Letter: Randy Ihara, South Riding

Editor: Virginia’s support of the Equal Rights Amendment would redeem its historic promise of equality articulated in 1776, when Thomas Jefferson penned five immortal words—“All men are created equal.”

There was a glaring irony underscored by the chasm between Jefferson’s soaring vision of the new order’s promise and the reality of a population comprising indentured servants, urban paupers, African slaves, and later, women. It’s been a persistent irony. The struggle to reconcile Jefferson’s foundational vision with the realities of manifest inequality is a prominent theme of our history. The popular groundswell to adopt the Equal Rights Amendment is yet another episode of the American story.

To date, 37 of the 38 states needed have voted to ratify the ERA. Given the prominent role of Virginia in the founding of the Republic, as well as Its equally prominent role in the tragic violence to preserve slavery, it is entirely fitting and appropriate that the General Assembly should vote to ratify the ERA, thereby redeeming Jefferson’s egalitarian vision and our own past,

Were we to ratify today, it would be almost a century since the amendment was first introduced in 1921. It would be another stage in our nation’s long-standing mandate to form a “more perfect union.” In good conscience, we should not further delay acknowledging the equal status of the 4.3 million Virginia women, of which almost 150,000 living in Loudoun County are our neighbors, friends, wives, sisters, mothers, grandmothers, business owners and entrepreneurs—and voters. Justice is due. We’ve all been waiting too long.

Randy Ihara, South Riding

3 thoughts on “Letter: Randy Ihara, South Riding

  • 2018-09-06 at 4:00 pm

    So, if women can only overcome male oppression and become equal to what men are, then all will be right with women but men are a rape culture so why don’t we just get rid of them anyway, especially the old white ones? And remind me why women can only succeed if they equal to what awful men do? Does anybody ever consider how harmful this attitude is, that men are evil and women are oppressed by them? Of course men and women are not equal. God and nature did not make them that way. Both sexes have their virtues and their vices but from what I am hearing these days no women are to blame for anything; it is all the fault of men. Some known truths on the male side might help: men don’t live as long as women; men commit suicide in this country at 3 to 4 times the rate of women; men are abused too but no one wants to hear it; divorce laws are very biased towards men – will the ERA mean men now have the same outcome as women get: custody and alimony? men have to register for the draft and fight our wars, women don’t and the vast majority don’t want to or physically can’t; men perform the most dangerous jobs – how many womyn are on the Deadliest Catch or want to do lineman work or even fix cars? Women have a choice to have a baby but men are only responsible for the cost of Mom’s sole decision, abort or bear. Men who don’t have jobs or success generally cannot form a family but a good looking women can have babies and never have to work their whole life – though raising children in my opinion is very hard work but apparently beneath you if you want to become a man, though never forget that this is supposedly the path to perdition as men are awful! Women now constitute generally more than 60% of college students and graduate schools but nobody talks about the absence of men just about the ‘rape culture’ – a myth and slur on a lot of the best men in country – and how women are hampered by the glass ceiling. I could go on but how does indulging a fantasy by changing the law to pursue an equality which can never be achieved actually change the fact that men and women are different and need different kinds of help to help each other as opposed to one-sided bias and discrimination promoted under the disguise of equality?

  • 2018-09-07 at 2:59 am

    I find it strange to argue Virginia should vote to amend the Constitution because of Jefferson’s vision of all men are created equal because he had a strange way of showing that is how he thought or envisioned the country’s future. The real glaring irony is using Jefferson to change or expand anything at the federal level seeing he was an anti federalist and wanted states to have the most control in how the governed themselves.
    What government doesn’t acknowledge equal rights for women, if anything I think women have more rights, but only because they come from years of social norms, and I say this as a woman. It was 1776 when women goddess’ were chosen for the state seal, no, women did not always have equal rights but it puts a crack in the whole we live in a patriarchy, a patriarchy would have used a God. And how is Justice long due? Justice is delivered through laws, what laws are unjust to women? Civil service registration? Abortion laws? Most don’t even understand Roe v Wade wasn’t about abortion itself. I get it, my body my choice, stay out of my body, but where is the law for men saying he has a choice to be or not be a part of a newborn’s life? A woman makes a mistake and she can choose to whatever she wishes, but not a man when he equally makes a mistake.

