tv Equal Rights Amendment CSPAN August 6, 2016 8:49am-10:01am EDT
at women. they didn't just a pipe to black women, or with men not just black men. it helps us with rights for the lgbt community, the handicapped, people with disabilities. the civil rights movement had a lot of impact on what we have today, and continues to have. that is why i would like to see white women and white men work more with civil rights groups, because we got the ball rolling. now we are moving on. we have other problems with voter suppression and other things. we would like to have more people working with us to pick up that load we have to work on every day, which is not just women's rights. i'm really proud to be one of the lead organizations and chief spokespersons for the equal rights amendment, but i need some help. [laughter]
page: absolutely. dr. ciani: but according to phyllis. [laughter] here's a quote. out of all the people who lived, the american moment that's women is the most privileged. we have the most rights and rewards, and the fewest duties. [laughter] she still believes that. she is still on the radio, have you heard her lately? page: but when we spoke earlier today, we were talking about the fact that that comes from a distinct place of privilege. it is only because of her privileged place. one of the things we have intimated that have not been clear about -- dr. ciani: one of the things we have intimated, but have not
been cleared out, is that the equal rights amendment in 1923, 1964, and 1972, and when it died in 1982, was primarily a movement of white and middle-class women, both on the pro and against sides. it was a movement that was really generated by women who had resources available to them, and resources of time, resources of money, resources also of being connected to other politicians, whether that be local, state, or federal. one of the arguments about losing the e.r.a. in the 1970's is that the pro-forces stayed centralized in washington dc, which now and e.r.a. america,
are one of the most important of the time. but the anti-e.r.a. forces went out into the local and state levels, and really gathered forces. their ministers, their pastors, their state legislators, mayors, most of whom were men. they really made the argument to these individuals that their state and their locale would not benefit from an equal rights amendment, and that there had been a lot of scholars and historians who have made the argument about that local state level. as well as most of the states that did not go forward with the amendment were southern states,
and they were also democratically connected states. the state of illinois was one of the most infamous states. i live there, so i can still testify, we are still in fitness, we still don't have a state budget. we are the only state in the union that doesn't have a budget yet. mayor daley at the time got his chicago machine going. he was very angry at women who were involved, who were playing his politics against him. he argued that -- this guy in the box, he was mad at the democratic convention leadership.
he wanted it. women in illinois back the other. he said, if you are going to do that, i will do this. so illinois did not go forward with it. there is a lot of different angles. it is not just the race component. there are a lot of different elements to it. i do think that, in what we were talking about earlier, you have to think about it. i'm a historian, so this is how i think. historical context is very important. what was written in the 1920's remains the same in the 1970's, and it didn't work. some people would argue that that language still doesn't work. page: i think one of the things that it makes so clear, that the same word means something
entirely different at different times, and context confers meeting. dr. muncy: historians believe you can tell it anything means, because it is context that gives anything real meaning. one way to see then this case is that in the 1930's and 40's, and the 1920's, and through the 1950's, the e.r.a. was seen as a pro-business measure. the people who supported it -- the first party to support the e.r.a. was the republican party in 1940. they saw it as a pro-business measure, because it would undermine protective labor legislation, and lifted restrictions off of them -- employers allowing them to exploit their workers to their hearts content. it was seen as an anti-labor, pro-business measure in the 1930's and 1940's and after. of course, it would come to mean something different in the
context of the 1960's and 1970's. one of the things that changed part of the context was absolutely the civil rights movement and apostle -- passage of the civil rights act. another thing that changed is that women workers had been used to and largely accepted such that regarded -- segregated labor markets. in the industries in which women dominated like in the garment industry, the labor unions and garment industry where the last ones to drop their opposition to e.r.a. protective labor legislation really helped women who were not in competition with men for jobs. if you are in a position, but you are only going to compete with other women, any protective labor legislation that goes only to women will not hurt you. it will only help you. if you are in a position where you want to compete with a man for a job, then you don't want any restrictions on you, because
you want to be able to say, i can do anything he can do. in that case, protective legislation is more likely to seem like a harm. one of the things that is changing, one of the places it is most obvious in the late 1940's, is in the auto industry. michigan again. in michigan, there were not too many women in the auto industry, but maybe 10% of the uaw. they were in segregated jobs. they made less money, but they made a decent living compared to other women, thanks to unionization. but they began to think they would never get in their female dominated jobs in the industry, they would never get wages equal to the guys in the auto industry if they didn't just get out of those female dominated jobs and compete with guys. that began to percolate through
the uaw, in the late 1940's and 1950's. the women in the uaw were among the first in the labor movement to come to support e.r.a., and decide to protective labor legislation was not for them. women in the garment industry held out. the amount emitted clothing workers did not drop their position to e.r.a. until 1974. that is really late. the context is what let all the difference. as those diminished, especially in the 1950's and 1960's and after, the e.r.a. looks better. dr. williams: i think the average person would say, how things have teams -- change. a time when republicans were supporting the equal rights amendment. [laughter] compared to what we have to work with today. one of the advantages today is that there are so many enlightened men.
