URGENT ACTION RE ERA

It has been nearly a century since the first version of the Equal Rights Amendment, known as Lucretia Mott Amendment, was introduced in Congress, and almost 50 years since it finally was passed by both houses in 1972.  Many of us marched in support of the ERA and our hope was renewed in recent years when groups like Equal Means Equal joined the fight to get it ratified by the remaining three states.  Nevada ratified in 2017, Illinois in 2018, and Virginia in 2020, finally giving us the 38 states needed to ratify a constitutional amendment.
Then Trump’s Attorney General William Barr sent a memo to the National Archivist, David Ferriero, telling him not to publish the ERA to the Constitution, and though Joe Biden and Kamala Harris both claimed they support the Equal Rights Amendment and many women voted for them expecting them to act, the Biden Administration has made no effort to revoke this egregious abuse of authority or direct the Archivist to publish the ERA. Biden should have done this his first day in office and today he has now been in office for 3 months and he still has not done so.
Therefore, we are asking that you help us exert pressure on Biden and Harris for the next 30 days to honor a century of struggle for equal rights for women by publishing the ERA.  Here is what we’re asking you to do:
1) Send a postcard every day for a month to the White House demanding that they REMOVE the Barr memo and direct the archivist to publish the ERA (stamped postcards=$12 for 30. One trip to the Post Office; 29 trips to one’s mailbox) with the message: WOMEN HAVE WAITED NEARLY A CENTURY FOR OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.  REMOVE THE BARR MEMO AND DIRECT THE ARCHIVIST TO PUBLISH THE ERA NOW!!  The address is:  President Joe Biden/Vice-President Kamala Harris, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20500.2) Call 2-3 female Senators per day (18 Democrats; 2 moderate Republicans), 3 times (10 days to go through the list at 2 per day) and urge them to demand that the White House publish the ERA.  Here is a list of women senators and their phone numbers to call.  They are all Democrats who should definitely support the ERA except for two moderate Republicans (Susan Collins from Maine and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska) whom we believe are in favor of equal rights for women. We have included their states as well–if you are a constituent of theirs, please emphasize that; let them know you are contacting them because as women you hope they care about women’s rights as much as you do and let them know that you are calling on behalf of all the women in your state and the U.S.

3) Join us on social media–especially Twitter @FeministStruggl (follow us and retweet)–as we can directly tweet to @WhiteHouse, @POTUS, @KamalaHarris @VP @JoeBiden to call out the Biden Administration on their neglect of women’s constitutional rights and obstructionism and demand that they remove the Barr memo and direct the Archivist to publish the #ERANow!!

4) Go to May Day for the ERA at Equal Means Equal and sign up for the livestream to hear Wendy Murphy’s legal argument on May 5th.

Thank you very much for doing all you can for women to finally achieve equality under the law.  We are tired of being second-class citizens and demand our full constitutional rights!!

The Killing of the Equal Rights Amendment

The amazing lawyer from Equal Means Equal, Wendy Murphy, sent FIST the article below on the killing of the ERA by an Obama-appointed Judge and the Biden Administration. She also links the fight for the ERA to the overall struggle to defend women’s sex-based rights against our threatened erasure by transgender ideology. We need to unite and organize even harder as feminists to turn around these attacks on our rights.

 

WHY DID AN OBAMA-APPOINTEE JUDGE KILL THE ERA?

By Wendy Murphy

March 15, 2021 

An Obama-appointee federal judge killed the ERA during Women’s History Month. Let that sink in.

It was a monumental decision that had many scholars scratching their heads trying to understand why a liberal judge with the power and opportunity to establish women’s constitutional equality for the first time in history, would instead rule against women. 

