Now that we have unisex bathrooms (in many places, they’re disguised under the sneakily wholesome name “family bathroom”) and women fully recognized for the combat roles they’ve played in the past few wars, can we have an Equal Rights Amendment? I haven’t checked in with Phyllis Schlafly recently, but as I recall, her Eagle Forum was full of dark warnings about the fate of the republic should unisex bathrooms and women in combat ever come to pass.
But lo: the sun still rises on Columbia in the East! And don’t tell Mrs. Schlafly, but there are several states that permit not just unisex bathrooms or same-sex civil unions but gay marriage. Shhhhhhhh!
I suspect the real problem isn’t the political opposition to a revived ERA. The real problem appears to be that there isn’t a political constituency or organization demanding an ERA, probably because women are just as susceptible to Whig fantasies of history as men are. We don’t demand an ERA because most of us mostly think we’re already there. But consider: wouldn’t an ERA offer sustenance in fighting several of the recent state laws passed requiring abortion providers to rape their patients with instruments before any abortion procedure can be performed? Would it be nice to have in the bank, as it were, in a country that worships the U.S. Constitution as holy writ?
Of course, the problem is right now that we’d have to count on those same state legislatures who have mandated rape by medical instrument to ratify an ERA. This alone should serve as an impetus to amend the U.S. Constitution: the passage of the ERA was much more politically likely 40 years ago than it is now!