i bet there is no man and his audience, are maybe one, who would say i'm opposed to the equal rights amendment. i'm not talking about -- i would just like the men and audience did turn to somebody and say, she's not talking about me. [laughter] i think it is an advantage now, particularly with men who are married. it seems to me that men who are married would want their wives to work, and would want them to have equal pay. think of how much that increases the family wealth, and the whole burden is not on you by the new card for the daughter who is graduating from high school -- or the son who is going to military, or whatever. i think it is something really special to have an opportunity to increase the family fund, and that is what the equal rights amendment would do.
it would just allow us to get away from that, what is it, 78% to the dollar? even less for black women, and latino women, it may only be in the 40's. i think it is great for increasing the wealth and the i grew up in the south. to me, all white people were rich. [laughter] that is an idea i still have today sometimes. i am finding out it is not really true. there are some families who are not black, not latino, who also need the extra help, need to have women and their families able to make as much as the men make. men, if you are opposed to the equal rights amendment, raise your hand. you might want to leave at this point. [laughter] we have one. i wish you well. the young woman sitting beside him. we know what's going to happen tonight. [laughter]
page: dr. ciani, what are you go ahead and jump into the opposition and how that was framed at a specific time, and that it really did take hold, and here we are today. dr. ciani: i think that the opposition was really adamant about the positive nature of what they saw as a patriarchal umbrella, and that women and children were protected by this patriarchy. this is coming in a time in the 1960's and 1970's, when we don't have a lot of recognition and acknowledgment about domestic violence. we don't have a lot of acknowledgment and acceptance of criminal behaviors that are happening in the homes. we don't have an understanding of sexual assaults.
there's a lot of secrets, still, that are held within family homes. so, the opposition to the e.r.a. is painting the house sold as a perfect place -- the household as a perfect place, as a place that is a positive haven. the opposition uses the word "haven" a lot to describe the homes. they saw and painted the pro-e.r.a. people as anti-people, so they said that people who were in favor of the equal rights amendment were anti-family, anti-children, anti-home, anti-marriage. they really used the rhetoric of
this negativity that was perceived in the larger general public, and that general rhetoric that was negative was attached to a particular group of people. the stereotypes of the feminist in the 1960's was someone -- and i'm smiling because we continue to hear this on the daily news cycle -- someone who is shrill, someone who is bold, someone who doesn't take no for an answer. someone who doesn't like men, someone who is this, someone who is that.
people like phyllis schlafly, who really pushed that negative message. if i can go to her words again, this is another good quote from her. she says it like nobody else can. [laughter] she says early on in 1972, "it is time to set it straight, the claim that american women are unfairly treated and downtrodden is the fraud of the century. the truth is that american women never had it so good. why should we lower ourselves to equal rights when we already have the status of special privilege?" she argues that based on the judeo-christian heritage, based on that heterosexuality that i talked about at the beginning of the hour, and she uses christian tradition a lot. what is her phrase? it is such a good one.
[laughter] pardon me. it is a christian age of chivalry. she is really masterful at rhetoric. she argues that -- this is a little bit interesting for me to wrap my head around -- but she says, "our judeo-christian civilization has developed a law and custom, that since women must bear the physical consequences of the sex act, men must be required to bear the other consequences, and pay in other ways." but she's arguing because women are the bearer of children and go through children and childbirth and the labor of that and the hardship of that, is that men have to work for their wives. but again, it is based on the
judeo-christian understanding of marriage, it is based on a world where birth control is still a very uncomfortable subject for people. she also was very adamant about feminism and the abortion movement, so she used the antiabortion movement to her advantage and talked about women involved with the e.r.a. as baby killers. she is very, very -- i would call bold and strident in her words, in her use of language, but she does it in a very calm tone. right? and the way she writes is also very calm. people didn't see her as angry. they saw her as illustrating the perfect wife.
and that won her the e.r.a. in 1977. page: kris, let me switch to you. alice paul wrote the original amendment, worked on it for the rest of her life, passed away in 1977. can you give us any thoughts on alice and what she was thinking as far as the opposition to the equal rights movement -- to the equal rights amendment, by the time the 1960's and even early 1970's came around? what were her thoughts? kris: we talked a moment ago about context, and that this amendment she had helped to write and authored in the early 1920's was very different from what she intended to happen, and very different from indeed happened in the 1960's and 1970's. one of the things that is very
interesting -- i just got done reading a pamphlet produced by the national women's party in the 1970's, you can tell alice paul is a heavy influence. she talks about all the social fears. she says the opposition will play on social fears. it is not that she never thought about it, but she said things that would never have come up in the 1920's, that we are now talking about, that is a very powerful way to campaign, and and play on social fears. her opinion in the 1920's was that, and i think at the end of her life as well, if you got the federal amended for the equality, the social things would work themselves out. by the height of the e.r.a. and anti-e.r.a. movements, we had all of these social fears become predominant above the e.r.a. she is afraid of that. she is also -- this is interesting because here he is pro-e.r.a., but she is not sure how to deal with what she called the women's libbers.
