History. Her story was made last Wednesday by the State of Illinois ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment 45 years after it was approved by Congress and 36 years past the 1982 ratification deadline.
And TODAY, 99 years ago, the U.S. Senate passed the 19th Amendment.
Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote. The 19th amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote.
And tomorrow many states including California where I live have their primary elections. Time to ROCK THIS VOTE.
We are one state away from the Equal Rights Amendment from its enshrinement into the U.S. Constitution, which means half of the population would finally be on paper in our countries living document.
Congratulations to the many women and men who have fought for this amendment. And a special shout-out to one of my friends and inspirations Zoe Nicholson along with Sonia Johnson, Mary Barnes, Shirley Wallace, Mary Ann Beall, and Sister Maureen Fielder who fasted for 37 days in 1982 in the Illinois State Capitol Building demanding that an Equal Rights Amendment be passed.
Zoe is an Alice Paul (who wrote and introduced the Equal Rights Amendment) scholar and a writer, performer, speaker, long-time activist, militant feminist and demand-er of direct action. Thank you for leading and continuing to lead the charge for equality for women. Cheers to you my friend.
The passing of one more state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment would be actionable, symbolic and another push forward in the women’s movement.
The ratification of the ERA, of course, does not come without questions and “what would this mean”?
The ratification is “expired” so what would it happen if one more state came through?
What laws would change?
These questions do not outweigh the fact that half of our population continues to be left off of our countries ruling document.
There are always questions, things to be figured out. And our country took one more step last week towards ratification that will bring women protections, inspiration, and answers to those questions.
This article Can the ERA Pass in our Lifetime? By Jen Deaderick is an excellent catch up on the history of the Equal Right Amendment and the maneuverings that have happened to get us where we are today and what would come next.
What state will be the one to finalize this long journey that started long ago? We stand on the shoulders of giants always, and there is always room for those to step up.
There are 13 States left that have not ratified the amendment: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.
Without the ease of the internet. Without social media. But with writing, posting newspaper articles, cajoling, calling, talking, changing hearts and mind with boots on the ground, and good old-fashioned moxie, chutzpah, fight and direct action, history was made 99 years ago with the passing of the 19th Amendment.
And history was again made last week in Illinois, by ratifying the ERA, a state where I’ve lived and gone to high school. I hope they are proud of what they have done. I certainly am.
So get out and VOTE tomorrow and raise a glass to Alice Paul, my friend Zoe Nicholson and those who fought and continue to fight for equality for women.
Happy 19th Amendment Day Ladies, you earned it.