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It’s Baaaack . . . Would the Equal Rights Amendment Change Anything for Women?

March 31, 2013

Camille Hayes


In grade school, I proudly wore a colorful array of political T-shirts, ranging from presidential candidates to the plight of agricultural workers, in a complex rotation based on a combination of campaign cycles and Ms. Magazine cover stories.


I loved those shirts and fondly remember a dramatic black and white number festooned with chains and manacles, which declared women “the oppressed majority.” But my hands-down favorite: a plain blue tee with minimal graphics that simply said, “ERA is For Everyone.”


On March 5, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., reintroduced the Equal Rights Amendment in Congress, to see if it would have better luck than it did 30 years ago, when it briefly looked like it might be ratified by the 38 states needed to make it into the Constitution.

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