The Equal Rights Amendment: Then and Now

About this Episode

Guests
Kimberly Hamlin, Susan Hartmann, Katherine Marino

In March 2017 Nevada became the first state in 40 years to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment—a provision written to address discrimination on the basis of sex. Now, in an atmosphere of renewed national attention on issues affecting women, this proposed amendment could be just two states short of addition to the United States Constitution. Explore the long history of the ERA with hosts Jessica Blissit and Brenna Miller as they speak with three historians: Kimberly Hamlin, Susan Hartmann, and Katherine Marino. Find out why it stalled and how for nearly a century the ERA has garnered both passionate supporters and ardent opponents.

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Cite this Site

Jessica Viñas-Nelson, Brenna Miller , "The Equal Rights Amendment: Then and Now" , Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective
March, 2017
https://origins.osu.edu/index.php/historytalk/equal-rights-amendment-then-and-now?language_content_entity=en.
March, 2017

Transcript

Brenna Miller 

Welcome to History Talk, the podcast that brings together a panel of experts to discuss current events in historical perspective. I'm your host, Brenna Miller.

 

Jessica Blissit 

And I'm your other host, Jessica Blissit. In recent months, the U.S. has experienced renewed discussions about women's rights and issues. Protest movements, such as the Women's March, have attracted millions of participants, and women's health care and abortion rates have been a central topic of discussion in Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court nomination. Among these discussions, there's also been a renewed interest in the Equal Rights Amendment, a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution protecting the equality of women.

 

Brenna Miller 

Nearly 100 years after women won the right to vote, and over 40 years since it's been passed by Congress in 1972, the ERA has remained just three states short of being ratified at the federal level. But this March, the Nevada State Senate passed an ERA resolution and is poised to become the first state to ratify the amendment since Indiana in 1977.

 

Jessica Blissit 

But decades on, is the ERA still viable? Is it even useful? And why has it faced such strong opposition? In this episode of History Talk, we've invited three historians to discuss the past, present, and future of the Equal Rights Amendment, and how it fits into the larger story of women's history in the United States. Via phone from Miami University, we have Dr. Kimberly Hamlin, an associate professor of History and director of the American Studies program, specializing on gender, women, and science.

 

Kimberly Hamlin 

Hello, thanks for having me.

 

Brenna Miller 

And in the studio, we have with us Susan Hartmann, an emeritus professor at Ohio State University, specializing in American history and women's history.

 

Dr. Susan Hartmann 

Good morning.

 

Jessica Blissit 

And finally, we have Katherine Marino, an assistant professor in the departments of History and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Ohio State University, specializing in the history of women, gender, and sexuality in the Americas and transnational feminism.

 

Katherine Marino 

Good morning. Thanks for having me.

 

Brenna Miller 

Thank you to everyone for joining us today. So Susan, we'd like to first direct this question to you. The ERA has been around for a long time. Can you give us a brief overview of the history of the ERA?

 

Susan Hartmann    

The Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1923, just three years after the suffrage amendment was ratified and went into effect. It did not have broad support until the 1960s and the resurgence of feminism in the United States. There were various reasons for the inability to gain much support. Probably the most important one was that all women who were politically active could not agree on it. Many women opposed the Equal Rights Amendment because they believed that it would take away special protections that women enjoyed. For example, the laws that said women could only work a certain number of hours, they could not lift heavy weights. And a lot of women, who were politically active, and feminists believed that those laws were necessary to protect women. But by the 1960s, the courts were ruling that such laws were discriminatory, that you could make laws that protected men and women at the same time. And so the National Organization for Women, NOW, which was started in 1966, and other feminist groups began to take up the Equal Rights Amendment as a primary objective. And that was because, even in the late 1960s and early 1970s, there were thousands and thousands of laws and regulations that treated men and women differently.

 

Brenna Miller 

One of the things that we noticed about the history of the ERA was that it had been passed in many states and then rescinded. What helps to explain that?