to the public and to the newspapers she says, "yay, you young women are going to take the mantle." behind closed doors she wants to separate her party from the women's liberation movement, because she felt maybe they are too radical, and they have so many initiatives that they want to pursue, and that would get tied into the equal rights amendment. the opposition is already doing that, so she wants to separate it. this is a woman who is in her 80's and early 90's, and we consider her radical, but maybe she is not so radical, coming up to a head with these new women who were radical, according to her, and really talking about these social issues. i think she wanted to disassociate her and her amendment from in a way. she was happy that they took up the amendment, but i'm not sure if she knew how quite a feel as
all of these issues were coming up. she has arguments for each of the issues, but i don't know what is going through her had personally at some point. page: it is fascinating, because alice paul formed the national women's party with other people, and at that point they were the young generation. these were the rabble-rousers, people who were radical themselves. it was more the older suffrage parties that were really thinking of these people as picketing the white house, this is atrocious, they should not do this. it was alice and her contemporaries who were radical. i really like to take about alice's time and everything she had done politically, and how that eventually flipped, and alice and the rest of the national women's party were now the older generation, looking at the younger generation saying, wow, those tactics are a little
too radical. it is a fascinating look, but i think one that you only get when you have something like the equal rights amendment that has the long lifespan. we can trace it from generation to generation. dr. williams: and i think we face the same thing when we talk about civil rights. many of the young people say, you old people. of course, they are not talking about me. [laughter] i'm chronologically advanced, but i'm not old. but i think young people forget that when dr. martin luther king, and when others were working in the civil rights movement, they were young people, too. it's just that as you go along, sometimes you change what is most urgently important to you. of people incase my age group, it is a matter of preserving of what someone else struggled to gain. many young people are trying to get new rights we never thought would be possible. page: it is fascinating.
muncy, yound dr. are both history professors. maybe we could talk a little bit about what students today think about the civil rights movement -- the equal rights amendment. one of the biggest misconceptions is that people are generally shocked, because they think the equal rights amendment is law, and we are living safely under the equal rights amendment, and that is indeed not the case. sometimes it is shocking for them to hear about it, but we always tell of that. the second thing, they are shocked about the fact it was written in the 1920's, not the 1960's or 1970's. the 1960's to them is ancient times. [laughter] so this is amazing. kyle, you were saying earlier about the age of the students. dr. ciani: the new undergrad class is born in 1998. [laughter] it is 1998 this year.
dr. muncy: i started teaching in the 1980's. when i first went into the classroom, students knew that the e.r.a. did not die until 1982-ish. so you could talk about the e.r.a. but very shortly after that, by the early 1990's, you walked in the classroom and say something about e.r.a., it was like you were talking about laundry detergent. [laughter] they are looking at you like, "uh, what are you talking about?" gosh."hought, "oh my it was now a not in memory. it was something you had to teach as history, not current events, and not as a part of collective memory. i think they don't know much about it now. but i would like to say that in the last few years, students
have much more readily -- or are coming into my classroom at least -- come into my classroom as feminists. that had ceased for a long, long time. they were shocked to learn anyone who would call themselves a feminist with someone they could relate to at all or was a halfway decent human being. but now, young women are coming into the classroom identifying themselves as feminist before they get there. it is a huge change. there's a lot of energy around feminism and women's issues. not in the e.r.a. particularly, but i would not say e.r.a. is the primary issue for women right now, there are plenty of other issues that are probably more important to more women immediately than passing the e.r.a. things like raising the minimum wage, parental paid leave, and voter rights, those are more important than the e.r.a. right now is. i would not disagree with their priorities in that way, but it was a remarkable moment. i remember in the late 1980's and early 1990's, when it meant
absolutely nothing, it was so in the long-ago past that kids had not heard of it. dr. williams: i think what happens today is many of the women's organizations pay more attention to young women, and we do try to teach them about the thing that impacted their lives, and how they got to be where they are. i know that now the feminist majority, my organization, the national congress of black women, all of us have young women who are interns who do real things, not just filing. [laughter] they do research, they write articles, they read. they have a better opportunity to know these things. dr. ciani: and being in the national archives, filing is important. [laughter] we want to keep filing. we are profiling. it is very important. but i would agree with dr. muncy, and that i think there is a change in terms of -- and you
mentioned young women, and i will add to that young men as well. i think people in college classes now -- it is expensive to go to college. it is more expensive now than it was in the 1980's. if you are going, you are really investing in your education, and you want to be part of the solution, for the most part. we see that a lot. i'm at illinois state. we see that on the college campus. we have a very diverse campus. we have a lot of students who are very engaged in a wide range of activism. they tend not to just be in f.l.a.m.e., which is our
feminist organization, but they are also in pride, they are also in young republicans. that is an interesting domination. people who are in pride and -- young republicans. they are not pigeonholing themselves like we used to do to students, and they are really standing up. i'm very proud to be doing what i do, and working with students. but having said that, they are incredibly naïve to how the world works. and you should be, i suppose, at that age. you should be. but one of the things that makes me very uncomfortable about that statement is that i don't think it is their fault. i think we are not teaching them at the middle school and high school level history the way that we used to.
