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Dear Amy,

I am a painter who is dedicated to awareness of historical and modern crimes and injustices toward women by religion/government/culture/individuals. I was just recently made aware that the Equal Rights Amendment of 1972 was not ratified by 15 southern states and is therefore not U.S. constitutional law! I've talked to dozens of women recently who thought it passed into law 30 years ago.It did not. It fell three states short of being ratified. I never ever hear anything about this!

  • How can I promote awareness?
  • Who is working on this in your organization?
  • Who are the key national figures that I can contact?
  • Who are the key broadcasters/journalists/activists that I can contact regarding this issue?

I can't believe that I still have more constitutional rights than women! What is your opinion on the most effective activist approach for someone in my/your/our positions on the Equal Rights Amendment, which apparently has been on hold for thirty freaking years? Thanks for any available connections/resources.



Dear Paco,

No, the ERA never passed. It's appalling that it never passed. It should be passed, and it still can be. I was shocked to learn in your email that so many people thought it had already passed. Many feminists have argued that in many ways women have many of the rights that would have been gained through the ERA through other pieces of legislation, like Title IX, which works again discrimination in the schools and Title VII, which works to eliminate discrimination in the workplace. But this still doesn't explain why a simple thing like the ERA hasn't passed.

There is a group that you should contact - The ERA Summit, they are working to ratify the ERA. There are certain states that need to ratify it, and they aren't all southern - Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virgina. Since you live in one of these states, they could probably use your help lobbying. You can contact them at: www.equalrightsamendment.org. I hope that your energy can fill their need.





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