 

Kimberly Hamlin 

That's a very complicated aspect of it, I think, and other panelists, feel free to chime in, but from my understanding, the Equal Rights Amendment kind of barreled through Congress. It was passed by the two-thirds majority and then several states passed it. And then of course, it stalled after the 35th state ratified it, which is three states shy of the 38 needed for the ratification of an amendment. After the clock ran out initially, it was passed with a seven-year time limit, which the scholars and legal experts debate whether or not this seven-year time limit is constitutional or not, because the provision of the constitution that describes the amendment process does not, in fact, include anything about time limits. And in the Equal Rights Amendment, the part about the seven-year time limit is in the preamble to the text of the amendment, not the text of the amendment itself. This is sort of a highly debatable aspect of the current discussions of the ERA, is whether or not (a) this timeframe counts because then that seven years was extended to 10 years. So the clock ticked until 1982, when the bill stalled at 35, after which point, some of the states, five, I believe, rescinded their ratification because they said their ratification was contingent on other states ratifying. But even this issue, as I understand it, is controversial among political and legal scholars. Can a state rescind ratification or does ratification mean ratification? So now there's a new resurgence about passing the ERA and I saw, for example, Nevada is about to ratify the ERA, they were one of the holdout states that did not ratify it. So the question is whether or not this late ratification will count or not. So the Nevada question kind of brings this to the fore, right, will Nevada become the 36th state to have ratified? Will it not count? Do those five states who rescinded bring the count down to 30? Does the count even still hold? So I think these are all questions for congressional and legal experts, and constitutional experts. And ultimately, I think, depending on the course of action that ERA proponents take, this will probably be settled by the Supreme Court.

 

Susan Hartmann    

I would qualify the history of the passage just a little bit. It did go through Congress with heavy, heavy majorities from both parties. But it took a lot of effort on the part of feminists to get it before Congress to begin with. In 1970, NOW actually disrupted a Senate hearing, because the Senate committee in charge of constitutional amendments would not report a bill to the floor. And Martha Griffith, a Congresswoman from Michigan, went around and had to get over 200 signatures from fellow representatives in order to get the bill out of the committee in the House. So I think women worked pretty hard, had to work pretty hard, to get Congress to pay attention to it. And then once it did, it took a couple of years for both the House and the Senate to agree.

 

Jessica Blissit 

Katherine?

 

Katherine Marino 

I was just going to add, that on the question of legal liability, that it's my understanding that in the 1990s, after a 203-year-old amendment, the Madison amendment, was ratified, it gave new hopes to ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment, which, as Kimberly mentioned, didn't contain a textual time limit. And I think that the ratification in Nevada yesterday of the ERA shows that there is a sense that this can come to fruition and that the time limit is not perhaps an impediment.

 

Jessica Blissit 

Well, constitutional wranglings aside, why did the ERA fail?

 

Katherine Marino 

Jane Mansbridge wrote a book in the 1980s, after the failure of ratification, called, [Why We Lost the ERA], and her take on it was that people didn't object to this notion of equal rights under the law, per se, but they did object to radical transformations in notions of family and gender. And the ERA became really closely yoked to the passage of Roe vs. Wade in 1973, even though that was based on privacy and not based on equal rights. So I think that the controversial issues of abortion, of homosexuality, the rise of the religious right, really dramatically helped the momentum become killed for the ERA.

 

Jessica Blissit 

Kimberly?

 

Kimberly Hamlin 

What's interesting to me is the ways in which the main concerns that Phyllis Schlafly and her Eagle Forum and STOP ERA movement raised about the ERA, to kind of garner and galvanize public opposition to it, were exactly the issues just mentioned. So the idea that women would have to serve in combat, maybe even be drafted, the idea that we would have gender-neutral bathrooms, and same-sex marriage. So what's interesting to me is that now, in 2017, all of those things have more or less come to pass, but what has not come to pass are the kind of original intent provisions of the ERA in terms of equality of opportunity for women and equal pay. So I think that's something that's interesting to think about.

 

Susan Hartmann    

And as the years went by, opponents of the ERA had a stronger argument in that the Supreme Court, in a flurry of cases between 1971 and 1980, struck down all kinds of laws and regulations that treated men and women differently. So they could, by the mid-'70s, they could argue that we don't need an Equal Rights Amendment. The courts are applying the 14th Amendment, the amendment that guarantees equal protection of the law, they are applying that to different treatment of men and women under the law, and so we don't need an Equal Rights Amendment. I think another reason was that, despite the strength of feminism or women's movements throughout the country, the feminists were not organized particularly well at the state level. And that's where you needed to be organized in order to get the amendment ratified. Unlike the suffragists, the women's movement did not have strong state organizations who had been used to dealing with their legislature. And so I think they were at a disadvantage there in terms of their -

 

Kimberly Hamlin 

Can I?

 

Jessica Blissit 

So I understand that events in Nevada recently might have changed answers to this question, but is the ERA dead?

 

Susan Hartmann    

Yes, go ahead.