i can also say that with some sort of authority, because we have a history education program. we are the best in the nation, we train the most teachers in the country. it is very difficult for us to repair some of the damage of the ignorance they are bringing to us. we have been talking about historical context. i always ask my students, how far did you get in your u.s. history class? how far did you get? maybe they know about world war ii. and you know what they know about world war ii? they kind of know what the holocaust is. they have never heard of japanese interment. and they know who rosie the riveter is, a cartoon character.
what we are teaching in our high schools and middle schools is not appropriate. it is not training them to really deal with the world. and they can vote! for me, it is really critical. i want them to understand how to vote, how to make those decisions. dr. williams: i'm glad you mentioned high school and young men. young men play an important part in how women are treated in this country, too, and around the world. we welcome the help of young men. i am really pleased as we go around campuses and high schools and colleges, we see young men are taking the lead in being supportive of the equal rights amendment, so i am proud of them , and i think we need to encourage the young men, too, because after all, many of them have sisters, they have a mother, someday they are going to have daughters. i would hope they would want
equality of opportunity for their daughters and their sisters and their mothers. kris: i teach a gender studies course at my college, and every i started in 2009. every year, i have more men joining the course. it is great. i wanted to point out that social media i think is -- you may love it or hate it, but i think for students, it is one of the things that connects them and makes them feel like part of a community. it makes them learn about the issues. they may not be studying the issues, but they are connected to them. i think that helps in a way. it can hinder, but like my students say, i know about this issue from some kind of social media. they don't use facebook. i'm impressed by that, because they did not learned in school, and they do not watch the news, but they can pick up information quickly.
we are trying to score ways we can use that to spread the message of equal rights amendment and other legislation that would affect specifically women. page: exactly. we have a couple of minutes left before we would turn it over to audience questions. let me ask one closing question of the panelists. why do you think that some or even many of the feminist activists today might not make the e.r.a. their top priority? we talked about that a little bit. but maybe just give two or three sentences about why you think they really don't. dr. williams: i will start. did you name someone to start it? page: no. you. dr. williams: i think what of the reasons is that there are so many issues that there that they have to be concerned about. in our community, for example, we have faced a lot of challenging situations just over this past year, when we had seen a young black woman being stopped for routine traffic
stop, and wind up dead when she is in custody. she's not the only one. we have had several others to think about. we have not always heard the outcry from the larger community about that issue. we looked at a young girl whose friend was being slammed across the room, and she was charged just for speaking up for her friend. and then in texas last summer, when the police officer took the young woman in a bathing suit and did a body slam with her. those are all things in our community we have to think about, and we don't always hear the outcry from the larger community. we have to think about that, and fair wages, what have you. you will see us on picket lines all over the place. as a matter fact, my friends laugh at me because i used to keep picket signs in the back of my car. [laughter] if i see a cause that i believe in, i will ask, what are you picketing for? let me go to my car. [laughter] we have to be activists. we have to see other people's
issues as the same issues we had. maybe not the same subject, but the point is we can get more people to support our issue when we support their issue. in the final analysis, they are all human issues. if we want to be for human rights, we have to speak up for everybody, all human beings must be treated and thought of as human beings. that is why i never hesitate. i have slept out in the park, in the snow with the latinos, with the native americans. i have gone to london and every place, for people who had a problem with british petroleum not paying poor people. i mean, i see every one of those issues as connected to me, and i want to be there to help make a difference. i don't always have the money to give money for cause, but i where i can i do. i would encourage people to know that there is only something you can do to make a difference in the life of somebody else. it may be small, but it makes a difference. page: absolutely.
