too?  And (if the will were there) wouldn't we need to design them that way ANYWAY, right now, without ERA?

 

(Also aside: I feel similar to Mercy re drafting for military service; but would support some versions of universal *service* if it were structured to include civilian service options like CCC-style infrastructure, teaching, medical support services, perhaps service in other sectors with labor shortages.  I don't believe the state has standing to demand people kill or be killed; but I don't have a problem with the idea that we owe some amount *time* for the privilege of living here.  National service can serve a range of democratizing / exposure / training benefits to both individuals and the society.)

These are good points but completely orthogonal to what I was referring to, which was the common assumption in family law that in a divorce it’s equitable to divide up marital property, have a short transitional support period for the SAHSpouse to train for a new career, and then say, OK, you’re done with any ongoing financial responsibility to/for each other.  

That leaves women (and theoretically men) who have stayed home to raise families of children quite ‘behind’ compared to their ex husbands, and it would be hard to plan protectively for if the ERA were law.

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re inequitable divorce distributions

17 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

These are good points but completely orthogonal to what I was referring to, which was the common assumption in family law that in a divorce it’s equitable to divide up marital property, have a short transitional support period for the SAHSpouse to train for a new career, and then say, OK, you’re done with any ongoing financial responsibility to/for each other.  

That leaves women (and theoretically men) who have stayed home to raise families of children quite ‘behind’ compared to their ex husbands, and it would be hard to plan protectively for if the ERA were law.

I concur with this effect... (and to your point applies also to the less-common instance of SAHDs)... but that inequity already HAS arisen, WITHOUT ERA being in place.  What do you think would make it more of an issue if ERA were in place? 

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58 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

re inequitable divorce distributions

I concur with this effect... (and to your point applies also to the less-common instance of SAHDs)... but that inequity already HAS arisen, WITHOUT ERA being in place.  What do you think would make it more of an issue if ERA were in place? 

I don’t think that protective laws for women would be possible if the ERA were in place.  Perhaps there is a way to write them that would be gender neutral but I’m not sure.

Anyway, I’m not against it, I just think that it’s not completely straightforward to conclude that it would help women at this point.  When it was proposed, though, it would have struck down those protective laws that were already in place for homemakers and that would have been very bad.

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1 hour ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I don’t think that protective laws for women would be possible if the ERA were in place.  Perhaps there is a way to write them that would be gender neutral but I’m not sure.

Anyway, I’m not against it, I just think that it’s not completely straightforward to conclude that it would help women at this point.  When it was proposed, though, it would have struck down those protective laws that were already in place for homemakers and that would have been very bad.

They could write gender neutral laws. For example, a law that protected a non-working spouse after a divorce. 

Were the laws that supposedly protected women actually good for women? Would any law that assumes that a woman is a mother and stays home with her child good for women? 

I know from my mother that in the late 1960s women couldn't get credit cards in their own name and were usually fired when they got pregnant. They couldn't control their own money. Was it true that they were protected after a divorce? My mother often tells the story of how they were turned down for a JCPenney's card because my dad was working on his PhD while my mother worked. Her income didn't count because she was the wife. 

My mother has lots of stories about women, including her own mother, who hid money from their husbands to buy things. That's one reason why so many women went to work in the 1980s. They wanted their own money. 

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32 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

They could write gender neutral laws. For example, a law that protected a non-working spouse after a divorce. 

Were the laws that supposedly protected women actually good for women? Would any law that assumes that a woman is a mother and stays home with her child good for women? 

I know from my mother that in the late 1960s women couldn't get credit cards in their own name and were usually fired when they got pregnant. They couldn't control their own money. Was it true that they were protected after a divorce? My mother often tells the story of how they were turned down for a JCPenney's card because my dad was working on his PhD while my mother worked. Her income didn't count because she was the wife. 

My mother has lots of stories about women, including her own mother, who hid money from their husbands to buy things. That's one reason why so many women went to work in the 1980s. They wanted their own money. 

