The Myth of Equal Rights Amendment April 29, 1979

Phyllis Schafly vs. Karen DeCrow, April 29, 1979

Schafly: The ERA’s requirement that women be assigned to military combat is the greatest take-away of women’s rights. History offers no example of wars won with coed battles.

DeCrow: People are laughing at the new draft proposal. They are saying that we will lose our military strength if women are drafted. But given today’s weapons, physical strength is not an issue.

Schafly: ERA has nothing to do with equal pay or equal rights.

DeCrow: ERA will make the gains made in overcoming sexual discrimination permanent. 51% of the population is female, 17% hold jobs with a salary of $15,000 or more, and for every dollar a man earns, a women earns 50 cents. You can change these statistics by lending your support to get the three remaining states left to ratify the amendment.

Schafly: The ERA would require that husbands no longer support wives. You don’t have to accept that husbands should support wives, but ERA would not make it a free decision.

DeCrow: In the fight for ERA, there is the myth that women need to be protected and that ERA will take this protection away.

Schafly: Forty million husbands support their wives. Should we tell them that their support is wrong because we have entered a new era?  We don’t have the right to change these terms.

DeCrow: The person who has the most gain form the ERA is the housewife. According to a survey, the housewife performs $3.4 billion of service each year. Yet she is entitles to no money but the money her husband chooses to give her. It is time to change that. ERA will not change the country overnight but it will end sexism under the law.”

Schafly: All I see in ERA is the takeaway of rights women already have.

DeCrow: It is disgusting for a nation who holds itself out as a leader in human rights not to hold out equal rights for women. Women might not have been at the last supper but they certainly will be at the next.

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