On March 5 Judge Rudolph Contreras from the United States District Court for the D.C. District, determined that the Equal Rights Amendment was invalid because it was not ratified in time. He said that a congressionally imposed ratification deadline had expired decades ago, which rendered recent ratifications by several states meaningless. His ruling killed the ERA, though some women’s groups think the ERA can be revived by having Congress pass a law removing the deadline. A hearing in the House of Representatives on a bill to do just that is scheduled for the week of March 15, but scholars uniformly agree that Congress has no authority to retroactively fix or remove a deadline that no longer exists. In 1978 when the first ERA deadline was about to expire, Congress proposed a law to extend it for three more years. During hearings on the bill, all the scholars who testified said Congress had to take action before the deadline expired or they would forever lose authority to affect the deadline. In other words, Congress has no power to change a law that no longer exists.

Even if Congress passes such a law, it will be voided by another federal judge before it leaves Capitol Hill. Judge Contreras stated in his ruling that he was expressing no opinion on how he might rule if Congress were to pass a law removing the deadline, but he was very clear that the validity of such a law would be decided by the courts, not Congress. Judge Contreras’ anti-ERA ruling leaves little doubt the judge who rules on the deadline removal bill will quickly rule that expired deadlines cannot be revived by an act of Congress.

Neither party supports women’s equality, but the Democrats fake it better. If Democrats actually supported the ERA, Judge Contreras would have validated the ERA simply because he could. At a minimum, he could have included in his opinion a discussion of why women need equality, and how not having full equal protection rights causes women to suffer high rates of violence, etc. Having a federal judge acknowledge the purpose of the ERA and the suffering women endure because they are unequal would have been helpful. But he said nothing.

Judge Contreras wasn’t required to discuss much less rule against the ERA. He had determined at the outset of his decision that the Plaintiffs – Nevada, Illinois, and Virginia – had no standing to file a lawsuit. When a judge finds no standing, there is no reason for that judge to then discuss the merits of the case, but he gave us his opinion on the deadline anyway. In other words, Judge Contreras went out of his way to invalidate the ERA when it would have been easy for him to say nothing at all or uphold it. Here’s why.

The Plaintiffs argued that the ERA deadline was not valid because it was placed in the ERA’s preamble (introductory section) rather than the text of the ERA itself. This is important because Congress only recently started putting deadlines in preambles. For a very long time in this country there were no deadlines in any amendments, and when Congress started imposing deadlines, they placed them in the text because the States have a right under Article V of the Constitution to participate as equals with the federal government in deciding whether to amend the Constitution. The States cannot participate as equals when amendments contain important language in preambles because the States can only ratify amendments; they have no authority to vote on language in preambles. Only if a deadline is placed in the text can States decide for themselves whether they want their equal ratification rights restricted by a time limit.

When deciding whether the placement of the ERA’s deadline in its preamble rendered the deadline unconstitutional, Judge Contreras analyzed whether Congress itself had doubts about the constitutionality of placing the deadline in a preamble. If they did have doubts, Judge Contreras could have invalidated the ERA deadline on the grounds that its constitutionality was not clear at the time it was imposed. But Judge Contreras said Congress had no doubts. 

He was wrong.

Judge Contreras said Congress “did not expect that changing the location of a deadline [from the text of an amendment to its preamble] would affect the deadline’s effectiveness.” Op. p.31.

In fact, Congress did have doubts because no court had ever before ruled that Congress could place a deadline in a preamble. It was an issue of first impression, which means the judge had enormous leeway in deciding whether to uphold the deadline because there was no binding precedent forcing him to rule a certain way.

This is exactly the type of case where a judge’s values make a difference. A judge who sincerely believed that women deserve constitutional equality would have seized the opportunity to rule against the deadline simply because no existing law or court ruling compelled him to rule otherwise.

Here are the facts Judge Contreras ignored – that he could have and should have relied on to rule that the ERA deadline is not valid because Congress was not confident that placing a deadline in a preamble was constitutional.

Imposition of ratification deadlines began relatively recently with the 18th Amendment in 1917 and have been imposed only a handful of times. Most of our amendments had no deadline at all. A deadline was imposed on the 18th but not the 19th Amendment. And the placement of deadlines has been inconsistent. Some were placed in preambles, while others were placed in the text.