Right, believe me I could tell you stories.  

The laws that protected women in those situations assumed that the compact was that they would always be supported by their STBX husbands, and those were good for women who were abandoned for sure.  Otherwise they would have been destitute.  Men rebelled against this big time in the late 1950s, as documented in “The Hearts of Men” by Barbara Ehrenreich.  Gradual changes in those laws left a lot of women high and dry.  I knew some of them.  It was ugly.  Nowadays the compact is never assumed.  The husband claims that he never wanted the wife to stay home in the first place, the judge nods, and away you go.  It’s awful.  Women risk a great deal financially if they stay home now.

I know about the credit card thing, and also other stuff like that.  My grandmother’s best friend’s husband was a wealthy lawyer who left everything to her, but all her charge cards at the local stores were cancelled as soon as he died.  It didn’t matter how much money she had.  Mortgage companies used to discredit the wife’s earnings on the assumption that she would quit as soon as she had kids.  My other grandmother was a teacher in a one room school house, knew 7 languages, and taught grades 1-8 I believe.  And she couldn’t keep working after she got married.

When I was interviewing for a job my senior year in college, I had a recruiter cite the obvious benefits to women of working for his company in that they had so many very eligible young men working there to choose from.  And another one told me that he really wanted to hire women to make up for having discriminated against them in the past, this after asking me whether I really thought I could make it ‘as a girl in engineering’.  

The Equal Credit Act was hugely significant as was the inclusion of women into the Civil Rights Bill.  They made real, material improvements in the lives and viability of women here, and I don’t forget that.

Regarding why women worked in the 80s, I think part of it was increasing insecurity in job retention or reasonable business income among men.  The drain of jobs out of the Midwest in that period particularly was staggering, as was farm failures.  Simultaneously interest rates and the costs of oil skyrocketed which increased the cost of everything.  Out here, two incomes were almost always needed to buy a home.  I bought a home here as a single woman in 1983, and it was only because I got owner financing (for more than the banks would have loaned me, and at a better interest rate, too) and borrowed part of the down payment privately that I could manage to do so.  And it was tiny.  

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If covid has taught us anything it’s that women did not get financial or parental independence. They just got everything they struggled with before plus the social expectation that they better also bring in a paycheck.  Look at all the slews of women who have left the workforce bc, married or not and coparenting or not, they were the ones who had to choose kids or work. Not men.  Before when they both worked and the kids are in daycare and school and basically everyone seems moving about and busy - it was easy for women to think it just get like they were carrying more of the burden than their spouse/coparent. But then covid hits the nation and suddenly the women are like what the hell. It wasn’t just a feeling. They were doing it all and they are doing the majority of the suffering for it too.

So I don’t think neutral addresses that fact, though generally I don’t have a problem with it. Once again it glosses over the core problem that this IS a problem *almost* exclusively for one sex - biological women.  It’s like to hell with women unless it also gives men more rights. And I admit, I’m fed up with that.

I would support a bill that said for example that if a parent wants to stay home - they can choose to use their child care subsidy for that or daycare - it’s up to them.

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1 hour ago, Murphy101 said:

If covid has taught us anything it’s that women did not get financial or parental independence. They just got everything they struggled with before plus the social expectation that they better also bring in a paycheck.  Look at all the slews of women who have left the workforce bc, married or not and coparenting or not, they were the ones who had to choose kids or work. Not men.  Before when they both worked and the kids are in daycare and school and basically everyone seems moving about and busy - it was easy for women to think it just get like they were carrying more of the burden than their spouse/coparent. But then covid hits the nation and suddenly the women are like what the hell. It wasn’t just a feeling. They were doing it all and they are doing the majority of the suffering for it too.

So I don’t think neutral addresses that fact, though generally I don’t have a problem with it. Once again it glosses over the core problem that this IS a problem *almost* exclusively for one sex - biological women.  It’s like to hell with women unless it also gives men more rights. And I admit, I’m fed up with that.

