In the 21st century, it is appalling that this country still does not provide equal rights for women. Over the years, women have proved themselves more than capable of living a life of equality with men. Why does it seem that the many feats that women in this country have overcome become overlooked when the discussion of equal rights comes up? Do the names Rosa Parks, Nellie Bly, Amelia Earhart, Maya Angelou and Susan B. Anthony not say enough by themselves?

The famous argument proposed by Phyllis Schlafly, an Equal Rights Amendment opponent that “ERA would take away women’s traditional exemption from military conscription and also from military combat duty,” can easily be countered. Alice Paul Institute retaliates that the opposers’ arguments are unsound: “In fact, the lack of an ERA in the Constitution does not protect women against involuntary military service. Congress already has the power to draft women as well as men, and the Senate debated the possibility of drafting nurses in preparation for a possible invasion of Japan in World War II.”

If this is the soundest argument given by ERA opposers, a fear that already has the ability to become true, then why is there even a fight? It is necessary for the ERA to be passed to ensure the equality and protection of all citizens, not just men.

In today’s society, there are many instances when a woman will receive less pay than a man who is just as qualified for the same position. How does that make any sense given the day and age we are in? There are many times when a woman is the main provider for her household; how is she supposed to support her family and progress when her opportunities present her with a glass ceiling?

While the 14th Amendment has been applied to sex discrimination, it has never been interpreted to protect and grant rights in the way that the ERA explicitly would. Lastly, the ERA needs to be passed in order to ensure the equality that our country proclaims it possesses.

Hailey Auglair

student

New Orleans