When Congress was proposing to add a deadline to the preamble of the 20th Amendment in 1932, some members of Congress objected on the grounds that placing it in a preamble would be “of no avail” as it would not be “part of the proposed constitutional amendment.” 75 Cong. Rec. 3856 (1932). Congress thus placed deadlines only in the text of the next three amendments.

It was not until 1960 that Congress first placed a deadline in a preamble, claiming a need to “declutter” the text. But if decluttering the text were truly the goal (rather than limiting States’ rights by restricting the time they have to ratify) why would Congress have “cluttered” the text of the ERA with procedural matters such as delaying the ERA’s effective date for two years after ratification? It makes no sense that the States were able to vote on whether the ERA should have a two-year delay in enforcement after ratification because that language was in the text, but States were not able to vote on whether their Article V rights should be restricted by a congressionally imposed ratification deadline because that language was in the preamble.

As recently as 1978, Congress placed a deadline in the text and the preamble of an amendment, indicating they remain dubious about the constitutional legitimacy of placing deadlines in preambles. 92 Stat. 3795 (1978).

All these facts were excluded from Judge Contreras’ ruling killing the ERA. Women have a right to know why a judge would ignore such important information in a case of monumental importance to half the population in America.

Judge Contreras justified his decision by saying that “if Congress can dictate the mode of ratification” in the preamble, “then it should be able to dictate a ratification deadline in the same fashion.” This makes no sense. “Mode of ratification” refers to whether the ratification process occurs by State conventions or State legislatures. Congress may dictate which of these modes is used because Article V of the Constitution explicitly gives Congress this power. Article V does not give Congress the power to restrict States’ rights by limiting the time they have to ratify an amendment. To the contrary, the Framers were clear that amendatory powers must be shared equally between the national and state governments and allowing Congress to dictate how long the States have to ratify an amendment is tantamount to giving Congress sole authority to decide when our Constitution is amended – in blatant derogation of Article V.

This was one of the most important women’s rights legal controversies ever, yet a judge who easily could have declared women fully equal persons under the law declined to do so, and he based his decision on incorrect facts. His ruling prevented women from achieving equality and effectively changed Article V by stripping the States of their vital right to participate in the amendatory process as equals. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that a judge willing to disregard women’s equal rights was willing to disregard States’ equal rights, too.

That Judge Contreras was appointed by President Obama matters because a judge women would expect to uphold the ERA and condemn our Constitution’s pervasive and embarrassing subjugation of women, did the opposite. The good news is women can now see that our only hope for fixing the Fourteenth Amendment and achieving full equal protection rights is the establishment of our own Women’s Party – or similar form of union-like organization whose sole purpose is to give women the leverage they need to force one party or the other to do the right thing. This is how women won the right to vote. They formed their own political party and established their own newspapers because neither the media nor either political party supported them.

A new Women’s Party or like organization need not focus on the ERA per se. Indeed, in light of recent efforts to change the meaning of the word sex and erase the very idea of women’s existence as a biological and political class by collapsing sex and gender, and making gender mutable, militates in favor of focusing energy instead on initiatives and laws to affirm the definition of sex and the reality of womanness. Without sex there are no women, and without women there can be no political activism on behalf of women. This is not complicated. The fight for equality is now a fight against women’s invisibility. We cannot play by the rules when we don’t exist in the rules. Most mainstream women’s groups are proxies for the Democratic Party; they will never protect sex and sex-based rights. We need a new movement with incorruptible nonpartisan leadership and a laser-focus on maintaining and growing the enormous potential and power of biological and political sex.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY March 8, 2021

International Women’s Day marks the second anniversary of the founding of Feminists in Struggle.  We have accomplished a lot in two short years, despite living through a pandemic this past year.  We have connected with other radical feminists, grown our organization and our network, and raised awareness and educated women with our Feminist Forums on topics such as defending women’s spaces from male violence, the ERA, the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act, reproductive rights, and women’s sports.

