Forty-Two Years?

“You mean I’m going to stay this color?” 

 His black mother hugged him. “I’d love you if you were the color of a baboon’s ass.”

 (From the movie The Jerk, written by Carl Reiner, and starring Steve Martin as Nathan.)

I’m as naïve as Nathan.

I thought that black suppression was behind us. And, too, I thought that the Equal Rights Amendment had been ratified.


Remember, “I Am Woman?” Helen Reddy’s song that became an anthem for the woman’s movement? I just saw the Helen Reddy movie and that sent me off in this direction. I thought after 1978, when 100,000 people marched in Washington for the ERA,  it was a done deal.  (Too young to remember that march in Washington? That’s why you need me. But, foolish me. I thought we women had equal rights. You remember, however, that we had a black president.Here, I thought we were marching into a new day.

 I’m crushed.

Equal Rights Amendment: “Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

I know I shouldn’t get into politics, but once in a while, have to scream: “WHAT ARE YOU THINKIN’? The ERA should not be political, but a sacred right of a human being—to be treated equally with all men of color or pasty white. 

This morning I read Rob Brezsny’s Free Will Astrology in the “Eugene Weekly.

AQUARIUS: “No American woman was allowed to earn a medical degree and practice as a physician until Aquarian-borne Elizabeth Blackwell did it in 1849. It was an almost impossible feat since the all-male college she attended undermined her mercilessly. Once she began her career as a doctor, she consistently had to outwit men who made it difficult for her. Nonetheless, she persisted. Eventually, she helped create a medical school for women in England and made it possible for 476 women to practice medicine there. I propose that we make her your patron said for now. May she inspire you to redouble your diligent pursuit of your big dream. Here’s your motto: “Nevertheless, I’m persisting.”

Come join me. 

Here is a list of states that have ratified the ERA. Whew! Oregon is on the list. Hawaii was the first. Hawaii, you rock.

1.  Hawaii (March 22, 1972)

2.  New Hampshire (March 23, 1972)

3.  Delaware (March 23, 1972)

4.  Iowa (March 24, 1972)

5.  Idaho (March 24, 1972) **

6.  Kansas (March 28, 1972)

7.  Nebraska (March 29, 1972) **

8.  Texas (March 30, 1972)

9.  Tennessee (April 4, 1972) **

10.              Alaska (April 5, 1972)

11.              Rhode Island (April 14, 1972)

12.              New Jersey (April 17, 1972)

13.              Colorado (April 21, 1972)

14.              West Virginia (April 22, 1972)

15.              Wisconsin (April 26, 1972)

16.              New York (May 18, 1972)

17.              Michigan (May 22, 1972)

18.              Maryland (May 26, 1972)

19.              Massachusetts (June 21, 1972)

20.              Kentucky (June 27, 1972) **[57]

21.              Pennsylvania (September 27, 1972)[57]

22.              California (November 13, 1972)

23.              Wyoming (January 26, 1973)

24.              South Dakota (February 5, 1973) **

25.              Oregon (February 8, 1973)[58]

26.              Minnesota (February 8, 1973)

27.              New Mexico (February 28, 1973)

28.              Vermont (March 1, 1973)

29.              Connecticut (March 15, 1973)

30.              Washington (March 22, 1973)

31.              Maine (January 18, 1974)

32.              Montana (January 25, 1974)

33.              Ohio (February 7, 1974)

34.              North Dakota (February 3, 1975)[57]

35.              Indiana (January 18, 1977)[59]

36.              Nevada (March 22, 2017)[60]

37.              Illinois (May 30, 2018)[61]

“Behavior matters. Character matters.” –Barack Obama

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