 

Kimberly Hamlin 

I think that particularly speaks to the strength of the opposition, the organized business lobby against the Equal Rights Amendment. So for example, the insurance lobby, which at the time, in the 1970s and '80s, I've read that the most common profession for state legislators was insurance agent. And the insurance lobby really was opposed to the ERA because they didn't want their sex-based actuarial tables have to be rescinded. That would cost them millions and millions of dollars. So that strong presence at the state level of the insurance lobby, coupled with the Chamber of Commerce and other corporate lobbies, I think just served to highlight the feminists' lack of organization at the state level when their opponents were so well-organized.

 

Susan Hartmann    

It's not dead in the minds of a lot of women, the National Organization for Women, for example, and other organizations have decided to promote an Equal Rights Amendment. I think there are a couple of amendments sponsored by Congress, women in Congress right now, that would address the issue of ratification, or start all over. There are two different kinds of approaches, and other women's organizations are behind starting all over with a new amendment, or somehow finding a way to extend the time period so that only three more states would be necessary. I think the question is, how necessary is it now? It's not as necessary as it was then. I think symbolically, it's important. Women do not have rights guaranteed in the Constitution. I mean, it's as simple as that. And therefore, rights that we enjoy could be taken away.

 

Jessica Blissit 

Katherine, anything to add?

 

Katherine Marino 

In terms of the question of whether the ERA is an important thing to fight for, I think that perhaps the reason why it's becoming even more high-profile right now and a pressing issue is because of questions about the Supreme Court and the fact that the Supreme Court could permit forms of sex discrimination. I think a lot of people in the U.S. actually think that the ERA exists. Many people are under the impression that we do have a constitutional amendment and I think that it could be an important thing to continue to push for.

 

Brenna Miller 

So Kimberly, we'd like to first direct this next question to you. How have arguments for the ERA changed over time? And with that, arguments against it?

 

Kimberly Hamlin 

Arguments for the ERA, I think, have changed over time, in the sense of first, the Alice Paul iteration in the 1920s. She first expressly included the word "women" and later iterations of the ERA took the word "women" out to say that discrimination of sex would be illegal without explicitly drawing attention to women. And I think when Alice Paul first thought of it, the National Woman's Party's goal was to take the next step after suffrage, and so to have women be able to serve on juries, to have women be able to sue for divorce and custody of their children after divorce, and also to remove discrimination from mostly middle-class women seeking all sorts of careers, jobs, school admissions. And I think over the years, thinking about work changed in the 1960s, when union and wage-earning women came on board, and they reached the compromise about protective legislation and how that should be written. That changed the arguments. And I think what is kind of a common thread in the pro-ERA arguments is that women are people and the idea that women are people should be enshrined in our Constitution, because I think one reason that proponents will say we do still need the ERA is that many of the laws that protect women currently are congressional laws that could be simply overturned by a future Congress. Whereas amendments have a much more permanent stance and could not be overturned by the will of a Congress. I think what's even more interesting to look at is the changing arguments against the ERA and the changing patterns of support. So it's interesting to think that, for much of the mid-twentieth century, both parties, Republican and Democrat, had support for the ERA in their party planks. It wasn't until 1980 that the Republican Party took the support for the ERA from their plank. It's also interesting to study that business and corporate opposition to the ERA and how that has changed over time. We talked earlier about insurance, which led the campaign against it. Other businesses, I think, opposed it because they didn't want to have to raise wages for women workers and thinking about the ways they could be sued for discriminating against women. That's been sort of the story that we've seen over and over from women suing Walmart for wage discrimination. Imagine if women could sue every company in America for wage discrimination. That would bring corporate America to a halt.

 

Brenna Miller 

Katherine and Susan?

 

Katherine Marino 

I think another way of looking at it is also through the lens of race and African American support for the ERA. For a long time, in the 1920s until the emergence of the Civil Rights Movement, the ERA was so connected to the National Woman's Party, which was single-mindedly focused on the ERA, primarily composed of a relatively small group of white middle-class women. This helped connect feminism, in many people's minds, with the sort of elite interests of white middle-class women. And Alice Paul herself didn't promote focus on African American women's voting rights, for instance, or anti-lynching legislation, and actually allied with Southern senators who were white supremacists. And I think this connected very much to the ERA, in many people's minds, until the 1960s, with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. And work of feminist lawyers who had intersectional visions, like Pauli Murray, who were really yoking together an equal rights kind of feminism with a civil rights, political mission as well, and who utilized a dual strategy of the 14th Amendment as well as the ERA and tried to really bring these two causes together. So I think you see more interracial support for the ERA after the '60s and '70s.