We face more challenges ahead, fighting to preserve female-only spaces and programs that are our lifeline, demanding that the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act be adopted; working to get the ERA finally enshrined into the Constitution; defending abortion rights against the forces of the Religious Right and a conservative Supreme Court which is on the precipice of reversing Roe vs. Wade; fighting against pervasive male violence and the exploitation of our bodies and the glorification of prostitution and commercial surrogacy; dealing with the desperate poverty and greater burdens imposed on more and more women; and defending our right to think, speak, and organize as a sex without being threatened with violence or being fired from our jobs.

The good news is that we women, half the human race, the mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters of all of humanity, subordinated by males through many millennia, are beginning once again to awake from slumber.  And once we open our eyes and find our voices, no one can shut our eyes or silence us.

The radical feminist movement that FIST is building along with many others is still small but we are now everywhere, in every corner of the globe. We are growing, and compared to a few years ago, more and more of us, despite the threats against us, are speaking out. Today there was a protest in Washington DC against Biden’s female-erasing Executive Order and to demand our sex-based rights. FIST was there, carrying our banner.  There are weekly international seminars by the Women’s Human Rights Campaign (of which FIST is a proud member) every single week, drawing 400 women from many countries; the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights now has over 15.600 individual signatories, from 129 countries, in collaboration with 314 organizations; the ERA was ratified; the LGB Alliance was launched; Argentina legalized abortion; legislation protecting women’s sports is being introduced in legislatures; and lawsuits are beginning to be filed by de-transitioners like Keira Bell.  The tide is beginning to turn.

And while it is not surprising that many of us are feeling battle weary, overwhelmed by the seemingly endless reach of our two enemies–those who would erase us and those who would enslave us, or feeling deeply saddened and demoralized by the sight of so many young girls mutilating their bodies and denying their sex, we need only remember that we stand on the shoulders of giants, suffragists like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Christabel Pankhurst, and Alice Paul; and our sisters of the Second Wave, some we have lost like Mary Daly, Andrea Dworkin, Shulamith Firestone, and the many others still marching shoulder-to-shoulder with us.  They never gave up. Neither should we!

FIST reaches our hands across generations and in solidarity with all women fighting for our liberation, so we no longer feel so alone.

Please join us! We can do this, sisters!

Feminists in Struggle responds to Biden’s Executive Order

Feminists in Struggle (FIST), a national feminist organization, denounces the subjugation of female rights to those of transgender rights in the executive order signed by President Biden on his first day in office.

Women’s rights are included in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act because female people have been and continue to be discriminated against on the basis of our sex.  We are disadvantaged in employment; we do not receive equal pay as compared to males for the same or comparable work; we are discriminated against in education and in sports.  Indeed, females have long been treated in patriarchal societies as lesser human beings because of our sex.  Every advance we have made has been on the basis of sex, NOT “gender identity.”

Of course, as feminists, we wholeheartedly agree that, “Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love,” and that people should not be “fired, demoted or mistreated because of whom they go home to or because how they dress does not conform to sex-based stereotypes.”  However, we cannot possibly achieve equal rights for everyone by taking away the rights of some, in order to enhance the rights of others. “Gender identity” should not be used as grounds for eroding the sex-based rights of those of us born female since we have not yet achieved full equality.

This executive order does just that, by erasing females as a distinct class of people who are still oppressed and discriminated against in our society based on our sex and in need of legal protection. We continue to need programs for women and girls under Title VII and Title IX to redress past wrongs and level the playing field, so that those of us born female have an equal opportunity to develop ourselves and pursue our dreams. We need female-only spaces and refuges for reasons of dignity, privacy, and safety, especially because male sexual and physical violence against women and girls remain pervasive.  Therefore it is crucial that “sex” remains a distinct category and that it is not conflated with “gender identity.”

We demand an executive order and an Equality Act that will protect everyone’s rights and not pit one group’s rights against another’s. FIST’s legal committee has drafted a model bill that incorporates Feminist Amendments into the Equality Act. Our Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act preserve women’s sex-based rights including the right to female-only spaces and programs while adding strong prohibitions against discrimination based on sexual orientation and sex stereotyping, Such provisions will fully protect lesbians, gay men, bisexual individuals, those who identify as transgender, and all gender non-conforming people without weakening the rights of females.

