Dear Secretary Clinton,
I imagine a world where everyone is equal- regardless of gender, sexual orientation or any other characteristic. The Equal Rights Amendment was passed in 1972, but as of 1983 was still missing the necessary number of states needed to be added into the Constitution (Francis 1). If elected, I would ask that you work with Congress and the States to continue working on the Equal Rights Amendment so that adding it to the US Constitution is a priority.
Does our our nation still need the Equal Rights Amendment? I am frustrated that we are still asking this question. Some people in our country think that gender or sexual orientation define your abilities which results in discrimination that could take many forms- for example, women earn less than men working in the same job; people who identify as LGBTQIA are not treated equally; and violence against women continues.
Equal pay- Why don’t men and women who work the same job receive the same pay? I fear that because I am a girl, I will discriminated against. Just because I am a girl does not give my employer the right to pay me less than a man just because of my gender. If I am working the same job with the same experience as a man, we should be paid equally. Research states that at the wage gap has been getting small, but at this rate, the wage gap will not be equal until 2058 (Grabenhofer 1) and I will be 56. How old will you be? The Equal Rights Amendment will assist in decreasing the wage gap at a more rapid pace. Secretary Clinton, let’s crush the wage gap and prove women should earn as much as men in the workplace.
Violence against women- Violence against any gender, especially women, should be unacceptable in the United States of America. Why is it that some men think it is OK to brutally hurt a woman? I am scared to think that some men would think of me as an object and try to hurt me just because I am a girl. About 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by men each year. Approximately 1,706 women were murdered in 2012 by men. Rape and sexual assault is a whole other level of physical assault, which is not acceptable in any circumstance- but one out of every six women has been a victim of attempted or completed rape (Grabenhofer 4). The Equal Rights Amendment would help fund the Violence Against Women Act. Secretary Clinton, strong feminists like us hope that we will soon live in a society where women can live without the fear of violence.
Marriage Equality- Why should someone who identifies as LGBTQIA be discriminated against in any way, shape or form or not be allowed to marry the person they love? I’ve heard some people say that marriage is meant to be between one man and one woman, as is written in the Bible. I believe that love is love, and that you should have the right to marry whomever your heart desires. I read an article about a lesbian couple who spent their lives together but were not ‘legally’ married. When one of them was at the end of her life, her partner was not legally able to make decisions about her care. This story made me sad and angry because I would want my partner to make decisions on my behalf if I am unable. I am too young to think about marriage, but I would hope that when I am ready I would be able to marry whomever I want and receive the same rights as any other married couple. While marriage equality was passed in 2015, the Equal Rights Amendment would ensure that marriage equality continues (Grabenhofer 3). Secretary Clinton, let’s continue the fight for marriage equality for all no matter who you love. Because love is love.
The Equal Rights Amendment is a crucial puzzle piece to equality that I hope you prioritize if you are President. I would love to see discrimination in any form eliminated and I look forward to the changes that could occur if you make it priority. Gender does not define who you are. Who you love does not identify who you are. Gender does not restrain your abilities. Gender does not give you the right to be hurt. Love who you Love. Gender does not say how much you should be payed or determine your worth. No one should feel ashamed for being who they are. Be proud!
Grabenhofer, Bonnie, and Jan Erickson. "Is the Equal Rights Amendment Relevant in the 21st Century?Is the Equal Rights Amendment Relevant in the 21st Century?" Now.org. Laura Mattoon D’Amore, Ph.D. , Roger Williams University, 2016. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
"Home." ERA: Equal Rights Amendment- Unfinished Business for the Constitution. Ed. Roberta W. Francis. Alice Paul Institute, n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.