 

Jessica Blissit 

While seemingly resurging in popularity recently, the term "feminist" itself has long been controversial, and many who might otherwise agree with its principles refuse to use the term "feminist." What is the history of this term and its connections with the ERA? Katherine?

 

Katherine Marino 

Feminism first appeared in print in France in the late nineteenth century. And by the early twentieth century, it was part of the political vocabulary of many reformers and politicians and others in the United States. It started as a radical liberatory movement for women's emancipation. I think that the introduction of the ERA in 1923 into Congress, it became somewhat limited in the United States to defining support for the ERA actually. So feminism became very much attached to the National Woman's Party and the Equal Rights Amendment, and, I think, narrowed what had formerly been broader notions of women's liberation and equality. And I mean, you also have the negative associations with feminism from non-progressive people. But during these years after the ERA, you even have progressive former suffragists like Florence Kelley and Eleanor Roosevelt and others saying that feminism is attached to the ERA and actually being unwilling to use the term themselves. I think, with the emergence of second-wave feminism, there's a resurgence around and reclaiming of the term feminism to mean a really broad movement. And there are many different kinds of feminisms, and I think you're seeing the same sort of effervescence of feminism today.

 

Jessica Blissit 

Susan?

 

Susan Hartmann    

I think one thing that we've seen, perhaps in the past 20 years, is definitions of feminism that I don't think fit what a lot of feminists think feminism is. What I'm referring to is the rise of what I would call an individualist feminism, that you're a feminist if you succeeded in a place where men traditionally succeeded, that you're a feminist if you have done very, very well, and I don't think that that's what most feminists think feminism is about.

 

Jessica Blissit 

How would you define it?

 

Susan Hartmann    

It's about a recognition that women have disadvantages based on their gender, and that women have to work collectively, with and for each other, to alleviate those burdens. And that women have to be attentive to differences among themselves, so that they can really support and help each other, and that they have to reach out across lines that divide women, such as color and class, and sexuality, nationality. And I don't think that's the kind of feminism that often gets portrayed in the press or in advertising. I think feminism is used by commerce to sell products. So I think now, there are a lot of different definitions of feminism, not all of which I find particularly good ones.

 

Jessica Blissit 

Katherine?

 

Katherine Marino 

I love Susan's definition. Any other definition I can think of doesn't fall short from that one. I completely agree with the collective aspiration of it. I think that also, things like popularization of "Lean in" feminism gets at the point that Susan was making about a sort of "me first" corporate kind of feminism. And I am heartened by the Women's March in Washington and the real feminist mobilization that has happened. Women are really taking the lead and being politically active right now. And the Women's March represented many different kinds of feminism and advanced solidarity with Standing Rock. It featured speakers like Angela Davis and many women of color. And so I think that there was a real self-aware effort to bridge divides based especially on race and class and sexuality.

 

Jessica Blissit 

Kimberly?

 

Kimberly Hamlin 

I like the bumper sticker definition that feminism is the radical notion that women are people. That's my favorite definition. But I agree with Susan's kind of observations about more recent feminism that is really rooted in pop culture and rooted in this "girl power" t-shirt ethos, which seems to be somewhat divorced from, in some cases, anyway, somewhat divorced from actual legislative action or policies that could help women in large numbers. So I agree that it's been a little bit commercialized in a sense that, in some ways it's hegemonic, taking some of the more collective policy-oriented approaches and turning it into a t-shirt that you can buy, or a Pussyhat that you can wear and feel good about yourself that you're doing something whereas you're not necessarily advancing the cause or doing anything that will structurally benefit women. I feel hopeful now about new definitions of feminism, and about the larger culture's embrace of intersectionality, and how, I think, a new iteration of feminism post-2017, I hope, will really embrace this notion of intersectionality and atone for some of the errors in past women's organizations. So I'm hopeful.

 

Jessica Blissit 

Could you define intersectionality for us?

 

Kimberly Hamlin 

Sure. So the legal scholar, Kimberlé Crenshaw, coined the phrase in a 1987, I think, article, where she pointed out that all of our identities are intersecting forms of, in the case of women, oppression. So your gender identity cannot be separated from your racial identity from your class identity. In other words, you're not just a woman, you are a white working-class woman or a working-class African American woman. And we are thinking about how structures of oppression work. It's difficult but it's not impossible to ferret out which of your identities is it that is leading to your specific form of oppression, that they all work together in intersectional of ways. Therefore, to think about progress, we have to think about the ways in which all these structures of oppression work to get there.

