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Honor Kalala

Blue Group
5/1/15

Feminism Essay
Women should not be afforded the legal protection of a minority group but the US constitution
should put in place provisions that strengthens women's individual and group rights, promotes equality
and ensures democracy and the justice of law. Legal initiatives, such as the Equal Rights Amendment,
was designed to give women these rights without labeling them as a minority. Doing so would have
highlighted the ever present gap between men and women.
Susan Brownmiller, author of Against Our Will, was an adamant supporter of the feminist
movement and saw the ERA as an opportunity to remove rape culture and ensure equal rights for women
politically and socially. Brownmiller viewed pornography and prostitution as the deliberate devaluation
of the role of women through obscene, distorted depictions (Against Our Will). She believed that the
portrayal of women in pornography, as something that can be bought (therefore stolen), is a key to rape
culture and therefore must be eradicated through law. She states that the gut knowledge that we and our
bodies are being stripped, exposed, and contorted for the purpose of ridicule to bolster that masculine
esteem which gets its kick and sense of power from viewing females as anonymous, panting play-things,
adult toys, dehumanized objects to be used, abused, broken and discarded (Against Our Will), and makes
the point that because there can be no equality in porn, it is a form of hate speech designed to objectify
and devalue women at their most vulnerable.

Although almost 99 percent of the media and most public officials in government enthusiastically
supported the ERA, there were also many people who were strongly opposed to the passing of the
amendment. Phyllis Schlafly, president of the pro-life, anti-gay marriage Eagle Forum, was a strong force
in the prevention of the passing of the ERA. Phyllis Schlafly opposed the ERA for many reasons. One of
the Eagle Forums main arguments against the ERA was that the political changes it would cause, would
all ultimately lead to women losing their traditional role and responsibility of raising the children,
(Feminists) have given us divorce, millions of fatherless children and the idea that its OK to be a single
mom (Schlafly). Many of the new laws would also take away several of the benefits that come with
being a woman such as being supported by one's husband and being granted cheaper insurance. Schlafly
was also very conservative and opposed many of the amendments big ideas such as the legalization of
abortion and same sex marriage.
One of Schlafly's shortcomings in her arguments however was the fact that she believed that
women had already gained equality. In an interview with Andrea Sachs, she states that They (Feminists)
are just determined to preach this idea that women are unfairly treated in our society and they need
legislation and government and taxpayers money in order to get them a fair break.. To this day, women,
on average, only make 78 cents on every dollar earned by men. Based on research conducted by the
IWPR, if this change continues at the pace it is going at today, it will take 44 yearsor until 2058for
women to finally reach pay parity. In politics, women make up only a small portion of the total elected
officials in the United States. Women account for less than a quarter of Congressional seats, making up
about 18 percent of the 535 seats in Congress.

There are not many more ways to make it apparent that despite the many initiatives that have
been taken in favor of womens rights, it is still an ever present issue not only in this countries social and
cultural society but also in its government. Women must be granted proper legal initiatives that ensure
equality, not special treatments that would come with being granted the legal protection of a minority
group.