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Friday, January 24, 2020

Equal Rights Amendment 1/22/2020

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
ERA is Ratified! Yes, Virginia there is an Equal Rights Amendment.
This vote in the Virginia Legislation last week January 16th, 2020 was the 38th state to ratify this Amendment.
Many say this vote comes too late. But there are Amendments that have taken over 200 years to be ratified. Applying a deadline to the Equal Rights Amendment is not  a good reason.  Why place a deadline on a human rights issue?
This argument set aside, this is powerful news to the history of American women.
1923 was the 75th anniversary of the convention of Seneca Falls of 1848. At this celebration Alice Paul introduced the ERA. That was 97 years ago. It has taken 97 years to have this Amendment ratified by 38 states!

In 2003 Richmond,Virginia was the location of the filming of the HBO's feature film "Iron Jawed Angels". The first feature about the Women's Suffrage Movement. Which featured the story of Alice Paul and Lucy Burn. Are you wondering why not Susan B. Anthony?
Well, sadly Anthony had been dead for 13 years before the 19th Amendment was ratitifed!  Alice Paul took the Suffrage Movement into a more aggressive approach to winning the Right to Vote! Parades, knocking on the doors of the Congress and then protesting in front of the Whitehouse. What was the reaction of these actions? Well it varied from violence to support.
After months of protesting President Wilson grew very tired of these protests and ordered for the women to be arrested. But for what? "Obstructing traffic!"  Mothers, Daughters, Teachers, Wives, were arrested and fined for obstructing traffic . The Suffragists refused to pay the fine.
 Women were jailed in Virginia's Occoquan Women's Prison.  Many women were sentenced for three to six months. All for expressing their voice! Women were raped, suffered  physical violence, served rotten food, and during Alice Paul's hunger strike she was force fed!
President Wilson required Alice Paul to be examined by a psychiatrist who deemed Alice Paul mentally healthy.
Word was getting out about the horrors of what was happening to the suffragists in prison.  This lead to the general public's understanding of the plight of women. And the release of all the protesting suffragists.
August 18th, 1920 the 19th Amendment was ratified!
Back to the film "Iron Jawed Angels", so the scene in the film that depicts the passage of the 19th Amendment was filmed in the location the ERA was ratified in real life.
Who would have thought that the Virginia legislation Assembly Hall would be the actual location of the 38th state needed to ratify the EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT.
Call your congressmen to support the Equal Rights Amendment.
And if you have not seen "Iron Jawed Angels", watch! It is the first film to tell the history of the United States Suffrage Movement. Well there was one scene in a very popular feature film. "Mary Poppins " Mrs. Banks did a musical number about the "cause" . But that's it.
I had the honor of working on "Iron Jawed Angels". Working on this set changed my life.  Because until I read this script, I had no idea of history of suffrage. It was one of the reasons I began writing this blog in 2006.
 I thought Susan B. Anthony wrote letters and made speeches and bam! We could vote. And I was not alone! Our cast of women spoke about the lack of education there is in school for girls and women! about our her-story!
Hopefully, these exciting new changes will help us all learn the truth of our history of suffrage!

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