 

Jessica Blissit 

Thank you.

 

Brenna Miller 

So Susan, this next question, we'd like to start out by directing to you. And I think that we've already kind of addressed this a little bit, but what is the present status of the ERA today? Are women's groups still pushing for its ratification? Or are there other women's issues that, aside from the ERA, that are worth pursuing?

 

Susan Hartmann    

I think the push for the ERA today is represented by a pretty small portion of feminism, or of all the women's movements that are going on today. I think that probably, if you looked at organizations and numbers in organizations, that possibly reproductive freedom, and the struggle to maintain the amount of reproductive freedom women have and even enlarge it, is probably the number one issue if you could quantify something. So I think that the Equal Rights Amendment is not the most pressing to the vast majority of feminists. We need to work for an ERA. But it's not... I don't think the ERA can be stretched and Equal Rights Amendment could be stretched to protect poor women who can't get to clinics, from getting health care, or from getting birth control, or abortions, if they need them. So we do need a multi-issue approach, I think.

 

Jessica Blissit 

Kimberly?

 

Kimberly Hamlin 

I think in 2014, a new group was founded, the ERA Coalition. And they have this new documentary out called, Equal Means Equal, and a new companion book that goes with it. I haven't seen the documentary, but I think that that is one example of kind of a resurgence of the efforts behind the ERA. And I think this Nevada example from this week is really fascinating and interesting. It'll be really great, I think, to see how this plays out and if other states decide to follow suit, and then what would happen legislatively and congressionally if we do have to revisit this 35 state versus 38 state timeframe. I agree, of course, with Susan, that if we were to poll women and women's rights activists, this might not be the number one but I think all support it. And I think to the extent that polling is done on this issue, I think the majority of Americans also support equality for women. I don't think that we've picked a piecemeal approach. I feel like in many ways, we've done the best with what we've been given. And I think that the current activism around reproductive rights is precisely in response to our current reality, where Planned Parenthood, they very well be defunded. And even if it's not, that so many states have continued to pass restrictive abortion laws, including trap laws, which severely restrict, especially poor women's access to reproductive services.

 

Susan Hartmann    

Yeah, I mean, it's actually kind of dispiriting that, if reproductive rights are the biggest issue, we're all on defense. We're not fighting to achieve anything, we're trying to keep what we once had, and some of which we've already lost.

 

Katherine Marino 

And I also think that even though there isn't a direct line between the ERA and reproductive freedom for women, that argument still gets used, I think it was used in Nevada, that this would enable women to utilize Medicaid for abortions, or that it would be somehow connected to abortion, the ERA would. So it's still, I think, in the minds of some, a persuasive argument and even if it doesn't, as Susan said, have a direct relationship.

 

Kimberly Hamlin 

I think the other common denominator is in the opposition to both expanding healthcare access and reproductive healthcare. Comprehensive reproductive health care to women is both of these things  could distance women from "their primary duty as mothers." So that's, I think, the through line, is the extent to which women are defined by motherhood, whether or not they have chosen it.

 

Brenna Miller 

Right.

 

Jessica Blissit 

So how does the U.S. compare with the rest of the world on things like the ERA and women's rights?

 

Kimberly Hamlin 

Yeah, I think this is another issue where the United States really stands in bold contrast to much of the rest of the world. So for example, the UN has a sort of international ERA called the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women [CEDAW]. And the United States is one of only seven countries that has not ratified this convention. 187 other countries have, seven have not, and in the seven not ratified, we were joined by Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, and Iran.

 

Jessica Blissit 

Katherine?

 

Katherine Marino 

Kimberly just mentioned, in terms of the way the U.S. stands in contrast to all these other countries, a lot of countries actually have a constitutional provision about equal rights for men and women. Many countries in Latin America do, for instance, whether these actually are binding amendments is another question. But their global sort of polling is done periodically. And I mean, over the past few years, it seems the U.S. has fallen behind other countries in terms of women's participation in the workforce. And while they remain high in terms of education, there's falling behind in workforce participation, wage equality for similar work, and political empowerment. And so the unwillingness of the U.S. to sign on to CEDAW, and also to many other human rights instruments, and then also the fact that in many countries, there are constitutional guarantees of sexual equality. The fact that there's state-sponsored support for maternity and paternity in many countries shows many ways in which the U.S. does fall behind other countries in women's rights and equality.

 

Jessica Blissit 

 Susan?