In addition, President Biden can make great strides toward equality for half the population born female by instructing the archivist to publish the Equal Rights Amendment (already ratified by the requisite 38 states) into the U.S. Constitution.  We urge that he do so immediately.

DON’T MOURN, ORGANIZE!

With the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, we’ve lost an outspoken advocate for women who broke multiple barriers in the long fight to end discrimination on the basis of sex. Though she was no radical or revolutionary, she was in many ways both a product of decades of struggle for women’s rights as well as one of our most passionate proponents. And we have suffered this loss at a time when we are facing two enemies at the gate – one who will take advantage of this loss to swing the Court even more to the Right, putting in direct jeopardy Roe vs. Wade, lesbian/gay rights and the effort to finally enshrine the Equal Rights Amendment, already ratified by 38 states, into the U.S. Constitution in addition to disappearing sex as a protected class in language and in law in favor of “gender identity.”


Laws are passing in a number of states that will result in the most vulnerable groups of women–those escaping male partner violence, experiencing homelessness in shelters, or those who are in prison, having to share intimate congregate spaces with males. These women are poor, disproportionately women of color, and many have been victims of sexual and physical violence by men. Yet, women’s needs for privacy and a safe refuge from male violence and the ability to establish boundaries are being run roughshod over by an ideology that re-defines “women” and “men” as a set of stereotypes that a person of either sex can claim. Girls in middle and high school going through puberty are coming of age in a violently misogynist porn-soaked culture, are being taught that they are sexual objects that have no intrinsic value, that they have no right even to say “No,” as males enter their locker rooms and private spaces and take away their prizes and sports scholarships set aside for women and girls. No wonder so many girls decide that being female is not for them and ingest hormones and seek double mastectomies to ‘become men” or “nonbinary.”


And then there is the Equality Act that has already passed the U.S. House and is pending in the Senate that while providing long overdue statutory rights for lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals, would take away sex-based protections by redefining sex as “gender identity.” Even without the Equality Act, the Courts have already moved in that direction. While the U.S. Supreme Court in Bostock ruled just this past June that employment discrimination based on an undefined “transgender status” was based in part of sex, the narrowness of the ruling did not prevent two lower courts from citing to Bostock to deny the existence of sex entirely. And though Title IX regulations explicitly allow separate bathroom and changing room facilities in schools based on sex, “sex” now has been redefined to mean “gender identity, ” with the Courts ruling that two girls who identified as boys that were denied access to the boys’ facilities were discriminated against based on “sex”.

In light of these developments, the approach taken by FIST’s Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act remain essential. In order to avoid confusion and end subsuming the category of sex by “gender identity,” we need a bill with clear definitions of all the terms being used, and separate provisions protecting each class of persons, rather than merging distinct protections under the broad umbrella of “sex.” Rather than the amorphous and subjective concept of “gender identity,” people who do not conform to gender role norms should be protected from discrimination based on” sex stereotyping” whether they identify as transgender or not. Most importantly, we need a federal bill to spell out the rights of women and girls to separate spaces and programs.


FIST and the newly formed LGB Alliance USA are in the process of creating a broad coalition to advance the Feminist Amendments. Please sign on as an endorser and join the campaign!


Feminists across the globe including in the United States are starting to organize once again, asserting the primacy of our own rights and needs as a sex by demanding full civil rights protections under the law. We cannot let the courts, Congress, and state legislatures erode our sex-based rights, whether by restricting or outlawing abortion, eroding lesbian/gay rights, denying us the Equal Rights Amendment, or prohibiting female-only spaces, programs, and short-lists. The purpose of securing our rights is not to perpetrate discrimination of any kind; rather, it is to advance our status in society against continued systemic oppression based on sex.


Let’s honor the memory of RBG by committing ourselves to continuing the struggle for the sex-based rights of women and girls. DON’T MOURN, ORGANIZE!

A CENTURY AFTER WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE: THE STRUGGLE FOR THE ERA

Don’t miss this special Zoom event on Sunday, August 30th at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time.


