April 1, 2020

Stay Strong, Ms. America!

"Stay strong."

Those are two words that inspire us. It is always a challenge to operate an issue-oriented non-profit, but amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Equal Means Equal is staying strong by staying active. Our lawsuit remains at the forefront of activities, as we continue collecting organizations every day to sign onto our complaint and gain the support of the public.

At the same time, we still have to run an organization built on issue advocacy, education and creative activism. So, when we were approached by a group of film and TV artists, concerned about how the new series Mrs. America would affect the present efforts around completing the ratification process of ERA, we knew we would have to get involved.

We can’t give you the full details right now, but we urge you to be on the lookout for an alert from us in the next few days about taking action and hope you will be a part of the campaign.

Mrs. America centers on Phyllis Schlafly (played by Cate Blanchett), the woman who mobilized an ultra-conservative movement to end the fight for women’s legal equality in 1982. It is painfully ironic that the April 15th premiere of the nine-part original FX miniseries Mrs. America (airing on Hulu) highlights the amendment’s opposition 50 years ago without referencing the present action around ERA.

In more exciting media news, Rotten Tomatoes came out with their Top Ten Patricia Arquette movies and Equal Means Equal made the cut (which is quite a compliment given Patricia’s astoundingly good and vast body of work).

EME would also like to highlight Patricia Arquette’s Victory Garden campaign. Patricia has been advocating for the department of Agriculture to lift regulations on growing food at home. Home growing would help alleviate any food shortages later this year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is an idea which could ease the economic burden on low income families. Please learn more here.

As we move towards creating a more equal America, as we envision a future that includes all of us, the pain and suffering presently endured by many among us remains in the forefront of our minds. While we are practicing self-isolation and continuing our work from home, let’s be aware that there are many among us who have lost their jobs and are looking at an insecure future.

We in the fight for women’s equality know, more than most, that American women will bear the brunt of the initial economic hit as women hold the lion’s share of minimum wage jobs, tipped jobs, part-time work and jobs without security. We know that domestic violence is skyrocketing as the weeks in quarantine drag on. Fighting for the ERA right now could not be more relevant and urgent.

As the coronavirus forces us to look at our way of life differently, it offers us the opportunity to examine our perceptions and re-create the world we choose to live in. The future, post-covid 19, will be written by all of us. Now is the time to reexamine what we have long assumed are American priorities; take a hard look at our value systems and social goals. Despite the pain, within it and through it, we can take this time to imagine a better future: clearly, specifically and collaboratively.

As our century-long fight nears victory, take heart equality warrior! We will not allow extreme circumstance to divert us. We will persist. We will prevail. American women need us to forge on, no matter what, until we achieve equality. And so we will.

Together, always, with love and hope,

Kamala, Natalie and the EME Team