    If people need something written down to validate who they are or how they feel, have at it. While you’re at it perhaps instead of ratification of the existing amendment, create a new one. After all there isn’t any mention of black men or brown men, and what about all the new gender identities as well? How will we be sure they are included, what if the Civil Rights Act or Equality Clause aren’t taken away by our government? Maybe the amendment should just read if you consume oxygen and are within the jurisdiction of the United States y’all are equal.
    I’m rather disappointed in those pushing for a constitutional amendment wanting equality, but only want it for wo”men”. I hope men and women of all races and background are included when it’s all said and done, it wouldn’t be a more perfect union if not.

  • 2018-09-24 at 7:27 pm

    Why are you SO hard on men? Though their population nationwide is smaller than ours as females, they deserve equal treatment via ERA passage, too, though most men refuse to believe they endure inequities simply based on their sex too, and have no idea that we are working HARD for their rights, too. If you don’t know this, may I suggest a book that opened my eyes more than 40 years ago, THE HAZARDS OF BEING MALE.

    Don’t you know that “Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of SEX?”, obviously providing for Equal TREATMENT FOR MALES AS WELL. We of Natl Equal Rights Amendment Alliance (300 000 + members) which partners with 3 other equally large organizations working 18/7 for Free for males for equal treatment everywhere, as our fine males have some inequities, too.
    That’s why this Constitutional Amendment was written that way, “sex” so that equal treatment and the guaranteed right to freedom from sex discrimination would apply to both.

    Unfortunately, it seems you haven’t done your due diligence (homework) before you wrote the above:

    * Our US Constitution granted males originally 39 mentions in the Nation’s contract with its Male people until women (some died in the trying) were granted the right to vote..it remains the only mention of Females in the US Constitution. That’s why corporations can underpay us by 20%–same job–same hours–same credentials and often Better. That’s why boys can rape us but, if caught, get what amounts to a slap on the wrist, not acknowledging that rape is a soul-searing crime for women that endures forever in their memories.
    That’s just a few of the many issues, like men or boys who rape and get the act shifted to “Boys Will Be Boys”. Rape is not just a roll in the hay as males pretend, else why do certain rapists have to get blind drunk to power-on a woman!
    So many actual untruths in the above/previous Comment from a woman who apparently as they say, “doesn’t get out much.”
    Almost all of our 300 000 have or have had if widows, partners or husbands. I, myself, have a 66 year marriage to a really fine, loving, brilliant, kind, patient husband who assists me as needed as I speak up and down USA’s East Coast. And still loves me as I love him. He has helped me think male-female relations over the years just ask he gives me credit for helping him think them through, too. Neither of us can understand why any male attacks a female just to assuage his unnecessarily strong need to power-on over her,leaving her with emotional revisits for the rest of her life. Rape is a power play, not a need for sexual release.
    Maybe the woman who Commented for us all to see, above, hasn’t read the page after pages of heartfelt emptiness and shame that the MeToo women and little girls have written about some men’s and boys’ savagery. Most of them, though, are fine fellows who can psychologically control (is that the word?) anything that horrifically damaging to another human, be it be he or she.
    No room here to carefully refute all the incorrections in that lady’s Comment above. Just hope she can see that we are all humans not that far historically from Neanderthals etc. SOMEday, we may be civilized. But not until we can talk all this out to understand each other.
    We suggest that she might, as others do, go to our http://www.2passERA.org and take a tour. We say , Live and let live…as long as it harms no one.
    Cheers! Sandy Oestreich, founder-president of National Equal Rights Amendment Alliance; Prof. Emerita, Adelphi U., NY; Fmr. elected official; Co-author, internationally distributed pharmacology reference texts; Nationally certified Nurse Practitioner of 35 years; and Clinical Nurse Specialist; Member, 3 Nurse Practitioner professional organizations; Headed a Free Clinic for Seniors; worked for a NY City Hospital clinic; Brought lawsuit w/ACLU Atty. Marcia Cohen (and won) vs a local Florida Hospital located on County land for actions that abrogated 1st Amendment Church and State separation. One of only two such successful actions in USA; Biographied in Feminists Who Changed America; Nat’l ERA Alliance, Inc, is a Lead Organization of the nat’l ERA Coalition; Member, national ERA Action; Member, Vision2020, Advisory Board-for women’s empowerment; 2016 Nominee, “WOMEN’S SUMMIT”, DC; 2015 Finalist, St Petersburg FL “Best Nonprofit Business”; 2014 Recipient, AAUW/FL “Woman of Distinction”; 2012 Recipient, County LWVoters Susan B. Anthony “Failure is Impossible” award; Previously, Women’s Rights Chair, Pinellas County, FL ACLU; Wife and mom; http://www.2PassERA.org (renovation nearly complete–Go See!); SandyO@PassERA.org; Fbk: Pass the Equal Rights Amendment Twitter: @SandyO

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