Editorial about the Equal Rights Amendment (7-20-40)


The Pittsburgh Press (July 20, 1940)

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

At this writing the Democratic Convention is beginning its sessions; it remains to be seen whether the members will take time out from other issues to consider the Equal Rights Amendment which is popped before their eyes by its earnest advocates at every opportunity.

Whether they do or don’t, the subject is timely – more timely now than ever when a great many excitable people see our security threatened.

Never has there been heard quite so much tall talk about human liberty. Well, how about giving some of it to the women – at least, as much of it as the men have? Seems a fair enough proposition, eh? Yet close inspection of legislative affairs of national and international matters proves that women are a subordinate class in every country.

Lord knows we’re used to it. The sex is famous for getting its ears slapped down – and seeming to like it. And from these blows we always arise to meet national emergencies with a heroic spirit. Women have never failed their countries. This is a universal truth, whether the country happens to be the United States, England, Scandinavia or Germany. So much cannot be said for the politicians when women ask favors.

Consider only one little picture which comes vividly to attention by a recent news report. Responding to the call for aluminum by their statesmen, British housewives are bringing in their kettles, pans and coffee pots, their thimbles and cigarette cases, willingly yielding up their simple treasures for the common good.

In such a manner do they offer their sons when the need arises. What that sacrifice means cannot be understood by some men because the maternal yearning is incomprehensible to their natures.

The protection of the rights of minority groups is necessary to the proper functioning of a democracy. Can we have the assurance of the gentlemen that, when danger is past, they will be as eager to act with patriotism as they expect us to act when danger is near?