Opposition raised its head generations ago when women got together and decided they wanted to vote. Their nonviolent strategy took generations, but finally the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution passed in 1920. During the 1980s the opposition was resurgent. I remember hearing one man say: “We started having problems after we gave the women the right to vote.” There have been many attempts to eliminate the opposition. Now it is focused on the draft ERA or Equal Rights Amendment.
And as we noted, no one GAVE women the right to vote. It was a goal of women volunteers over generations.
This year, 2023, is the 100th year that women have been working nonviolently for an equal rights amendment. It is a reform, not a major digression. It is worth supporting. It would straighten out the mess the top-down social and economic structure has made of gender relations. But keep in mind that it is a reform, not the result of a recognition of dramatic changes that has resulted in a new direction.
There is progress. No doubt about that. But it can be reversed in an instant.
The battle over abortion rights is another example of something US residents thought was permanent. The US Supreme Court majority decided it was merely a reform that should be eliminated. And it happened. Right before our eyes.
This is what happens to reform initiatives. They may represent efforts of many in charge to make sure that top-down structures remain in place. But they have no status relative to future efforts.
Will an equal rights amendment be another example of a reform that can be overturned in an instant?
SuffrageCentennials.com has been publishing since 2013.