How to talk about the ERA
In February, the House of Representatives voted to reconsider the Equal Rights Amendment. And just this week, FX is set to launch a mini-series detailing conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly’s fight against the same in the 1970s. For these reasons, it’s a timely issue to message.
But it’s also a tricky issue to message because arguments in favor of the ERA are highly politicized and emotionally-charged.
Here’s how we suggest you talk about it, with the help of the Independent Women’s Forum:
#1 — Start with common ground.
Even though we don’t support the ERA, we agree that women should be treated equally under the law. The good news is: women already enjoy equal treatment under the law as it’s illegal to discriminate based on sex. But you first have to state that equal treatment of women is important to you BEFORE you transition to why the ERA is bad legislation so people don’t immediately dismiss your argument.
#2 — Use examples to show that erasing sex distinctions is harmful to women.
A provision of the ERA is to erase sex distinctions, which is harmful to women. Examples abound and will help you make this point — “separate restrooms and locker rooms in public schools; the military draft for males; Social Security spousal benefits; the Department of Agriculture’s Women, Infants, and Children program; the Violence Against Women Act; grants for girls’ STEM training; and more.” Women would lose these benefits in the name of “equality” if the ERA becomes law, meaning we would be less safe and less free than we are today.
For more information about the ERA and why it’s harmful to women, check out the Independent Women’s Forum policy focus here.