Feminists in Struggle hosts:

A CENTURY AFTER WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE: THE STRUGGLE FOR THE ERA

This event will be a discussion and update on the struggle to enshrine the Equal Rights Amendment into the U.S. Constitution. This special centennial program celebrates the 100th anniversary of the winning of women’s suffrage with a special forum on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

Get your tickets here – only $5!

The ERA was introduced by Suffragist Alice Paul in 1920 to establish constitutionally protected sex-based rights of women against discrimination. It says simply “Equal rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex.”

100 years later, the ERA has been ratified by the 38 states required and feminists are fighting a court battle against the archivist of the U.S. Constitution seeking that the ERA be certified and officially added to the federal constitution.

Speakers:

Kamala Lopez is an award-winning filmmaker, actress and activist.  Kamala co-wrote and produced the documentary, “Equal Means Equal” that documented sex inequality in the U.S. and the need for the ERA. The film won Best U.S. Documentary and was a New York TImes Critics’ Pick. The film was the catalyst behind a national movement resulting in the ratification of the ERA. Kamala is a recipient of the Woman of Courage Award from the National Women’s Political Caucus.

Natalie White is a provocative and progressive feminist and artist and a crusader for women’s rights. In 2016 she led a 250 mile march from NYC to DC to raise awareness of the Equal Rights Amendment. The day after the march, she was arrested for painting “ERA NOW” on the U.S. Capitol steps. She is co-director of Equal Means Equal Organization with Kamala Lopez.

Ann Menasche is a civil rights lawyer. radical feminist and founding member of Feminists in Struggle. She marched in NYC on August 26, 1970 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of women’s suffrage, an event that marked the beginnings of the Second Wave of Feminism. She is dedicated to preserving and expanding the sex-based rights of women and girls.

JOIN US FOR THIS IMPORTANT EVENT ON FINALLY WINNING CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS FOR WOMEN!!

ERA NOW!! FIST SUPPORTS EME’S LAWSUIT

Even though the Equal Rights Amendment was ratified by the required 38th state on January 15, 2020, the Trump Administration’s justice department is holding it up from being recorded by the archivist so it can become part of the U. S. Constitution. To quote EME’s statement:

The lawsuit filed in January in U.S. District Court in Boston argues that congressionally imposed deadlines for states to ratify the ERA are unconstitutional and called on the courts to compel the Archivist of the United States to officially record ERA as the 28th amendment to the Constitution. The complaint also calls on the courts to reject any attempts by states to rescind their prior ratifications of the ERA. It is the first lawsuit regarding the newly ratified ERA to arrive in court, and the only ERA lawsuit brought entirely by women.

We at Feminists in Struggle support the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment because women are discriminated against because of our sex.  We endure sexual assault, harassment, domestic abuse, job discrimination, and unequal pay simply due to being female, We are the only group that is not recognized in the federal constitution, and the only remedy to all of the assaults on women’s reproductive rights, bodily sovereignty, agency, freedom, and dignity is to record the ratification of the ERA into the U. S. Constitution so that it can finally become the law of the land.

We fully support Equal Means Equal’s Amicus Brief and the lawsuit filed in January calling on the courts to compel the archivist to officially record the ERA as the 28th amendment to the Constitution.  We need to finish the job of establishing equality under the law by finally ratifying the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) and CEDAW (the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women).

Supreme Court Ruling: Cause for Celebration and Concern

On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a surprise 6 to 3 decision written by conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch in three cases interpreting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act banning sex discrimination in employment, The first two cases involved gay men who lost their jobs for being gay (Bostock vs. Clayton County, Georgia, and Altitude Express Inc. v Zarda) and the third involved a transgender-identified male who was fired upon announcing he was “transitioning” and would be returning to work in women’s garb (Harris Funeral Homes vs. EEOC.).

First the good news. The Court held that discrimination based on homosexuality was covered under Title VII as a form of sex discrimination since it is intrinsically tied to biological sex. This means that after many decades of struggle, lesbians and gay men finally now have federal civil rights protection against job discrimination. Also, the interpretation of Title VII is so broad that sex-based dress and grooming codes and discrimination based on all forms of gender non-conformity may be successfully challenged in the future, something important to feminists.