i want to hear from the rest of the panelists, but i want to let everyone know there are microphones on either side, so you can start lining up if you have questions for the panelists. we can go down the line. dr. muncy: i think that there are a lot of issues, and i said this earlier -- i can repeat myself i guess -- but there are a lot of issues that are more important to more women more immediately than the equal rights in and it would be. i think raising the minimum wage would be really crucial. i think paid parental leave is crucial. i think restoring voting rights is crucial. it is crucial to women, families, and all of us. and the immediate payoff of those is more obvious than the equal rights amendment, which does not seem in any immediate sense to be urgent. page: good point. dr. ciani? dr. ciani: i would agree with my
colleagues here. i would also add to that, it is the military-industrial complex in which we live, and the immigration issues that we are either dealing with or ignoring, i think our issues that touch upon a global basis. it is something that in the 1970's was sort of ignored. one of the things that the anti-e.r.a. people really emphasized was that if women had an e.r.a., women would have to go into the military. we have since passed that. women do participate in armed conflict, in almost -- not exactly equal ways, but somewhat of an equal manner. but i think we are dealing with things like ptsd in ways we have
to deal with those issues, in ways that people ignored them earlier. we have to deal with health care. we have to deal with medical attention. our infrastructure is failing. god, i sound so negative. [laughter] but there is so much going on. we have so many needs right now. i'm not sure that the equal rights amendment is forefront in people's minds. kris: i work with 48 teenage girls through the alice paul and institute girls advisory council, and i can tell you that every one of those girls has no idea what the e.r.a. is, and that it never passed. for them, it is a brand-new concept, but as soon as they learn it, they are excited and charged. if you want new activists for the e.r.a., you have to tell them about it. [laughter]
because if they don't know -- it is ignorance, but not chosen ignorance. it is not something that they are being taught in school. they get very little international relations as well. but when they learn about it, they are charged, they are passionate. i think that is perhaps the next message. they have not experienced a lot of discrimination yet, and that is the other half of the coin. but i don't want them to. i want them to not have to experience it. but for them, it is just a matter of an educational experience. page: excellent. thank you all very much. we have people who are queued up for questions. we can make it easy and we will start here and then go back and forth. >> when we discuss women's suffrage, we discussed the u.s. vis-à-vis other countries. we were part of a wave at that time. we have not discussed how other countries deal with the e.r.a.
i'm not sure if that is part of your purview, but how does the rest of the world think of equal rights? page: that is a great question. does anyone want to start with that? dr. williams: one of the things we can do is look at "where did we invade next?" michael moore's next movie. there are some countries ahead of us on women's rights. and then on the other side with they are not, some of us have helped legally to write laws for other nations. we don't always assume we are ahead of everyone else in the world. kris: there are a lot of countries ahead of us. my students say every year, we are going to move to sweden. they passed legislation that half of their government has to be women. they did that in the 1970's, i believe. now they are seeing the effects of that and the fruits of that labor.
and they have child care and health care and all of these great things that people like alice paul were originally fighting for. we are one of six nations that has not passed cedaw. the united states stands out in a strange way. we have not passed the convention on the elimination of discrimination against women. which 126 other nations have, and we are one of six. dr. williams: and several other nations have had women presidents already, and we have not. not yet. dr. ciani: one of the interesting things at the museum -- we work closely with the state department and other organizations that bring international groups through the museum. we bring them through, we tell them the story, give them a the story, give them a tour, and
we often sit after for a few minutes, and let them ask. you have american women sitting here, ask us whatever you would like. we may not be the experts, but we can tell you from a personal level what we think. some of the questions we get are absolutely astounding. we have had women from 17 or 18 different countries come through in the last 18 months, and the women who come from muslim countries are often the most unyielding. they say, you don't have an equal rights amendment, why are you running a museum? you should be picketing. [laughter] and we will say, thank you. we are lucky in america that we have the opportunity to preserve this story to make sure that our students and our children get the background information and understand this, and we are also lucky to have lots of other women who are activists and who are actively working on that. it is not necessarily the answer they wanted to hear, but it is the answer of what we do and how we try to make that balance here. let's go right over here.
>> you can see by my cane, i am little older. some of these people, i'm glad to see young faces in the audience. when i first became the now president in northern virginia, my phone number, my home phone number was put in the phone directory -- talk about an ancient idea -- as northern virginia n.o.w. in that first year i ended up with over 500 calls to my number by battered women and raped women. i had guys with shotguns on my front porch, quite willing to shoot me so they could perpetrate further violence on their women. and while phyllis was portraying the home as a haven, i was
dealing with the bleeding bodies and the other women. when this happened, the only place we would shelter women was crisis house in alexandria, and they would not take children. what really violated women would leave her children behind? we also started court watching because we found that judges in the southern states -- i can remember one woman coming in who was deaf as a result of the violence and being beaten around the head. and a sitting judge said there, "well, honey, do you deserve it?" and the violence continued. the home still is not a haven. i think that we have to think about the core rights of
survival. do women have the right to thrive? how do we come to a place where we face no violence and no discrimination? i as a quaker belief that alice and not off in terms of her ultimate goal. the thing generation after generation we have different tactics and different motivations. i think that desire to be equal, to have the glass ceiling finish vanish, i think women all along the way have seen that as something they wanted. at least as i read my quaker sources, i think that was true. of course, alice paul grew up among friends. i think that also makes a difference. kris: it is. and i think that goes to what dr. williams was saying, that we all must be diligent, with family and friends, and find
ways to make our communities better. dr. williams: we also have vice president joe biden to think for thank for the violence against women act, that is a good start. but all of us need to be more vigilant. if you look at five women on the stage, at least somebody in this group has been -- has had domestic violence, whether against a son, or daughter, or a spouse. we need to have more attention to this issue. i meet women all the time that you would never think just from looking at them that they were abused women. dr. ciani: i think one of the paradoxes of the equal rights amendment movement was that at a time when the e.r.a. was being rescinded and failing, was the time when women activists like yourself were recognizing that
the personal is political, and we are really starting to take on the issue in your own homes. you were not waiting for governmental intervention, but you were doing it yourself. i think history has shown us that across the states, domestic violence shelters were being established in many different ways in the 1970's and in the 1980's. they didn't start at that time, but they really expanded during that time. the sources show us that back in the colonial era, there were women who were taking in other women. i think the feminist movement of the 1960's and the 1970's really did a service to women who were not being heard in a public setting. i think that is important. thank you for raising that.