 

Susan Hartmann    

Childcare would be another thing to add to that list that we're way behind the rest of the rich countries in terms of support for childcare. Politically, women are very underrepresented in the United States, compared to almost every other...I think we rank 90th or 95th in the world in terms of the percentage of women in our national legislature.

 

Kimberly Hamlin 

That's exactly what I was going to point to, that a lot of these things, you can see a parallel with the number or percentage of women officeholders. So in 2017, women make up less than 20% of Congress. So I think that's a huge issue. And the other thing about the ERA, that I've been thinking about as we've been talking is, while it may not be our number one priority, I've been thinking about how all these other issues, childcare, maternity leave, healthcare, would all be covered under the larger umbrella, or could be anyway, under the ERA. Maybe not all of them, but many of them would. So instead of going piecemeal, law by law by law by law, a blanket amendment might be a more expedient, simpler path than state by state, or law by law, issue by issue.

 

Susan Hartmann    

Well, that's certainly what the National Woman's Party thought in 1923, and what feminists saw in the late '60s, when they got behind it again, that it was unimaginable to fight all of those different laws that discriminated against women.

 

Jessica Blissit 

So as we come to a close, any final thoughts?

 

Katherine Marino 

I mean, one thing that I am focused on in my own work is the way that, in the face of the sort of failing climate around the ERA in the 1920s, the National Woman's Party and Alice Paul utilized the ERA internationally. They created help...they collaborated actually primarily with Latin American feminists to create an equal rights treaty. And they tried to pass this through Pan-American meetings and also the League of Nations. And there's a direct line from that activism to the inclusion of women's rights in the United Nations Charter in 1945. So I think it's interesting, that in spite of the U.S.' unwillingness to sign on to CEDAW and other human rights provisions and international women's rights laws, there is a way that we can trace the origins of human rights back, in fact, to the Equal Rights Amendment itself.

 

Susan Hartmann    

I think, also, that I'd like to emphasize the broad support for the Equal Rights Amendment in the '70s when it was being considered. Practically every national interest group, or at least a larger majority of national interest groups, supported it: religious institutions, labor unions, black civil rights organizations. It was truly a broad category of groups that supported it. And all the opposition needed was a handful of men in three legislatures to stop it. And they were able to do that, in part because Phyllis Schlafly organized women and those men who voted against it had cover. They could say, "Well, women are divided. Look at these women who have come to lobby me and they want me to vote against it." So what blocked it was just a handful of men in a handful of legislatures, and public opinion polls consistently, in the 1970s and beyond, reported a majority of Americans favoring it.

 

Jessica Blissit 

Kimberly?

 

Kimberly Hamlin 

One final thought, just building off of what Susan just said, is I think one of the reasons why Phyllis Schlafly was able to rally some women to oppose the ERA, in addition to the reasons we already mentioned, is that she claimed that the ERA would remove sort of the benefits of being a housewife. That was one of her famous slogans, right? Like the ERA won't let you be a housewife lecture, they'll take away the privileges of marriage. Well, now fast forward to 2017. We don't really even...no one really even has those privileges anymore, or some people do but it's not nearly as widespread, right? The number of single women is record numbers of high, female-headed households also record high, and even among women who are married, the majority work. So I think, in terms of the success of the old arguments against the ERA, all of them have more or less fallen away, either because they've come to pass, like same-sex marriage or women in the military, or because the demographics have shifted such that women are no longer counting, or some women are no longer counting on this sort of protected housewife status.

 

Brenna Miller 

Right. Well, thank you to all three of you for joining us.

 

Jessica Blissit 

Thank you, Dr. Kimberly Hamlin, at Miami University and Associate Professor of History and director of the American Studies program, specializing on gender, women, and science; Dr. Susan Hartman, an emeritus professor at Ohio State University, specializing in American history and women's history; and Dr. Katherine Marino, an assistant professor in the departments of History and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Ohio State University, specializing in the history of women, gender, and sexuality in the Americas and transnational feminism. This episode of History Talk podcast is brought to you by Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, an online publication of the Public History Initiative and the Goldberg Center in the history department at The Ohio State University in Columbus and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Our main editors are Steven Conn and Nicholas Breyfogle. Our executive producer is David Staley, and our audio and technical advisor is Paul Kotheimer. Our audio producers and hosts are Brenna Miller and Jessica Blissit. Song and band information can be found on our website. You can find our podcast and more on our website, origins.osu.edu, on iTunes and on SoundCloud, and as always, you can find us on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks for listening.

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