I would support a bill that said for example that if a parent wants to stay home - they can choose to use their child care subsidy for that or daycare - it’s up to them.

I agree with the first paragraph completely.

I would support a bill that added in a significant per person deduction in income taxes for children under 22, graduated starting at age 19, in addition to the enlarged standard deduction that we have at present.  I think that that would be even more broadly useful than the child care subsidy being diverted to SAHM families, with the same goal.  

Also, I would like to remind everyone that when income tax first came into being, it was only supposed to effect a few households with very high incomes, but now look at it.  Keep that in mind when you hear 'Tax the rich only.'  It always starts that way but it never stays that way.  Just saying.

 

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1 hour ago, Murphy101 said:

If covid has taught us anything it’s that women did not get financial or parental independence. They just got everything they struggled with before plus the social expectation that they better also bring in a paycheck.  Look at all the slews of women who have left the workforce bc, married or not and coparenting or not, they were the ones who had to choose kids or work. Not men.  Before when they both worked and the kids are in daycare and school and basically everyone seems moving about and busy - it was easy for women to think it just get like they were carrying more of the burden than their spouse/coparent. But then covid hits the nation and suddenly the women are like what the hell. It wasn’t just a feeling. They were doing it all and they are doing the majority of the suffering for it too.

So I don’t think neutral addresses that fact, though generally I don’t have a problem with it. Once again it glosses over the core problem that this IS a problem *almost* exclusively for one sex - biological women.  It’s like to hell with women unless it also gives men more rights. And I admit, I’m fed up with that.

I would support a bill that said for example that if a parent wants to stay home - they can choose to use their child care subsidy for that or daycare - it’s up to them.

To be fair, some women have achieved financial independence. A woman who gets a good education and has one or two kids can achieve financial and parental independence with the right circumstances. 

The burden does not have to fall completely on the woman. There are choices being made to have that happen. (Obviously aside from the biological component.) A school can call both parents. Both parents can help with homework and housework. 

I've worked during most of my time as a mother and my husband was always a co-parent, not a babysitter. There are things he does and and things I do in our home but we try to make it equal. 

Men are making choices to opt out of childrearing duties. A man is perfectly capable of doing all household and childrearing duties. 

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Without the ERA, it should be noted that the only constitutional right women have at the federal level is to vote. That's it. Some states have opted to make discrimination based on gender illegal with their own legislative powers. I am not sure why people argue against an amendment that would make this illegal at the federal level. I feel like it is another example of letting perfect or ideal be the enemy of good.

And pay discrimination is one thing that leads to what we have seen in covid. If a parent has to leave the workforce in order to be home with a child for virtual school, quarantines, etc. then practicality dictates that it will be the lower earning parent not the higher one unless the higher earner has no medical insurance through work, hut the lower earner does. Most of the time the woman is the lower earner, and that holds very true even when she and her spouse have equal job, job titles, experience, and education. The E.R.A. could be a first step towards changes that make things a lot better for women, children, families, just people in general.

If we want men to change their view on women's roles, rights, and domestic contributions, then why not start here, and then keep working for more? Is it because it would also make discrimination against trans folks illegal? I have been doing a lot of reading about this, and simply do not see a good reason to be against it.

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2 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

If covid has taught us anything it’s that women did not get financial or parental independence. They just got everything they struggled with before plus the social expectation that they better also bring in a paycheck.  Look at all the slews of women who have left the workforce bc, married or not and coparenting or not, they were the ones who had to choose kids or work. Not men.  Before when they both worked and the kids are in daycare and school and basically everyone seems moving about and busy - it was easy for women to think it just get like they were carrying more of the burden than their spouse/coparent. But then covid hits the nation and suddenly the women are like what the hell. It wasn’t just a feeling. They were doing it all and they are doing the majority of the suffering for it too.

