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Mahnaz Habib

Red Group

Feminism Essay
The United States needs to pass a new version of the Equal Rights Amendment to be
included in the Constitution. This new version must protect women and assure they are not taken
advantage of as a minority group. But the new amendment must also must give women their
deserved liberties and freedoms. The Equal Rights Amendment of the Constitution 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. This amendment fell short of the three-fourth approval, and therefore
was not passed (The Learning Network). Many people were afraid of the idea of gender equality
and wanted to continue with traditional norms. One of these people was Phyllis Schlafly. She
was a conservative activist, and an American lawyer who fought for anti-feminism and anti-gay
marriage. According to Schlafly, The feminist movement is not about success for women. It is
about treating women as victims and about telling women that you can't succeed because society
is unfair to you(Sachs). She believed that women would not get more freedom if the ERA was
passed, even though the ERA gave equality among both sexes. She also claimed that group
equality would create same sex marriage, which she strongly disliked. Both gender equality and
same sex marriage were non-traditional, and for this reason many American women were not
open to introducing it.
Pornography and obscenity is often used as a vehicle which shapes gender, sexuality, and
violence. According to the Washington Post, A 2012 study of college-aged women with male
partners who used porn concluded that the young women suffered diminished self-esteem,
relationship quality and sexual satisfaction correlated with their partners porn use. Women are
being degraded and deeply offended. Pornography should not be considered a form of hate
speech, and it should not allow women to look at themselves lowly. Scholars have also been

Mahnaz Habib
Red Group
saying the porn has become a product which shapes views on women sexuality, and intimacy
negatively (Dines). The Equal Rights Amendment needs to also address this issue to ensure that
women are not taken advantage of, and that their identity is not publicly displayed just for the
pleasure of others.
Women are still experiencing discrimination today, and the government are not
sufficiently trying to fix this issue. Throughout the 1900s, married women were given limited
rights, and were considered legally dead in the eyes of law (Nationals Womens History
Project). They were made too dependent on men, and were not seen as having any dominant
power. The ERA needs to not only protect women, but give them all the full legal rights men
receive. Even today, statistics of the gender pay gap in the US show that the median weekly
earnings for women was $996 compared to $1,383 for men (Catalyst). However, Department of
Education statistics show that men, whatever their race or socioeconomic group, are less likely
than women to get bachelor's degrees. Men also get worse grades than women. (Lewin). These
statistics show that regardless of womens educational performance, they still get lower pay
because they are seen as a minority group. Women will never receive the equality that is
rightfully deserved until the government adds the ERA into the US constitution.
Women and men deserve equality, because women should not be considered a minority
group. Women have a right to exercise all the rights and freedoms as men, and the ERA can
make sure women are no longer oppressed. Affirmative action for women's rights has proven to
boost womens self-confidence and ability to take action. The EEOC (Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission discussed lawsuits on behalf women who have endured sexually
explicit verbal harassment and threats of sexual attack. (National Women's Law Center). The

Mahnaz Habib
Red Group
Constitution must be amended so that women can always get the same opportunities as men, and
so women are protected from sexual violence and harassment that are used to oppress them.

Mahnaz Habib
Red Group

Work Cited
Dines, Gail. "Is Porn Immoral? That Doesnt Matter: Its a Public Health Crisis." The
Washington Post. Washington Post, 8 Apr. 2016. Web. 15 May 2016.
"History of the Womens Rights Movement." National Women's History Project. National
Women's History Project, n.d. Web. 15 May 2016. <>.
The Learning Network. "Equal Rights Amendment for Women Passed by Congress." The New
York Times. New York Times, 2016. Web. 15 May 2016.
Lewin, Tamar. "At Colleges, Women Are Leaving Men in the Dust." The New York Times. New
York Times Company, 9 July 2006. Web. 15 May 2016.
Sachs, Andrea. "Phyllis Schlafly at 84." TIME. Time, 7 Apr. 2009. Web. 15 May 2016.
Kirstin Downey Grimsley, Mitsubishi Settles for $34 Million: Amount is Record in Harassment
Suits, Washington Post, June 12, 1998 at A1.
Catalyst. Catalyst Quick Take: Women's Earnings and Income. New York: Catalyst, 2016.