I want to celebrate. I want to shout from the rooftop “Hooray! Never again will a woman be treated as less than a man in the eyes of the law in America!” I want to do this, but I cannot. I should be able to. Forty years ago today the Senate passed the Equal Rights Amendment and from there it went to the states. It got 30 of the required 38 states needed to be ratified.
Apparently during the mid 70’s there was a backlash against the feminism. We’ve been feeling it ever since. I guess I can see how that would happen. After all, to those that enjoy power, sharing it means taking away from them. For a woman to gain status, men would have to give up status. In a way this is true, but not in any way that can be taken seriously. It means actually having to put up with being equal rather than superior, and for too many men that is just too much to bear.
I wish I could say it was just the knuckle dragging, Christian Right too, but that would be dishonest. You see, unlike some I am not happy with the tepid condemnations of misogyny by liberal pundits and comedians like Keith Olberman and Bill Maher. The little nudge-nudge, wink-wink “I don’t mean the rest of you girls when I call Sarah Palin a bimbo” track is patronizing and petty. To say you are using it to call her out on her stupidity (which is considerable) plays about as well as racist dirtbags saying “when I say the word nigger I mean lazy people.” When you do it you are being dishonest, at least with us and possibly yourself, and insulting everyone’s intelligence. You may honestly want women to have equal rights, but your hearts are just not in it and it shows.
I know there are thousands of years of conditioning to undo, but really being impatient about this is not irrational. We live in an age where too many people are literate and educated to not know that the idea of women as second class citizens needs to go away. We had our chance 40 years ago and we flubbed it. Who knows, maybe with these psychotic, over the edge chauvinists pushing the dialogue that they are in this years GOP primary we can get fired up again and maybe, just maybe that backlash will get us, and by us I mean the whole human race, what we need after all. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?