it is a really important issue. page: it absolutely is. let's go right over here. >> the equal rights amendment, i came in a couple of minutes late, so i don't know if anybody said it, but there are -- not all the issues you raise as prominent and important that could be dealt with under the equal rights amendment. but as a lawyer, i would say if we had an equal rights amendment, it would be a powerful legal tool to deal with at least some of the issues raised. for example, fair pay. why do we push minimum wage? well, we push it for men and women, but in fact, many more women than men are at that level. many more issues in the workplace talking about protective legislation said, we need to have bathroom breaks.
that is still an issue today. pregnant women do not get bathroom breaks in many jobs, and crazy hours, and so forth. if there were an equal rights amendment, i think it would be a powerful tool for many of the issues we deal with. you mentioned the military. at least my recollection from the late 1970's and 1980's is in addition to the home is a haven, and that major theme that phyllis talks about, two of the issues i recall mentioned again and again is that women would have to be drafted and women would have to be in combat. the third thing was we would all have to use the same bathroom. which of course in my house, that is true.
[laughter] at any rate, these issues don't go away. i think in fact, more comments on that, but it seems to me if there really were a push for the what it were to correct, it really could be seen as an important tool for women and for men, really. page: absolutely. kris: i think alice paul wrote so many drafts of the e.r.a. the final one she actually changes in 1943 is the one we know today. she intentionally kept it vague. i think with that idea that it could be used from a lot of different angles in court. is the correct term strict scrutiny? in the court system. that was her goal. keeping it vague intentionally
was her goal. page: definitely. right over here. >> first of all, i have to tell you a story about alice paul and ly.llis schaff schlafly. phyllis made a speech four years ago in berkeley, invited to talk about feminism versus conservatism. she finished her speech, walked around the podium, and fell off the stage and broke her hip. i always say alice paul was there and push her, because she was tired of it. [laughter] and the second thing is that we are working on the e.r.a., if you don't know it, and virginia. in virginia.
we have passed it five times in the senate. we can't get it through the house. it is being worked on in illinois, nevada, florida, north carolina, and we are pushing very hard. five states said they rescinded, but the supreme court said there is no apparatus in the constitution to let you do that, you have to start all over again. i noticed in your picture, you have pictures of people who worked on this, and the lady that just spoke was one of the original in washington, d.c. to richmond. why aren't we having a story about all these people? two years ago, we had people talking about the e.r.a., and one professor said, "it is actually dead." it is amazing to me. we need to have a program to tell the stories in order to get these people to write their books and talk about them. dr. williams: just recently, there is a book, "equal means equal."
