Sunday, November 3, 2013

Shirley Chisholm and the ERA

After watching the film on Shirley Chisholm in class, I found this speech on the ERA she gave in 1970 to the House during her career as a congresswoman. In it Chisholm pushes for the passage of the ERA which she believed would root out codified discrimination, but not necessarily give women immediate benefits. Chisholm states that the ERA would need to be paired with action on the part of Congress and Sate governments to produce effective change. Chisholm also claims that the ERA would be particularly powerful in its ability to change the mindsets of "parents, educators, and employers"and in turn produce more economic benefits for women. She argues against labor legislation because it keeps women in an inferior positions by denying them the ability to work alongside men as equals and under the same laws; "artificial distinctions between persons must be wiped out of the law." It was interesting to see how much the debate had changed when Chisholm gave this speech in the 70s during a very different social climate.

Here's the link to her speech:

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