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It’s about EQUALITY

BettyJean Downing

Women Organized Motivated Empowered Nationwide can change this injustice- we just need to get fired up and get it done

Women Organized Motivated Empowered Nationwide

I get weary trying to figure out a new and different way to say – “It’s about EQUALITY”, How many different ways can one present such a simple concept? If you are a liberal you claim to understand this principle,  yet you are intolerant of a multitude of persons and ideals of half of your countrypersons.  If you are a conservative, likewise you claim to know God and follow his precept that All Men (and women) are created equal, yet you treat the majority of our citizens as beneath you at best.

What a conundrum the two party system has inflicted upon our nation, successfully offering a supposedly free nation two options and only two, which are diametrically opposed yet the same in terms of standing as an antithesis to the precepts the Constitution was written to promote. Such is the frailty of mankind. Womankind, on the other hand, seems helpless to grab the brass ring.

I must admit, when I witness the vote results, I often ponder why we allow everyone to vote, and I can easily understand why the founders elected to restrict the vote to those with enough sense to understand what they were actually voting for. Initially, the founders were interested in creating a country greater than the sum of its parts, a country free from oppression, freedom to worship so that no one would be burdened by the religious dogma of another. And yet here we are with part of the country hopelessly liberal and another part that tries to bully everyone into practicing their religious, personal, and moral beliefs. Our Constitution states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion—that means either for or against. Congress and the legal process is to be silent regarding religion! Only then are we guaranteed freedom from government sanctioned religious or anti-religious oppression.

Neither side will change the other so why are we fighting losing battles? We do it for the sport of the political parties and for no other reason. In these battles only the politicians get fat! In terms of good for the country, we need to go back to the basics. The founders understood that mankind, if left to their own devices, is selfish and would vote for themselves rather than the good of the country. I will not bore you with a lengthy list of quotes to that effect nor will I remind you of the promises politicians make just to win elections.

Let’s consider for a moment America, the land of the free, two hundred years ago verses 2013. Briefly, the freedom desired was from the oppressive reign of a King, freedom of religion, and freedom from the oppression of an almost caste system that prevented upward societal mobility. Learned men fought and died to form a more perfect union offering opportunity to all. But where blacks, women, and Indians etc., were concerned, the Constitution did not apply at that time. But, the American Constitution, presented by brilliant men, formed a Republic that gave citizens an opportunity to evolve and perfect over time. The framers of our Constitution warned of greed and included checks and balances to protect American rights and freedoms. They warned that freedom would be hard to keep because mankind is (in my words) selfish!

America was the first successful Revolution to remain free to date, and just as freedom was difficult to gain and keep, many Americans have continued to fight for equality, and we are making slow gains. What part of equality do we still not understand that we understood when we passed the 13th amendment?

To say that black men were entitled to the same status as white men but to totally ignore all women—the majority of the population—was ludicrous at best. Then to wait 50 more years to give women the vote and still not spell out they are citizens in that Constitution is criminal, and to deny women equality under that Constitution, even as it has been amended to include all others besides the majority, is unfathomable.

Our discrimination laws do not include sex! In other words, there are serious legal consequences for discriminating against anyone, unless she is a white woman. Fortunately, if she is black, gay, Latino, Islamic, or some minority she may—and I say MAY have some recourse, if she is lucky enough to catch the eye of the ACLU—If not, she, like the rest of the majority of our nation, is out of luck. Why? We women—52% of the population—have no Constitutional rights! Our government forced Iraq to set up equal rights for women in the Constitution but does not grant its own women the same. Our government forced Japan to do the same, in 1945, but has refused American women since we asked for ERA in the 1970’s.

If you think the ACLU is on your side—think again! If you think either political party is on your side, think again. If you think a woman’s group from either side is on your side, think again! Where are they when women need them to save lives? Where is either side when women need them? Who is standing up against violence against women in a meaningful way? Is that the banner they carry? Was it front and center on anyone’s platform lately? Which party is promoting ERA on their platform? Which party is promoting stronger laws to protect all women or educate them about all of their rights in matters of life and death? Who is educating mothers on our rights to our children in our courts? Who is helping us when we are destitute and facing divorce against a powerful abuser who wants to take our children and a corrupt court system that turns a blind eye?  I say we need more than birth control pills and abortions—we need equality. We need for abusers to know they will be prosecuted. We need stronger laws and fair pay, not just the right to sue if we find out we were not paid fairly. Power still lies in the hands of some male lobbies in our family courts. Our women and children are still the most vulnerable and the least protected in this the 21st Century.

Those who stand up and fight for rights are the ones who are heard:

An example of what is in Congress right now:

Gang of Eight Framework for Immigration Reform

“The framework is designed to satisfy the demands of illegal aliens and their advocates, and business interests that want more cheap labor. It includes nothing that would benefit law-abiding American workers and taxpayers. American taxpayers will be saddled with staggering costs in the future as millions of poorly skilled illegal aliens become eligible for government services and programs.PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1z3ym)

In the news right now:

 “The pulse of equality is strong in America, and today it beats a bit faster with news that the Boy Scouts may finally put an end to its long history of discrimination,” said Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign, a major gay-rights group.

While there is still a long way to go for many others, we women have stepped up over the centuries to work toward equality and civil rights for others. Isn’t it time that we step up and ask that we as a group be counted, and ask that others support us?

We are the majority, and yet we as “women” we are the only group that is not covered under the Constitution nor protected from hate crimes, or protected from discriminatory language. That means we just don’t count in America! Whose fault is that? It is our own fault. As the majority we have successfully fought for, and won, many battles for minority groups—now it is our turn to stand up and ask for our equal rights too! Women, we must stand up and demand that we will no longer tolerate inequality on any level.

We need 3 more states to ratify the ERA—get involved. It is about EQUALITY! We have been complacent long enough. ERA now!

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