Pros And Cons Of The Equal Rights Amendment

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The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal rights for women. The ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman. In 1923, it was introduced in the Congress for the first time. The ERA has always been highly controversial regarding the meaning of equality for women. Middle-class women generally were supportive. Those speaking for the working class were strongly opposed, arguing that employed women needed special protections regarding working conditions and hours. In 1972, it passed both houses of Congress and was submitted to the state legislatures for ratification. It seemed headed for quick approval until Phyllis Schlafly mobilized conservative women…show more content…
Opponents of the ERA focused on traditional gender roles, such as how men do the fighting in wartime. They pointed out that the amendment would eliminate the men-only draft requirement and guarantee the possibility that women would be subject to conscription and be required to have military combat roles in future wars if it were passed. They appealed to married women by stressing that the amendment would repeal protective laws such as alimony and eliminate the tendency for mothers to obtain custody over their children in divorce cases. It was suggested that single-sex bathrooms would be eliminated if the amendment were passed as well. Traditional women started to oppose the ERA. Schlafly said the ERA was designed for the benefit of young career women and warned that if men and women had to be treated identically it would threaten the security of middle-aged housewives with no job skills. The opposition included states ' rights advocates, some religious groups, and business and insurance interests. Among the arguments against the ERA were that it would prevent husbands from supporting their wives, it would invade privacy, and it would lead to rampant abortion, homosexual marriage, women in combat, and unisex bathrooms. If the ERA becomes part of the Constitution, any law discriminating on the basis of sex will have to meet the strict scrutiny test. This would mean a law that distinguishes between men and women must be "narrowly tailored" to achieve a "compelling government…show more content…
A lot of people were afraid that the child labor laws would take away from the children working on the family property. My thought is that at an early age you need to instill a love for farming. In our area, particularly, farming is more than just an economic thing. It’s a way of life and something you really want to do because, at times, it’s tough. If you don’t love what you do, you’re not going to stay in it. If you instill that in your children and grandchildren at an early age, you can continue to have the family farm. Forms of child labor, including indentured servitude and child slavery, have existed throughout American history. As industrialization moved workers from farms and home workshops into urban areas and factory work, children were often preferred, because factory owners viewed them as more manageable, cheaper, and less likely to strike. Children had always worked, especially in farming. But factory work was hard. A child with a factory job might work 12 to 18 hours a day, six days a week, to earn a
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