Books

Stop ERA Tag

In 1923, on the 75th anniversary of the 1848 Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, Alice Paul introduced the first version of the Equal Rights Amendment: “Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction.” The National Women's Party and professional women like Amelia Earhart, the great pilot, supported it. But other reformers, particularly in the labor movement, who had worked hard for protective labor laws for women, were afraid the ERA would wipe out their progress. (This could have been solved by mobilizing for the extension of protective labor laws to men – like not lifting items over a certain weight or doing especially hazardous labor — but it became a huge sticking point for those protectionists who exploited class divisions within the women's movement.) By the early 1940s, both the Democratic and Republican parties had added support of...