lopez from california have a movie by the same name. in fact, they will be in town at the u.s. capitol. you can go online to the e.r.a. coalition and find out more details about it. some of us go around the country -- i have been to wake forest university and others, and we do tell the stories. not enough yet, but we are working on it. we will have a meeting tuesday with the coalition. i would bring it up. stories are very powerful when you can hear from someone. >> you are all at universities. virginia n.o.w. has a history project. we have been making a list of women who are important to the e.r.a., and interviewing them, and we get the tapes to the smithsonian. you need to be doing that too with your graduate students. getting them out there. dying before we
can even get to them. dr. ciani: we are doing that at illinois state. nothing is happening in state legislation in illinois. it is at a standstill. if you are hoping for the e.r.a. to go forward, i don't know, alice, work the magic. nothing is happening in the state of illinois. >> we need more women in the legislature. dr. ciani: i think that a lot of universities have excellent oral programs. those of us who do work with graduate students and do have masters programs, we really push oral history, and we push -- i will talk about my institution -- but we do a lot with local histories. our former director of women and gender studies was very active in the e.r.a., and went toe to
toe with phyllis in springfield. we had her stories, we had her collection. i think one of the things that is really important about public history and oral history especially is that you get these smaller stories, and you weave the smaller stories together, and you get the national picture. i absolutely agree with you that we need the stories, and i think they are happening. they really are. page: right over here. >> hello. as you mentioned briefly before just recently about the draft, this is something i have become very interested in, especially since it is relevant right now. it was on discussion on the hill. maybe if you could talk more about that and where it fits in, especially today. it is something i have not really encountered in my research on the feminist
movements today as well. kris: i know alice paul and the national women's party in the 1970's, women's organizations had gotten together to talk about it. i think the consensus at that point was that women should be eligible for the draft, and that legally, both men and women could be called for a draft at any point. alice paul personally felt that with a volunteer army, which would start in the 1970's, that there would not be a need for the draft anymore. she is kind of right, right now. knock on wood. she said, by the way, women have always been in the army. they have always been there. but not necessarily recognized for it. i'm not sure how she would feel about what is going on today, but at the core of it, she would
say women should be drafted, not that she would want them to be drafted, but that legally she would see it, if you want true equality, then this is one of the products of equality. do you guys want to add to that? dr. muncy: maybe somebody here knows what's going on with this. i saw a little blurb that suggested that the authorization bill would require that 18-year-old women would register. help us. [indiscernible] so it is to prevent it. right. page: dr. williams, do you encounter this when you are out speaking and when your organization is out speaking? dr. williams: i think the audiences to which i speak are often already ready for the equal rights amendment. i don't find any opposition at all. they are just hungry for more
information, so they know how to explain the equal rights amendment to their friends and families. i had one woman in north carolina recently who raised the question about her husband objecting to her coming out to the meeting that we were having, and she wanted to know what was the solution to that. he was obviously an older man -- well, a chronologically advanced man. [laughter] he was in his 80's. he strongly objected. she asked what did we think she could do. i suggested she get a divorce. [laughter] and she came up to us afterwards and said, i'm thinking of doing just that. [laughter] dr. ciani: just to talk about the draft a little bit, i think one of the things that is a common thread that weaved through from the 1920's to the
present is that there are a lot of men and women, but women especially, who are involved in peace activism. women strike for peace, women striking around world war i. there are so many organizations that are engaged in the activism of peace. global peace, local peace. right? i think that the draft is something that would be very contentious of both men and women and transgendered people. i think all people -- i don't know that we would be able to get a draft through in this climate, but i don't know that they thought they would get a draft through before either. you mentioned social media. i think there are so many
different immediate ways to find out about activism that i don't know that a draft would fly. i really don't. maybe i'm an optimist. i'm a peace activist, so that is my bias. i don't believe in a draft, but i'm a peace activist. kris: and if i could add, alice paul believed if more women were involved in government, they would help the peace movement. dr. ciani: if you -- page: if you stay around for a little that, there are organizations that could help you. if you can stay for a little bit, i could get you some information. i am the newly indoctrinated virginia n.o.w. president.
a shameless plug. i would like to share when i saw the e.r.a., a bracelet that i'm wearing -- another shameless plug -- i was brought under the wings of the current president to talk about the e.r.a. again, i thought it was laundry detergent. i had no idea what it was. i was thinking, i'm smart, went to college, but what is impacting me as a woman, raising kids, having children of color? all these things, all these sectional pieces. as we approach, i will jump to the presidential campaign that i'm seeing now. as i was learning about the e.r.a., as i was educating myself about the e.r.a., to the lawyer that said it is a broad statement in that passing it can help, but it has so much deeper meaning than the few sentences. i'm watching the presidential election, and some of the challenge i had without
screaming at my tv, was seeing some of the young women talk about the candidate they would support, that would not vote for a woman because she is a woman. in one ideal, i get it, i understand what they are trying to say, that gender should not be an issue, but at the same time i think they are cutting off the issue of what the e.r.a. would speak to. the discrimination. as women, we would not be capable of serving, or breaking the glass ceiling or being represented in the community are being seen as leaders. what would you say to the woman who would say i'm not voting for a woman, or standing with women, just because of their gender? i know it is not intended for a discrimination piece or topic, it is a tendency to lean towards not discriminating. that is where the blurry lines and the conversation gets mixed up. kris: there are two sides said
the coin. alice paul would say, you shouldn't vote for the candidate because they are a woman, you should vote because of their qualifications. however, you need more women at the table in order to address issues that do affect women, specifically. it is a double-sided coin. i think that it would be great when we get to a point where we are choosing candidates for a their qualities and not for their gender, but i do hope we can elect more women into legislative positions for the sake of helping women, but also just addressing issues that are going to affect women and men as well. page: maybe the conversation could start younger, putting gender studies in high school. kris: definitely. i agree. >> i think we need to vote for people whose policies we
support, whether they are men or women. if phyllis schlafly were running for president, we would not say we should all vote for her because she is a woman, because she doesn't support policies we think would be best for women. i am all with those young women who say i'm not going to vote for somebody just because she is a woman. if the choices were the same, and you had a choice between a man and a woman, i would say go for the women, because we need more progressive, feminist women in positions of power. but i agree that policy comes first, and that if you think the policies are going to help more women, those for the candidate, not for a woman. dr. williams: i can also say that 44 times we selected a man
for our president. isn't it time that we show our daughters that they are smart, they are wonderful, they can do things, and just this one time we can have a woman? i don't see that always the argument is that the woman is not as smart. as a matter of fact right now, i see a very smart woman running for president. i would have no problem saying i'm voting for her because she is a woman and she is wonderful and she is smart and will do a great job, and i know she supports what i support. i would be very emphatic with our daughters and our sons, about that because they need to know young women can be just as smart. we have had women around the world already who have shown how smart they were and how good they were for their countries . it is time for us to do that. if you previously didn't believe women could do anything, but if we continue for number 45, 46, and 47 to say no woman is smart enough, i think something is wrong with that picture. page: absolutely. we have two minutes left.
