Democrats, who remain dedicated to the notion that women are oppressed in our country despite an utter lack of evidence to support the claim, are now attempting to revive the defunct Equal Rights Amendment. The harmless sounding Amendment states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
Leaving aside the dubious strategy of trying to ram an amendment down the Constitution’s throat by picking up where the ratification tally left off 50 years ago, the real problem with the proposed constitutional provision is that the best it could ever hope to be is merely redundant and unnecessary. Women already have equal rights under the law. Their rights are guaranteed just the same as men’s. The Bill of Rights does not come with a “this only applies to men” disclaimer attached. It secures the basic human rights of people of both sexes, and that is how every American law and legal decision in modern times has interpreted it. I am not aware of any state, county, or province, that denies gun ownership to women, or prohibits women from assembling in public, or allows for the unlawful search and seizure of women.
If there were valid examples of legal persecution suffered by women — which is the only kind of persecution that an amendment could rectify, as persecution that is already illegal cannot be made more illegal — the Democratic champions of the Equal Rights Amendment should be able to provide some. Or at least one. But they cannot and have not.
Case in point, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz took to the House floor yesterday to make her case for it, but the best she could do is cite the fact that women “receive violence,” and the alleged fact that “women receive less pay for the same work.” Well, the former is already illegal everywhere in the country. And it’s not like women are unique in their susceptibility to violent crime. Men account for about 75 percent of all homicide victims. As for the claim that women make less for the same work, that is what is commonly known as a shameless, bald-faced lie.
As has been shown again and again, the gender pay gap is a myth. At least, a gender pay gap caused by anti-woman bias is a myth. It may indeed be true that women in general make less than men in general, across the board, when comparing the average incomes of both genders. But that statistic doesn’t take into account things like: experience, skill level, hours worked, difficulty of job, industry, seniority, etc. It also doesn’t account for the fact that women are less likely to negotiate for a higher salary to begin with. What the pay gap most assuredly does not represent, then, is “the same work.” It may also be true that men make more within certain industries than women in the same industry — although even this doesn’t necessarily equate to the “same work” — but the reverse can just as often be the case. For example, female models make many times more than their male counterparts, on average.
Other than this one failed attempt at an actual example of anti-woman persecution in America, all the Equal Rights Amendment proponents have at their disposal are platitudes and “we’re living in a Handmaid’s tale” hysterics. Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Rep. Rashida Tlaib were, as always, on hand to supply those. Pressley spoke broadly about “discrimination” faced by women, claiming that this discrimination includes “the criminal legal system.” She also declared that “we live in an intersectionality of lived experiences and identities,” which as far as I can tell has no meaning other than to signal her left wing bonafides to other leftists. Tlaib said that lots of people in America “are obsessed with controlling women,” but provided absolutely no examples of this whatsoever.
Funny that Pressley should bring up discrimination in the legal system. I’m not sure what evidence she can marshal to prove that the legal system is prejudiced against woman, but there is plenty of very compelling evidence of prejudice in the other direction. Studies show that men receive harsher penalties for the same crimes in federal court, and that’s after controlling for things like criminal history. Men are also far more likely to lose custody of their children in family court. You could argue that both of these disparities — particularly the latter one — can be explained by factors that have nothing to do with sex discrimination. And maybe you’d be right. But that would be to admit that sex disparities, even systemic sex disparities, aren’t always bigoted and are sometimes necessary. If you admit that, though, the case for the Equal Rights Amendment crumbles.
Looking at the overall picture, modern American society appears to be better tailored for women than for men. This might be why girls are more likely to graduate high school and less likely to be suspended or expelled. Women are less likely to commit suicide, become drug addicts, end up homeless, or suffer a workplace injury. Nobody is suggesting that women have no challenges or obstacles to overcome, but the idea that they have more obstacles than men, or more serious ones, is just not borne out by the facts.