Equal Rights Amendment summary, history homework help

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Based on your reading in the webtext, respond to the following prompt in one to two paragraphs:

In one or two sentences, summarize the author's thesis statement about the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). To support your answer, copy and paste one or two sentences from the article that convey the author's central point.

Also answer the following question in your post: How does this article excerpt give you a better understanding of the political difficulties that faced ERA proponents in the mid- and late 1970s?

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The Fight for Equal Rights, 1923-1972 The ERA, in varying forms, was introduced in every session of Congress from 1923 until 1971, but it was routinely bottled up in committees and never even received a floor vote until after World War II. A pro-ERA march in Florida. (Click button for citation) In the early 1950s, the division among feminists became apparent when the "Hayden rider" was attached to the ERA. This provision would have preserved the protective labor legislation deemed so important by many labor unions, and many working-class women, at the time. Such legislation included laws that mandated a minimum wage, or prohibited long hours or night shifts, for women workers. Because these laws assumed that women were "different" from men—in the sense of being "weaker" or more in need of special protection—they were vehemently opposed by the National Women's Party. As long as the ERA included the Hayden rider, Paul and the NWP opposed its passage. The Republican Party was the first to embrace the ERA. The GOP national platform first included a plank in support of the ERA in 1940, and President Dwight Eisenhower publicly called for the amendment's passage in 1958. But the combination of firm opposition from organized labor, and feminist opposition to the Hayden rider, continued to block the amendment's passage. (Frum, 2000) Democrats, with closer ties to organized labor, were slower to embrace the ERA. Although John F. Kennedy endorsed the amendment late in the 1960 campaign, he did not push for its passage after winning the White House. Kennedy did take a number of steps favored by women's rights activists: he appointed a blue-ribbon national Commission on the Status of Women, which lobbied successfully for passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which banned sex discrimination in pay for many professions. He also issued an executive order banning gender discrimination in the civil service. But most of his women appointees, including Commission chair and feminist icon Eleanor Roosevelt, had ties to the labor movement and opposed the ERA. (Wolbrecht, 2000) The amendment's prospects improved considerably in the mid-1960s, as women's rights activists began to make common cause with civil rights activists, and the rise of a new and more activist "women's liberation movement" focused on a wider range of issues of concern to women. In 1964, Congress banned workplace discrimination based on gender (as well as race, religion and national origin), in the Civil Rights Act; the inclusion of women in the Act reflected, among other factors, the concerted lobbying of Coretta Scott King, wife of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and the NWP's Alice Paul. While the women's rights movement and the civil rights movement did not always see eye-to-eye—and tensions between the two would become evident in the late 1960s—their cooperation during the debate over the Civil Rights Act was a critical moment for both. Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique (Click button for citation) In 1966 feminist author Betty Friedan—whose 1963 book, The Feminine Mystique, had given voice to the frustrations of millions of American women—helped found the National Organization for Women (NOW) and co-wrote the organization's Statement of Purpose. NOW, she wrote, would lead "a new movement toward true equality for all women in America, and toward a fully equal partnership of the sexes," and would " confront, with concrete action, the conditions that now prevent women from enjoying the equality of opportunity and freedom of which is their right." NOW, which would formally endorse the ERA in 1967, became the driving force in the second wave* of American feminism (discussed on the next page). Along with several other feminist organizations, NOW focused on "consciousness raising"—using highly publicized (and sometimes confrontational) events to increase public awareness of gender inequality—coupled with old-fashioned, hard-nosed lobbying to advance its legislative agenda. In early 1970 NOW disrupted a Senate hearing on a proposed Constitutional amendment to lower the voting age to 18, and demanded a hearing on the ERA. The following August, on the 50th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, it organized the Women's Strike for Equality, a protest of more than 20,000 women that highlighted the need for social, political, and economic equality. (Gourley, 2008) Representative Martha Griffiths of Michigan (Click button for citation) Coming at a time of profound social and political change in America—a convergence of the civil rights movement, protests against the war in Vietnam, the rise of the counterculture*, and the so-called "sexual revolution"—the demand for equal rights for women suddenly seemed less radical than it had, only a few years earlier. (Frum, 2000) Organized labor, for the most part, dropped its opposition, and political leaders of both parties, including President Richard M. Nixon, publicly embraced the ERA. In 1970 Representative Martha Griffiths of Michigan spearheaded a movement to "discharge" the ERA from the House Judiciary Committee, where it had languished for years. Once given the opportunity to vote on the ERA the full House of Representatives approved it overwhelmingly in 1971. The Senate followed suit in 1972 and before the year was out, 22 states had approved it—more than half the total of 38 states needed for formal ratification. The ERA, it seemed, would soon be enshrined in the Constitution.
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Explanation & Answer


Surname 1
Equal Rights Amendment
The ERA was introduced in most sessions of the Congress, but it never received a floor
until the end of World War II. For instance, from the excerpt, the author states that in 1940 the
Republican P...

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