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Hello fellow feminist. I am currently conducting a debate on "ERA" and I really need some information to back up my debate. This is a school debate and two of my fellow female classmates and myself are up against two egotistical males. They are going to bring up the point of females not being capable of doing as well as men in the military and work force. I am in the N.J.R.O.T.C program at school and I plan on enrolling in to the navy so this really upsets me greatly. If you can help me in any way please e-mail me. Thank you for giving time to reading this. Sincerely, R.(blondie)

Thanks for your note. To begin your argument, I think that you have to downplay what the ERA would mean--and that is that it would merely be a basis for equal rights under law. That is that women and men would be equal under the law and, therefore, equal to the same laws and same privileges. It's important to play up how it is only the beginning.

As for women being able to do what men can do--the easy way to prove this is to point out for every rule there is an exception. For instance--there is a woman (Bev Francis) who at one time bench pressed more than Arnold Schwarzenager. For years people said that there would never be a women's professional basketball team or soccer team--and now that is changing. So once the possibilities open up, women are capable of doing what men can do. It's just that people are closed to the possibilities--they don't want to even imagine it. But once they have, the possibilities are endless.

You should also start by pointing out ways that you see men and women achieving the same things in your own school--leading in the sciences, math, arts, sports, school government--that goes for students as well as faculty. I hope that helps. Good luck -- and good luck in the Navy, too.


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