So I don’t think neutral addresses that fact, though generally I don’t have a problem with it. Once again it glosses over the core problem that this IS a problem *almost* exclusively for one sex - biological women.  It’s like to hell with women unless it also gives men more rights. And I admit, I’m fed up with that.

I would support a bill that said for example that if a parent wants to stay home - they can choose to use their child care subsidy for that or daycare - it’s up to them.

I still don't understand how any of that is an argument against the ERA. Pro-family laws that, in actual practice, will primarily benefit women I'm all for. Laws that insist that women be the ones doing the bulk of the parenting or sacrificing their careers I'm not for. So I don't get how the ERA would hurt women because some men who are primary caregivers might also benefit? 

This isn't an abstract issue. Justice Scalia insisted as recently as 2011 that the Constitution, despite the 14th amendment, doesn't guarantee equal rights for women. The court certainly hasn't gotten more equal protection friendly since then.

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Incidentally, did everyone except me already know that the Warren court depended largely on the commerce clause to strike down segregation in the 60s? We're doing AP Government this year and listening to a lot of podcasts. So even though the 14th amendment is right there the courts have always interpreted it as only applying to laws that come from the state level, not from individual businesses discriminating based on race. As far as I can tell, the wording of the ERA is the same and would only stop states from discriminating on the basis of sex. Private companies could still just go right on doing it. Am I understanding it wrong? 

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9 minutes ago, kokotg said:

I still don't understand how any of that is an argument against the ERA. Pro-family laws that, in actual practice, will primarily benefit women I'm all for. Laws that insist that women be the ones doing the bulk of the parenting or sacrificing their careers I'm not for. So I don't get how the ERA would hurt women because some men who are primary caregivers might also benefit? 

This isn't an abstract issue. Justice Scalia insisted as recently as 2011 that the Constitution, despite the 14th amendment, doesn't guarantee equal rights for women. The court certainly hasn't gotten more equal protection friendly since then.

Exactly. A law that assumes that wives stay at home with their children isn't really protecting all women. I think the effect would to be to discourage women from working outside of the home. Also a law that benefited SAHMs would be based on the assumption that women want to be SAHMs and not that's what I see. I think women like to work if they can find adequate, affordable childcare. 

I think there needs to be more protection for parents to come in and out of the workforce when their children are young. I think there should be paid maternity and paternity leave and subsidized childcare. The laws should be about protecting children. 

 

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8 minutes ago, kokotg said:

Incidentally, did everyone except me already know that the Warren court depended largely on the commerce clause to strike down segregation in the 60s? We're doing AP Government this year and listening to a lot of podcasts. So even though the 14th amendment is right there the courts have always interpreted it as only applying to laws that come from the state level, not from individual businesses discriminating based on race. As far as I can tell, the wording of the ERA is the same and would only stop states from discriminating on the basis of sex. Private companies could still just go right on doing it. Am I understanding it wrong? 

Why is that surprising? The 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendments all clearly extend their protections only as far as government encroachment on those rights.  Which is why Facebook can ban Trump, Denny's can tell me I can't bring a gun inside, evidence stolen from me and given to the police (assuming it wasn't at their direction) can be used against me in court, and a private citizen doesn't have to read me my writes before grilling me about a crime and giving my statements to the police (I can still refuse to answer of course).  Our Constitution is structured to protect us from the government, not each other.  Which is why the Civil Rights Act was needed to make discrimination in public accomodations illegal. Neither the CRA nor the 14th was intended to make discrimination in private venues illegal.

 

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3 minutes ago, kokotg said:

(also, I admit to having no clue how the 14th amendment doesn't already cover women, but, apparently, it doesn't--at least according to a supreme court justice who was widely revered by conservatives)

I don't know this holding but Scalia was an originalist which meant that he believed the Constitution should be interpreted to mean what its writers meant. Obviously the men who drafted the 14th Amendment did not intend it to apply to sex discrimination. That was probably Scalia's reasoning. 