The decision in the Harris case is far more problematic for feminists concerned abut the maintenance of sex-based rights. True, Judge Gorsuch did not fully embrace transgender ideology,; he did not deny the existence of sex; he didn’t use the popular expression among transactivists, “assigned at birth”, and instead, referred to “observed sex at birth.”, But he did refer to Stephens as “she” and find transgender status to be a form of sex discrimination.

Though the Court limited its ruling to firing someone based on homosexual and transgender status, and stated that the Court was not ruling on single sex bathrooms and changing rooms, we do indeed have to worry about the future.  Title VII law has a strong influence on the interpretation of Title IX and other Civil rights statutes. Even getting the Equal Rights Amendment into the Constitution as currently written will be a double edged sword, since sex and transgender status are now merged. Fighting for legislation that spells out sex-based rights to female-only spaces and programs, as FIST did in its proposed Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act, has become in light of this decision, more important than ever.

International Women’s Day 2020

Today is International Women’s Day and marks Feminists in Struggle’s 1 year anniversary!  We want to thank everyone who has joined us in the struggle to reignite a strong women’s movement in  order to finish the job First Wave and Second Wave feminists began.  We are so grateful for their sacrifices and contributions and we acknowledge all the women working for the global liberation of women around the world.

We particularly want to recognize the women of the #MeToo Movement who took personal risk to come forward to hold sexual predators accountable, the women behind the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights, and the efforts of organizations like Equal Means Equal that have worked tirelessly to bring the Equal Rights Amendment to the finish line.  It was 100 years ago this year that First Wave feminists won the right to vote, and 97 years after its first introduction that the ERA reached the milestone of the 38th state for ratification!!

We look forward to many more accomplishments of present-day feminists to fight back against the enemies of women’s freedom and autonomy.  Please join us at Feminist Struggle and help us continue the struggle for the liberation of all women!

FIST and Equal Means Equal on Joy of Resistance Radio Show

Our own Ann Menasche appeared on the Joy of Resistance show on WBAI hosted by Fran Luck talking about our Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act which make a distinction between rights based on sex and rights based on gender non-conformity and sexual orientation.  Ann articulated the reasons for the feminist amendments as many rights for which women have fought would be eroded under the Equality Act.

Another very important topic was covered on the show–the ratification of THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT BY BOTH VIRGINIA STATE HOUSES TODAY, January 27, 2020!!  Kamala Lopez of Equal Means Equal was interviewed on the show who explained that there is no need to pass legislation to do away with the imposed deadlines on the legislation because no deadline was included in the legislation, it was a separate bill on which the states did not vote, that Congress did its job in 1972, and we should not get mired down in more Congressional action, as some suggest, by pursuing the passage of legislation doing away with the deadline because the deadline does not matter.

She stated that the Alabama Attorney General filed suit asserting that the archivist should not record Virginia’s 38th state ratification, even though the same archivist recorded the last two states, Nevada (2017) and Illinois (2018). Equal Means Equal has filed suit to make sure the ratification is recorded and will be pursuing various cases across the nation to make sure it becomes part of the U. S. Constitution at long last.  It will be making a Federalist Originalist argument outlined in the Constitution, which will be very difficult for the conservative court to rule against.

Kamala Lopez explained that without the ERA, we will never have equal work for equal pay and that strict scrutiny regarding discrimination under the ERA will finally be required on the basis of sex as it has been for religion, nationality, and race.  She urged listeners to go to Equal Means Equal and sign up for their newsletter and to show up in Richmond, VA on March 8, 2020, International Women’s Day and the centennial of women’s suffrage, to march in the ERA Parade to celebrate it’s ratification.

The show also briefly covered the WoLF events which were scheduled at two public libraries, Seattle and NYC, and how NYCPL cancelled their event while Seattle has refused to cancel theirs.

More about this program at WBAI