Advancing the ERA – a conversation with Sen. Ben Cardin, Carol Jenkins, and Alyssa Milano

By Aryana Goodarzi

On Thursday December 9th, ERA Coalition/FFWE President Carol Jenkins and ERA Coalition/FFWE board member Alyssa Milano joined Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) for a Facebook/YouTube Live discussion on the need for the Equal Rights Amendment.

Carol talks about how the core of gender issues  exist within the Constitution because women have been excluded from it. As Audre Lorde told us, we cannot overlook what it means when the tools of a racist heteropatriarchy are used to analyze the inequalities of that very racist heteropatriarchy. As an identity, Whiteness does not exist on the same terms for women, as can be said for the identity of Woman not existing on the same terms for women of other races and sexualities.

Carol talked of how the Equal Rights Amendment would not only make women equal to men, but it would also establish equality between varying groups of women themselves, and necessitate all States to treat women equally.

Together, Carol Jenkins, Alyssa Milano, and Senator Ben Cardin essentially talked about how the distribution of civil rights through laws, while necessary, is also the basis from which said civil rights can be voted on, rather than being inherent or implied – which is what the Equal Rights Amendment would require. Because of this, Senator Cardin explained that most Americans think we already have an Equal Rights Amendment. To President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, Carol Jenkins says, “We need more.”

Watch the full recording of the discussion online (and you don’t need a Facebook account to watch the recording!).

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