 

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7 minutes ago, kokotg said:

(also, I admit to having no clue how the 14th amendment doesn't already cover women, but, apparently, it doesn't--at least according to a supreme court justice who was widely revered by conservatives)

Via strict reading it does due to the use of persons - Scalia certianly had some nonconventional opinions.  The bigger question becomes what consttitues discrimination and whether it violates current state or federal laws. Offhand I can't name a federal law which violates the 14th Amendment and would pass muster against current federal laws.

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2 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I don't know this holding but Scalia was an originalist which meant that he believed the Constitution should be interpreted to mean what its writers meant. Obviously the men who drafted the 14th Amendment did not intend it to apply to sex discrimination. That was probably Scalia's reasoning. 

 

It wasn't in a court case (that I've heard of) but in an interview. I remember this being Ainsley Hayes' argument against the ERA in The West Wing--that the ERA was insulting to women because her rights as a citizen should already be clear. But it's possible that Aaron Sorkin isn't as good at writing arguments for Republicans to voice as he thinks he is 😉

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17 minutes ago, kokotg said:

It wasn't in a court case (that I've heard of) but in an interview. I remember this being Ainsley Hayes' argument against the ERA in The West Wing--that the ERA was insulting to women because her rights as a citizen should already be clear. But it's possible that Aaron Sorkin isn't as good at writing arguments for Republicans to voice as he thinks he is 😉

LOL! I love West Wing!

But with originalists on the court, women really only have the right to vote because there was an amendment to that effect. The constitution does not protect women nor children. All it takes to go backward a hundred years is a predominantly conservative court with a religious bias against women's rights to be in power. Looking at the make up of the court, and in particular the cult that Justice Barrett belongs to, I don't like our odds.

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42 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Exactly. A law that assumes that wives stay at home with their children isn't really protecting all women. I think the effect would to be to discourage women from working outside of the home. Also a law that benefited SAHMs would be based on the assumption that women want to be SAHMs and not that's what I see. I think women like to work if they can find adequate, affordable childcare. 

I think there needs to be more protection for parents to come in and out of the workforce when their children are young. I think there should be paid maternity and paternity leave and subsidized childcare. The laws should be about protecting children. 

 

I like my job, and I'm good at it, but I would far rather have been home longer with my daughter.  I liked that better.

Adequate affordable childcare was hard to find.  Good, expensive childcare was what we used, and she still missed us horribly.  Drop offs when she was 2 1/2 were torture, and did not get better for the year that she was in daycare.  And about a third of the kids in her group were like that, even though some of them had been in daycare since they were 6 weeks old.  If that is at all representative, we are raising a melancholy bunch for sure.  This is not good.

I don't favor pressuring women to stay home, but I also don't favor pressuring them to work, which is what the law favors now pretty much.  

There should be better support for parents across the board, full stop.  

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2 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

To be fair, some women have achieved financial independence. A woman who gets a good education and has one or two kids can achieve financial and parental independence with the right circumstances. 

The burden does not have to fall completely on the woman. There are choices being made to have that happen. (Obviously aside from the biological component.) A school can call both parents. Both parents can help with homework and housework. 

I've worked during most of my time as a mother and my husband was always a co-parent, not a babysitter. There are things he does and and things I do in our home but we try to make it equal. 

Men are making choices to opt out of childrearing duties. A man is perfectly capable of doing all household and childrearing duties. 

I completely agree that men can and should participate in all aspects of parenting. For the most part, my husband has done that. But we are both also very aware that a lot of his job advancements or even attainment of the jobs at all, have been possible bc he has a wife at home to deal with the kids. That’s just a fact. And it shouldn’t be.  Because that dynamic of jobs and finances shuts out most women from those jobs and shuts out fathers from full participation has parents. 

