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WOMEN ARE NOT PROTECTED in the U. S. Constitution – Here Are the Ramifications

The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, may appear to safeguard women against discrimination, but Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia went on record insisting this isn’t the case. 

“Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex, the only issue is whether it prohibits it.  It doesn’t.  Nobody ever voted for that,” he said.   (In an interview for the January 2011 issue of California Lawyer) 


Domestic Violence

Every year 4000 women perish from domestic violence. Such facts are so often repeated, they may lose their meaning. To put it into context, compare it to war. The number of American soldiers killed in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2012 was 2,002. The number of American women murdered by current or former partners during the same time was 11,766.  

A Silverton, Oregon nurse was going to join her brother on an international hospital ship treating patients as soon as she got her passport. She felt free for the first time in years.  Wagner, 50, had just ended an 11-year relationship with Jason Down who constantly threatened to hurt her, according to court records. At one point he “tased” her and recently shoved her face, leaving bruises, she wrote.

At least two other women filed for protective orders against Down since 1996, claiming similar threats or abuse. Wagner became the third.

She filed a restraining order against Down on July 21, and 40 days later she was dead. Police believe it was Down who killed her. Now the community is reeling from the loss, wondering how it could have ended differently.

Where protective orders fall short

Restraining orders give victims of domestic violence a tool to keep their abusers away or at least have them arrested if they come close. Anyone in a relationship with recent history of abuse can apply, and the order can be signed the same day. It gives victims the right to stay in the home and keep the kids. But the civil document relies on their abusers to respect the law. 

Last year 557 people applied for restraining orders in Marion County, and there were 361 violations. Those violations are misdemeanors no matter how many times the offender commits them.

“He can violate that restraining order 1,000 times, and it would still be a misdemeanor. It’s not a great system in that regard,” said Jayne Downing, executive director of Center for Hope & Safety, a resource for victims of domestic violence.

Down was convicted of assault twice and armed burglary once, but he still got probation for violating Wagner’s restraining order on Aug. 4. The maximum sentence is six months in jail. Down got 90 days not because of the violation but because the conviction violated his probation in an unrelated case.   Click here to continue the article in USA Today  ByStefanie Knowlton

Female Incarceration

Facts About the Over-Incarceration of Women in the U. S. since 1985.Women are the fastest growing segment of the incarcerated population increasing at nearly double the rate of men since 1985. It appears that 92% of all women in California prisons had been “battered and abused” in their lifetimes.  Women of color are significantly overrepresented in the criminal justice system. More than 8.3 million children have a parent under correctional supervision and more than one in five of these children is under five years old. For those women incarcerated for homicide, many acted in self-defense against abusive partners. Crystal Wheeler served 26 years for killing her husband, who had beaten her repeatedly and threatened her (as well as his employer) with a gun. 

Men make up the vast majority of our nation’s prison population, roughly ten times the number as women, and commit the majority of crimes, particularly violence. Of the 200,000 plus women incarcerated in the United States, two-thirds are behind bars for a nonviolent offense, typically drug or property offenses. Click to source: ACLU Facts 2017

Wage Discrimination

Women make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce. Full participants, they’ve reached equal and some cases higher, levels than their male counterparts, and yet, as the Women’s institute of Policy research makes plain: the gap between men and women’s income remains. Compared to white men, white women working full time, based on median annual full-time earnings, earn 78 cents to every dollar a man earns. African American women make 64 cents, and Latina, 54 cents. Depending on the year, that pay may rise a couple of pennies, but not because women wages have increased but because men’s have stagnated or declined. After 9 years the gap between men and women widens.  The Gender Wage Gap in Equal Means Equal


Pregnancy Discrimination

An end to pregnancy discrimination is in everyone’s interest. A quarter of all mums feel discriminated against for having a baby, and half feel that giving birth halts their career progress. Laura Bates argues that closing the door on so much talent disadvantages us all. “Myself and my female business partner were turned down for a contract last week as we’re too much of a ‘pregnancy risk’.”  These are just a few of the horrifying stories shared on the Everyday Sexism Project by women who have experienced maternity discrimination. The Guardian


