Why Can’t We Make Women’s Equality the Law of the Land?

from NYTs

Even if you are a political junkie, there’s a good chance you didn’t realize that the United States Constitution grew 58 words longer this week.

Those words, which begin, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex,” are the text of the Equal Rights Amendment. Section 3 of the amendment states that it takes effect two years after its ratification, which happened on Jan. 27, 2020, when Virginia became the 38th state to sign on. By its own terms, then, the 28th Amendment went into force on Thursday. American women are, at long last, equal to men in the eyes of the law. Hallelujah.

Or maybe not.

More here.

Posted in Ideas, Law and tagged , , .

One Comment

  1. In my point of view, this article takes too much of a negative approach to the news. Although understanding that society is far from achieving equality between men and women, I believe throughout history this topic became more impactful and present worldwide and progress has been made. An alteration to the constitution to bring equality in the United States is a big advance as women now have the law on their side. I do agree with the thesis of the article that even with the law changing, society still has a lot of progress to do but we have seen from history that things don’t respond to a legal alteration from one day to the next. It is a slow process that may take a whole generational change to be implemented and I believe this will be the case. As women are now equal under the 28th amendment, young students will grow in a society which this will be taught in school and be the common sense, not the drastic change that it is today.
    Together with the point from the previous paragraph, it is crucial to consider the impact of three main actions that cause change. First will be the unfortunate events in which women will suffer and then will have to file suit and use the law against the abusers. The world we see nowadays has too much violence against women and inequality due to sex but with brave women or men that showcase that to the world and expose the issues, added to the consequence that will bring to the criminals, the world will start to see more and more, which will cause impact. The second action will be protests and exposures of dissatisfaction. It is important to consider how some people who lie in power are born in the society which gender inequality was acceptable, making them judge cases with the eyes of the past. It is important to add that people can change their minds and adapt to the present, but when people don’t women and men must unite to expose unhappiness and not let criminals go free, which would be an incentive for others to do the same. Thirdly, is the impact the education system and the media have. If the media sources and schools choose to show what they want and what is best for them instead of what is better for society (something that happens a lot nowadays), then the changes will never happen. The new law and the events relating to it, will not get to the people by themselves therefore there needs to be exposure and repercussion. With the unity of brave people who show the world women still suffer inequality, the use of the law, and media sources and schools teaching what is right, time will be the only factor separating today’s society from one where men and women are seeing as equal to everyone.
    All ideas mentioned so far are in a very positive look to the situation. The New York Times article, on the other hand, is more pessimistic as it focuses on the present more than the future. I understand and agree with what the article says, and it is possible to say that living in the second decade of the twentieth century, we shouldn’t need the amendment to be changing now as equality should be implied in people’s minds. The present problem comes from the people who are more of age and had their education and adolescence based on the unequal ideals of men being superior to women. This reflects on society in many places such as the workplace, gentleman’s clubs, the pornographic industry, and residences. Multiple questions can be asked such as “why are men more present in the workplace and hold higher positions?” or “how come women are seeing as a means to satisfy the men and serve him?” and even “what causes men to think they have the right to rape and use force against a woman?” All these questions are answered in the same way which would be “because in the past it was accepted”. Therefore, the hope and the change lie in the hands of the new generation, who is responsible to challenge family members and influence friends who are still basing their values on the past. Because of that, new children will be born in a society where equality is much more present and common to see, added to the fact parents will teach them that.
    Looking at today’s society, we can see how women are present in powerful roles and doing a great job. In the sports industry, women sports are gaining more visibility every year and one example is the implementation of professional women’s soccer leagues all over the world. As a microcosm, the Brazilian league is now streamed in multiple channels in Brazil, which was something impossible to see a couple of years ago. Added to that, in 2019 the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), passed a requirement for all member clubs to have a women’s squad by 2021 otherwise they wouldn’t be able to compete with their men’s team in any tournament. This is a major improvement from 40 years ago, when Getulio Vargas was president and the law prohibited “sports involving the feminine nature” (Decreto-Lei 3199, 180th article in the Brazilian constitution). Outside of sports we now have Angela Merkel as one of the most impactful politicians in the world, Christine Lagarde to be the first women to ever chief the European Central Bank and Susan Wojcicki as YouTube’s CEO. These are only three examples of many powerful women in the world nowadays.
    In conclusion, the article shows an advancement to the changing world of equal rights between sex. In a more positive approach, there are many powerful women in the world nowadays and the fact they are protected of gender inequality under the law is great, but in a more negative view, which is the case of the article, there are still many issues to be solved and we are a long way from total equality.

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