tv Equal Rights Amendment CSPAN April 23, 2016 4:50pm-5:06pm EDT
could have at least said it was wikipedia. so that was the source of that. >> you can watch the entire event tonight, 6:00 p.m. eastern on the civil war. this is american history tv, only on c-span3. >> up next, university of toledo history lecturer chelsea griffis talks about how conservative women reacted to the introduction of equal rights amendment in the 1970's. we interviewed ms. griffis at the meeting of american historians in providence, rhode island. this is about 50 minutes. >> chelsea griffis, for those who have forgotten or never knew, what is the equal rights amendment? ms. griffis: a failed constitutional amendment that would have legally fought equality for men and women, regardless of sex.
inwas originally introduced 1923 by alice paul. people might know her from the national woman's party, a radical suffrage group. during the 1910's especially, sheep brought it forth to greater stabilize political equality between men and women. for the 1920's, it was unfathomable for most people. it was brought up again between the 1920's and 1970's, but never got much credit. it did not go farther than congressional committees. 1972, there was a lot of work in the house and senate, and he got brought up for ratification in 1972 to be sent to the states, yes or no, do we want this added to the u.s. constitution? >> how he focused your research? ms. griffis: looking at broadly
defined conservative women. some such as phyllis schlafly were against the era. but other women we would consider conservative supported it. were to come forward again, and if the era were to go to the states for ratification again, where can we look to, other than liberals and feminists and groups that we know would support the era for solidarity and eight"? and 80's, at the 70's how is it defined by women who call themselves conservative? in soiffis: it is defined many ways, historians are trying to figure out just how conservative they were. howme, i am looking at women define their own womanhood.
what does it mean to be a woman for them, based on their historical context? and for women like phyllis schlafly it means women who stay in the home, submit to male whatrity, are wary of affect socially it will have. it is turning back to older visions of what womanhood meant, and what our country used the -- to be, challenging the forward progress. challenging progress, or is it going backward? >> what was that the organization called? ms. griffis: it was called stop era, stopped taking our privileges.
she felt women would not have a special place in american society and in that would just be treated like men. others like her? ms. griffis: she was the largest grassroots organization. other groups, particularly among the new christian right, there is another one by beverly lehay, that argued if the era were put in place it would mean a loss of privilege for women, and not necessarily more benefits. on the other side, betty ford supported it. betty ford is one of the most fascinating first ladies in american history. she is called the first modern first lady since eleanor roosevelt because of her activism. she was already known as a supportive -- supporter of
women's rights and women's issues. cancer.ered from breast she gained a lot of notoriety and appreciation from women because that she publicized breast cancer and the importance of getting screened. betty ford supported the equal rights amendment, she did so based on the premise that it was important to be a woman, in the traditional way people understood it, but also, she believed women should be legally and politically equal. and the only way america could go forward and progress is if women gained that legally quality, in terms of equal rights in the workplace, equal pay. and, the social changes that would occur if women got legally quality. >> she joined forces with her successor, rosalynn carter. ms. griffis: absolutely, and i felt -- don't think many saw
that one. she joined forces with carter, especially at the end of the 1972-1982 ratification period. seem bipartisan. it failed, in the end, unfortunately. but it was a moment of both parties coming together to say yes, women deserve equal rights. >> what were the most influential arguments against the era? down, if thehands era were to be put in place, women would be subject to the draft. periodr for this time you are either living through the vietnam war or had a long historical memory of it. the idea that not only men would be subject to this, that women
would, too. segments of the population believed that women should be protected, that they were more vulnerable. and to subject women to the draft was unthinkable. a lot of the stories argued that the draft was really the killing blow for the era. that if conscription was not on the table, the era may have had a greater chance of success. boost the defeat give a to conservative women's groups? say aiffis: i would not boost. one of the arguments they used to validate the fact that they were political actors was the idea that yes, women should be in the home, but we understand that this era, the amendment, would have ramifications on the home. it would change the way women
are imagined, change the way we thought about children. one of the arguments was, when women would be, happy to return to the home as homemakers. once their position in the home was safe. but the struggle against the era women it was defeated, did not go back to the home. saidconservative women who they would when it was safe, retained their position and politics. it might be need to think of the era as a political boot camp for a lot of women when they were power arealized the political presence could have. and once you have that power, it is hard to step away. defeated,ith the era
there were still challenges they were bringing to traditional ideas of what it meant to be a woman. unless all of them were defeated, it seemed reasonable that women could stay within that public realm of eating part of politics. >> what interested you in the topic in the first place? ms. griffis: when i was in graduate school, there was an understanding within the wasrature that conservatism fading from power. and i was looking around me and recognizing the sexism of the reagan revolution, recognizing i was living through a george w. bush presidency, and it was hard to argue that conservativism was fading away. when i started reading more and more, it was clear that conservativism was not going anywhere. as we can see from the current presidential
four people interested in conservatism or people interested in challenging this new form of conservatism, the study of historical conservatism becomes more important. >> in your research, were there any particular surprises? ms. griffis: not necessarily surprises, because the arguments they used in the 1970's and 1980's are the same arguments they use to. that's probably the most surprising part, how these arguments get recycled in different ways and different contexts. a lot of the arguments beverley lahaye were putting forward against the era are the same arguments people are making today about women's reproductive rights. how far are we going to let women go toward equality before we start to challenge what the
women of the past were considering our judeo-christian worldview? you are seeing those same arguments again. >> what kind of resources did you go to when doing your research? ms. griffis: my phyllis schlafly i used the phyllis schlafly report. it was an incredible challenge for me to get my hands on those microfilms. the other thing which i got to do was go to the national evangelical association archives and sift through some of the papers of evangelical women who fought against the era. it is completely different to hear historical interpretations of those pieces of evidence then to actually see the evidence with your own eyes. and to form your own interpretations. sometimes, my interpretations
were copacetic with the old interpretations and historiography, and sometimes, they were brand-new based on the context i was reading them in. it was a blast. thank you griffis, very much. >> the church committee, 40 years later. beginning next weekend on american history tv, we will show extended segments of the 1975 hearings that investigated fbi, irs, and nsa intelligence activities. next weekend saturday at 10:00 p.m. and sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern time, only on american history tv. >> this sunday night on "q&a," historian run sure no talks about the broadway musical "hamilton" based on his
biography of alexander hamilton. >> he said, ron, i was reading your book in mexico and as i was the musical started popping on the page. he started telling me, hamilton's life is a classic hip pop narrative. i thought, what on earth is this guy talking about? he picked up he had a class ignoramus in hip-hop turns on his hands. my first question was, can hip hop be the vehicle for telling story?rge and complex he said, ron, i'm going to educate you about hip-hop. he did on the spot. started talking about how you can pack more information into the lyrics than any other form, because it's very dense. he started talking about the fact that hip-hop not only has run endings -- it has internal rhyme.
require that anyone applying for a patent must submit a model of their invention. were200,000 models requirementfore the was abolished. alan rough child and his wife had collected over 4000 patent models, including conventions, such as the breach loading firearm and the 1879 carburetor. next, the smithsonian american art museum hosts a presentation by alan rothschild who shows images of the collection and talks about the book he and his wife co-authored "inventing a better mousetrap." it's about 50 minutes. when betsy and i decided i would put on a neck's edition of patent models in the building a few years ago, we thought this was a no-brainer because we could go to the smithsonian national museum