>> i was going to just give a quick clarification because we started talking about the draft. right now, we don't have a draft, but still young men have to sign up when they are 18. what passed in the senate today was that young women when they turn 18 also have to sign up. an alternative would be to not have anybody sign up. it sounds like some people might prefer that. but at any rate, i don't know what is going to happen in the house, but the idea was that if young men sign up, young women should sign up as well. we will see where that goes. i just wanted to clarify. page: thank you. we had just enough time for any very last-minute comments you would like to make. was there anything you wanted to say but did not get to say or that we skipped over quickly? dr. ciani: i would like to say i'm delighted to see so many
people here. i wondered if anybody would come out to talk about the laundry detergent. yesterday and today. [laughter] dr. muncy: i think it is great. thank you so much for coming. dr. williams: i would also say, particularly to minority women, that we need to support equal rights amendment, just as the civil rights movement helped women of all races, all colors, all creeds, so can the equal rights amendment help not only women but men. dr. ciani: in terms of education, i would ask all of us to encourage your school systems to expand the educational offerings at the middle school and high school level. you suggested high school. i think we need to go younger than that. i think we need to go into the middle school. i tried to do that at the last
school, and they said, well, we don't have time, we have to do science and math. we have been focusing on s.t.e.m. for so long. that is wonderful, but we need to refocus on humanities. that is my pitch. page: exactly. thank you. kris: i want to mention also, we need to have these conversations. it has been such a taboo subject that we don't even talk about anything about women's rights. we are not talking about one half of a country, because we are so afraid of bringing up abortion. but we need to have these discussions. we need to know, why do we support the e.r.a., or why are we against it? what are the issues tha? have conversations with your friends, and your students, your children and parents, and let's not shy away from the topic. it's a good one.
page: it is a good one, and we obviously need to have more conversations. hopefully this is the beginning of a series of conversations, and maybe we will be invited back, and we will keep talking another day. [laughter] [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> coming up this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, the life and legacy of alexander hamilton. thatmiltons argument was it was a common struggle. all the states were fighting together for the liberty of all, for the whole country, so he assumed the debt of the 13 states along with the federal
debt, they would all be treated as one debt and be paid off at the same time. evening, author and national review editor richard ookehaiser. -- br america," theeel august 1945 atomic bombings of hiroshima and nagasaki. sunday morning at 10:00, the third and final 2000 presidential debate between vice president al gore and texas governor george w. bush. mr. bush: i believe that we ought to keep guns out of hands of people who should not have appeared that is why i am for background checks at gun shows. is neededsomething with the cheap handguns that have been working their way into
the hands of the wrong people. but all of my proposals are focused on that problem -- gun safety. >> also this weekend at 8:00 eastern, c-span's series "the contenders," key figures that ran for the presidency and lost but changed political history. tonight, former new york governor out smith, and sunday, the 1940 republican presidential nominee wendell wilkie. every store window, and this vacant store window, has pictures of my opponents and his associate on the new deal ticket. i do not know of any more appropriate place to put those pictures. >> for complete american history tv schedule, go to c-span.org. next, the edward m. kennedy nstitute for u.s. senate hosts
a program on his efforts to encourage peace in northern ireland. former u.s. envoy george the keynote s address followed by a panel discussion with ambassadors and members of congress and skwrufrp journalists. his 90-minute program begins with remarks by the irish weapon of mass destruction with bass -- the u.s. anne anderson. that nk you very much for introduction. senator mitchell, mrs. vicky kennedy. panelists.hed all the distinguished guests. i really am genuinely happy to here this evening. t is not an easy night for me prime the group of my minister comes to town tomorrow and they are working very hard the night before but i have to he's on a kennedy related visit because he com