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1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Exactly. A law that assumes that wives stay at home with their children isn't really protecting all women. I think the effect would to be to discourage women from working outside of the home. Also a law that benefited SAHMs would be based on the assumption that women want to be SAHMs and not that's what I see. I think women like to work if they can find adequate, affordable childcare. 

I think there needs to be more protection for parents to come in and out of the workforce when their children are young. I think there should be paid maternity and paternity leave and subsidized childcare. The laws should be about protecting children. 

 

I don’t think it’s all wrong of a law to observe a fact - that a majority of women are taking on the brunt of childcare or that the majority of people who have to do so to the point of having to leave jobs to take care of children is also women.  Lots of women do in fact want to be SAHMs and lots of women would prefer to earn income.  I think the best choice depends on the woman and the family circumstances.  

I have zero desire to discourage women staying home. I have zero desire to discourage women earning income. I am for women doing which ever they think or feel they should at whatever time in their life.

I know women that prefer to work even when they hate their jobs and childcare. Not all women have the personality to be primarily caregivers 24/7 and it doesn’t mean they don’t love their kids.

I know women that no amount of money or lack of it would change that they are their best version of themselves a sahm. 

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Just now, Murphy101 said:

I completely agree that men can and should participate in all aspects of parenting. For the most part, my husband has done that. But we are both also very aware that a lot of his job advancements or even attainment of the jobs at all, have been possible bc he has a wife at home to deal with the kids. That’s just a fact. And it shouldn’t be.  Because that dynamic of jobs and finances shuts out most women from those jobs and shuts out fathers from full participation has parents. 

Most women are not shut out from those jobs. I work with many women who have have good jobs and children. When you have one or two kids, you can manage two careers with adequate childcare. 

I don't know how that's possible when there is a large family though. 

 

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1 minute ago, Murphy101 said:

I don’t think it’s all wrong of a law to observe a fact - that a majority of women are taking on the brunt of childcare or that the majority of people who have to do so to the point of having to leave jobs to take care of children is also women.  Lots of women do in fact want to be SAHMs and lots of women would prefer to earn income.  I think the best choice depends on the woman and the family circumstances.  

I have zero desire to discourage women staying home. I have zero desire to discourage women earning income. I am for women doing which ever they think or feel they should at whatever time in their life.

I know women that prefer to work even when they hate their jobs and childcare. Not all women have the personality to be primarily caregivers 24/7 and it doesn’t mean they don’t love their kids.

I know women that no amount of money or lack of it would change that they are their best version of themselves a sahm. 

But it's only a fact because it's custom. It doesn't need to be that way. It could change. Why should we enshrine a misogynistic custom into law? 

I think people should be able to make their own choices. I use the word people because some men want to be SAHDs. But I'm not sure that we all subsidize the choice of a parent to stay home. 

I remember buying some MLM product from an unmarried pregnant 18 year old. She told me that she wanted to be a SAHM. I bite my tongue to keep myself from telling her that she needed a husband if she wanted to stay home. 

The goal should be subsidizing choices that are best for children and I'm not convinced that's a stay at home parent. I think more flexibility in work is the better option. 

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2 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Most women are not shut out from those jobs. I work with many women who have have good jobs and children. When you have one or two kids, you can manage two careers with adequate childcare. 

I don't know how that's possible when there is a large family though. 

 

But the vast majority of women do not have adequate childcare - which is kinda the entire problem. Almost all of them are constantly juggling for even crappy childcare, much less adequate. And that was before covid.

Oddly enough, most large families do not have this issue. In fact, I’ve never met a large family that complains about child care problems.  I would have had it when my older kids were very little but not at all in the last… oh 15ish plus years.

Those who have access to reliable and excellent childcare AND jobs that are family accommodating is a very small number of women.  But not for men. Bc most men do not have a socially expected parenting conflict at all. 

I get that there are exceptions. I don’t think anyone is saying there isn’t. But that those are exceptions rather than a given is exactly why women have a problem and men don’t. 