Time Out for an Historic Perspective from 1936: 

In 1936, Sonia Johnson was born a 5th generation Mormon in Malad, Idaho. She graduated from Utah State University, pursuing her M.A. and Ed.D. from Rutgers after marrying, and through many moves and pregnancies. She taught English at American and foreign universities, working part-time as a teacher while accompanying her husband on overseas jobs. The family returned to the United States in 1976, buying a house in Virginia, one of the states that had not ratified the Equal Rights Amendment. Sonia became such an ardent supporter of the ERA that she was excommunicated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1979. Sonia exposed the role of the wealthy Mormon church in sabotaging passage of the ERA.

In The Freedom from Religion Foundation 


Click here for Jessica Neuwirth – President- ERA Coalition Former Policy Advisor- Amnesty International – YouTube talk about the history of the ERA ratification efforts.



The Herstory of Women’s Rights in the U.S.

The ERA protects all Americans It encourages economic growth and paves the way for international leadership. Women, children, families, our communities, our future. When equality becomes law, everyone benefits.  ERA Resources

Why People Need to see the film EQUAL MEANS EQUAL By Kamala Lopez

What were the ramifications of the lack of legal bedrock underpinning American women’s place in our society due to the failure of our Constitution to include them?…

Most of the young women I spoke to believe that society views them as completely equal to their male counterparts. They assume they can “be, do and have” whatever they can achieve based on their individual merits. Unfortunately, as I discovered, the reality is quite different.

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Over the course of the past seven years, I have taken a look at the top dozen issues affecting women and done an analysis of whether the laws that are presently in place are working or not to provide women with equal legal protections to men.

The subject and the real-world implications compelled us to be extremely comprehensive in our investigations and not skip steps or cut any corners. From the gender wage gap to sexual assault, from pregnancy discrimination to child sex trafficking, I found laws that are incomplete, insufficient and in some cases actually deleterious to the women they are supposed to be helping.

What are noticeably and shockingly absent are the basic explicit human and civil rights protections that men are afforded by the Constitution. In case after case, the Supreme Court demurs on protecting women because they have no explicit Constitutional right to which to point. And despite our reliance on the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia candidly shared his opinion that, “The Constitution does not protect women from sexual discrimination. No one ever thought that’s what it meant. No one ever voted for that.”

The more I spoke to women, the more convinced I am that there is no woman untouched in the matter of gender discrimination – regardless of her social status or any other distinctions we may designate. The question becomes why is there so much of it hidden in plain sight and why don’t we recognize it? Why do we accept it?

Clearly, there is a very effective propaganda campaign in the popular culture designed to convince us that women and men enjoy the same human and civil rights. Studies show that 72% of Americans are completely invested in the false belief that the genders are explicitly equal under the U.S. Constitution. My conclusion, after six years and more than 100 interviews and thousands of hours of research is that this blind spot opens the door to a lot of unconscious and conscious bias as well as disguising deliberate exploitation.

In EQUAL MEANS EQUAL I discovered that despite appearances, we’re all connected. It is a super personal film and one that I want to connect with people on both an intellectual and emotional level. My hope is that the film will reach far and wide across the country and begin to educate the public on what I believe is the greatest civil and human rights violation of our time. And that once informed, the people, in particular, the younger generations who have been shockingly kept ignorant to their own direct economic detriment, will not put up with it. I believe the youth will use their collective energy and will to force a change to happen and make our country do the right thing. The climate is right and ripe for full equality for women today.

Ratifying the ERA would put American women’s civil and human rights on a solid immovable foundation, impervious to the winds of political change. EQUAL MEANS EQUAL makes the strong argument that full legal equality for women is a solution that has the potential to truly transform the United States and the world.

Click here: Why are 13 men in charge of healthcare for all American women?

Click here: Women in jails are the fastest growing incarcerated population, study says

Click here: The truth about the gender wage gap

Click here: Fired for being pregnant: Another kind of discrimination women face at work



SheVille Team

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