What is Independence?
EME VP Natalie White in front of her piece “Lady Liberty” 2016 :13ft x 25ft 76 separate giant polaroids
We are extending the ERA Sentinel project another week given the growing momentum and support from other groups like our friends at Resisterhood and the generosity of attorney Arlaine Rockey. We were thrilled to have so many of you participate and to see all the young people out there, taking on the fight to see the Equal Rights Amendment in the Constitution.
Thank you very much for signing up to Sponsor a Sentinel here:
From Executive Director, Kamala Lopez:
July 4th 2021 – Independence Withheld from American Women
Women’s independence and liberation from control & repression by the patriarchy is the single biggest threat to a growing worldwide Authoritarianism.
This July 4th, as anti-democratic forces grow across the world and within the United States, it is incumbent upon American women to recognize the intrinsic misogyny at the sad heart of our nation and show true love by fighting back, hard.
Acknowledgement by the State of women’s hard-won equality is an existential matter in the present battle for the soul of America. If Democracy is to persist, then women MUST be freed.
If our government cannot respect half of the population as equal citizens, deserving of equal protections of law, then how can we call ourselves a Democracy and purport to be fighting totalitarian/autocratic trends?
- The ERA was ratified on January 27th of 2020.
- Article V of the US Constitution states that it should then have immediately been published.
- The States should have quickly begun their work of repairing sexually discriminatory laws and policies – they have only two years to be compliant.
- Yet, this did not happen. It has not happened — in over a year and a half.
- Despite the new regime. Despite the new DOJ. Despite the new AG. Despite the first female BIPOC VP in US history.
This is not happenstance. This is not an oversight. This is policy.
While the surface propaganda persists unchallenged of a “feminist,” “progressive” America, now led by a President and VP who claim themselves women’s rights advocates, and a recent Beijing re-do conference on women from the well-meaning and completely de-fanged UN, the United States remains the third most dangerous country in the world for sexual violence against women (tied with Syria) and our wage gap has remained basically the same (if not increased for some racial groups) in decades.
We must be clear-eyed about the massive forces determined to keep women “in our place;” meaning a second-class legal status that allows anything from:
- a female pop star to be held against her will under her father’s thumb well into middle age;
- to a male comic icon being released from prison on a technicality– despite over seventy women asserting sexual assault.
We feel the iron fist beneath the Madison Avenue glove – and it’s a quiet but effective deterrent to speaking out and fighting back.
We must understand that women, although they are the wheels upon which society turns, are unable to access the means to their own liberation, using the present systems, laws & structures.
The keys to the henhouse have historically been created and held by the very wolves that prey upon them and benefit from their subjugation.
The web presently trapping women into a permanent underclass is formed by:
- Large corporations’ interest in keeping a low-wage workforce unable to leverage its size against Capital; and the government’s acceptance of Corporate ascendance over that of its’ citizenry
- The United States Federal Government’s interest in continuing to deny women access to equal protection of law for issues from domestic violence, to sex trafficking to equal pay to avoid having to assert and enforce these rights on our behalf
- Many US State Government’s interests in retaining and expanding control over women’s bodies and reproduction
- The US Court System heavily biased against women; including the US Supreme Court who has repeatedly resisted validating women’s basic human rights based on their deliberate exclusion from the US Constitution in the 14th Amendment.
- A culture of male dominance
- Misinformation pumped into a deeply divided and mistrustful nation
As we chart a way forward for the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment after the loss of EME’s case in Appeals court last week, we must recognize that the forces against us are varied, extremely powerful and involve ancient emotions and cultural/religious traditions.
If we are to be the change we want to see, then let us be kind. Let us be compassionate. Let us keep faith in the power of truth and justice. But we must not and cannot stop resisting the cage being tightened around us. Let us fight back –hard.
We are, in fact, Democracy’s last, best hope.
With love to you on this July 4th,
Kamala and EME team