The Blog for "Progressive Politics: Tennessee Style" Radio Show!
I am proud, and humbly grateful to the group whose continuing conversations not only became the creation of the show, but continue to support, encourage, and endorse those of us progressives in the South who are doing something about it. Today, The DailyKos began a campaign to bring in the states remaining, needed to FINALLY ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. I hope that, if you are reading this, you will go and sign on for the fight, this new battle we like to call The War FOR Women!
Today’s show featured the very first special guest we have had. It was a wonderful launch.
Our Special Guest was Sandy Oestreich (firstname.lastname@example.org), Founder and Director of the Equal Rights Amendment Alliance, of St. Petersburg, Florida. For more than twelve years, Sandy and her now legendary teams of women’s rights activists have been working to insure that the ERA would be ratified in the State of Florida. She also mentors activists in six other states (NV, AR, IL, LA, AR, VA) who are vying to be THE State who sends the ERA over the top, and onto the Constitution of the United States of America.
Begun in 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment has been ratified by some 35 States, and needs only three more states to ratify. Once done, this most important Amendment to our Constitution will automatically be added as the (28th?) Amendment, without further action being required.
For many Americans, and even many American women, the fact that the ERA Amendment is still fighting for its life comes as a bit of a shock. Most thought it dead. It is not. Some Amendments pass in only months, while others take more than 200 years to finally see their fate determined. Of the states who have not yet ratified the Amendment, there is a stark reality for those willing to see it.
As Southern Progressives, and especially in these dangerous days for women citizens of this nation, the reality is that we have NOT done our part to resolve this national embarrassment, this scourge upon our democracy. It is with such a spate of anti-woman legislation coming into every possible State House that this discussion is now re-framed. This War On Women has taken most Americans simply by shock. The list of incredible legislation, from requiring women to justify their use of contraception to their employers, to requiring pregnant women of more than 20 weeks’ gestation to carry their dead fetuses to full term, and natural delivery, to requiring Trans-Vaginal Ultrasound imagery…the list seems endless.
And, it very nearly is. So far, in 2012 well more than 900 such proposals for legislation have been introduced, are in process, or have been enacted at every legislative level, from the Court House, to the State House, to the Halls of Congress, and even from the White House. The attack on women is very real, and every woman in America is feeling it. The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said that this is an illusion, a “manufactured non-reality”. He got more than an earful from those very women Senators he alleged agreed that there IS no war on women in America today. He knows it, he just doesn’t prefer it to be in his face…all the time.
Our show today began with a short history of the Equal Rights Amendment throughout America’s history, and included information on how the Amendment actually got passed out of Congress in 1972. We discussed the bumpy road the Amendment has traveled (five states moved to rescind their ratification), up to the present day. For show references:
The brief history can be found here.
The amazing website full of information about the current Amendment Activities can be found (or linked from) here. As we learned on today’s show, outpourings of support will occur at all State Capitals on April 28th, 2012. I’d love it if we, as a nation, decided this to be W-Day, the day the War FOR Women officially begins. If you want, you can enlist here, or here.
It is not an easy thing to create, much less ratify a Constitutional Amendment; nor should it be. It is time for this one.
Special thanks to our guest Sandy Oestreich. Not only for being our inaugural Special Guest on “Progressive Politics: Tennessee Style”, but for every moment of her willingness to stand up, alone if necessary, for the rights of women, and all Americans. We owe she and her teams, and all the other teams who have worked, are working, and will work tirelessly, until women are equal not only under, but also from the laws of this land.
Throughout America, there has been a very definitive and asserted assault on women’s rights in 2012. So, I would wonder what can be done about it by those very citizens who find themselves under attack. It left me wondering for a while, and then it hit me like a cast iron skillet up ‘side my head. If THEY want to prosecute a War ON Women, how about we prosecute a bit of a War FOR Women? This is the kind of engagement and push back these faulty-thinking Conservatives, Republicans, and Tea Party Terrorists might actually understand. I would like to see the War FOR Women begin here.