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4 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

But it's only a fact because it's custom. It doesn't need to be that way. It could change. Why should we enshrine a misogynistic custom into law? 
 

wait. What? Slavery was a custom too. Having laws that prevent it changed the custom.  Obviously it didn’t end all racism. I’m sure a law to reduce practices that discriminate against women won’t end sexism either. But I don’t see how it would enshrine sexism either. 

4 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I think people should be able to make their own choices. I use the word people because some men want to be SAHDs. But I'm not sure that we all subsidize the choice of a parent to stay home. 

I remember buying some MLM product from an unmarried pregnant 18 year old. She told me that she wanted to be a SAHM. I bite my tongue to keep myself from telling her that she needed a husband if she wanted to stay home. 

The goal should be subsidizing choices that are best for children and I'm not convinced that's a stay at home parent. I think more flexibility in work is the better option. 

Okay. I just disagree then.  I think people should be able to make their own choices, including work or staying home. I don’t think work is better or worse than staying home - I think it depends on the person and the family.  I think subsidizing choices that make healthier adults is best for children, whether it includes a paycheck or not.

Aside from subsidizing that…

Frankly there’s a limit of jobs out there and I think it’s ridiculous to push people to take jobs they don’t want when there’s plenty of people who actually would want them.  I also don’t think it’s an issue of laziness. I think that’s a myth. With exception of mental illness, and usually even then to some degree, humans have an inner need for productivity, learning and social engagement.

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3 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

But the vast majority of women do not have adequate childcare - which is kinda the entire problem. Almost all of them are constantly juggling for even crappy childcare, much less adequate. And that was before covid.

Oddly enough, most large families do not have this issue. In fact, I’ve never met a large family that complains about child care problems.  I would have had it when my older kids were very little but not at all in the last… oh 15ish plus years.

Those who have access to reliable and excellent childcare AND jobs that are family accommodating is a very small number of women.  But not for men. Bc most men do not have a socially expected parenting conflict at all. 

I get that there are exceptions. I don’t think anyone is saying there isn’t. But that those are exceptions rather than a given is exactly why women have a problem and men don’t. 

I don't know where you're getting "vast majority" or "almost all" from. I always had adequate childcare as did the women with whom I work. I don't think we're rare exceptions. I know that we're not the majority of American women but we're not unicorns, either. 

WRT large families, it's not so much the childcare as the pregnancies. I could not do my job if I took multiple maternity leaves. 

The social expectations of men is changing. My company now offers paternity leave and my male co-workers are taking the time off work. I have both female and male direct reports. I get requests all of them for child-related things. 

I'll grant that things change the higher you go up the ladder. Female C suite execs are more likely to be childless than their male counterparts. 

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5 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

wait. What? Slavery was a custom too. Having laws that prevent it changed the custom.  Obviously it didn’t end all racism. I’m sure a law to reduce practices that discriminate against women won’t end sexism either. But I don’t see how it would enshrine sexism either. 

Okay. I just disagree then.  I think people should be able to make their own choices, including work or staying home. I don’t think work is better or worse than staying home - I think it depends on the person and the family.  I think subsidizing choices that make healthier adults is best for children, whether it includes a paycheck or not.

Aside from subsidizing that…

Frankly there’s a limit of jobs out there and I think it’s ridiculous to push people to take jobs they don’t want when there’s plenty of people who actually would want them.  I also don’t think it’s an issue of laziness. I think that’s a myth. With exception of mental illness, and usually even then to some degree, humans have an inner need for productivity, learning and social engagement.

I'll disagree too. I do think work is better for women than staying home. I know too many who stayed out of the workforce too long and struggled after their kids left home or their husbands left them. It's not good to be dependent on a husband. 

I also think the American middle-class suburban SAHM is a aberration. No one lived like that until recently. I think it's isolating for women and probably unhealthy for them and their children. 

I think part time work for one parent is probably the ideal. 

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