not that anyone except my mom would consider me "radical" with my feminism... well, maybe that's too strong a statement. probably my bff would, too.
So, y'all know I don't like to get all political because peeps with SO many different political views read the blog (plus I'm a confrontation-phobic mormon girl who understands only *passive* aggression so I don't like to get yelled at in the comments) but it's election season and sometimes I can't help myself because I have a big, fat, mouth.
I've been doing research on the ERA for a book I'm working on. The book is set somewhere between 1973 and 1978 (haven't decided yet), and has a pregnant teenager, so I need to know all this stuff.
First: BYU is usually pretty good with having books. Best library in the country, according to many years of the Princeton review. But how many books could I find specifically about the ERA? Three. One was a "children's" book. One was written by Orin Hatch. The other they have mysteriously managed to keep out of my mailbox. Granted, I didn't look very hard for these books and maybe if I'd looked harder I could've found more, but usually the BYU library is so good I don't *have* to look very hard. Should this tell me something? Maybe. I dunno.
Second: So I'm reading Orin's book. Orin and I go way back. (refer to the title of this post!) And the first few chapters, I'm actually impressed. Dude was making a really intelligent, fascinating argument against the ERA. Stuff about the technicalities of wording in the way the constitution is interpreted irregardless of original intent. Stuff about the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. Stuff I totally hadn't thought of and was finding deeply compelling.
We get to chapter 7.
Chapter 7 is where Orin tries to shock us by all of the horrible things that could happen if we pass the ERA. Things, that if they were to happen, we might "regret" (page 41). Here are some of the things:
1) Homemaking might have to be recognized as a profession; and we might even [horror!] have to allow homemakers social security. [Um... I was a SAHM for awhile and, seriously, hardest thing in my life. Ever. Period. I say, YAY for recognizing it as WORK.]
2)Wives might have an equal claim to property! [Because... the house I live in belongs to my husband? Pulease.]
3)And speaking of men, did you know that we might have to give fathers of illegitimate children, like, a right to *see* them?! [because encouraging father-child interaction is SO horrific?]
4) Women might realize that many of the skills of motherhood are [wait for it] *learned.* As in, you're not born with them just because you're a girl! We can't have that, can we?!
5) And if women realize that they're not suited to motherhood, they *might not have babies.* [because what *every* baby wants is a mother who resents them.][mini rant: and why is it bad to reward *devoted* mothers (#1) and to encourage *ambivalent* mothers? (#5) seriously? end mini rant.]
6) And those women who decide that they want to work part time and be with their kids part time? Well, the government would have to provide day care for them. [Wouldn't this sorta get a lot of women off welfare? And this is bad... how?]
7) Oh, I could go on. But my obvious snarkiness is starting to annoy even me.
So I try to keep reading. Chapter 10 is all about how we can't give rights to WOMEN because then HOMOSEXUALS might have the right to get married. [If we can set aside the fact that ALL of the logic Orin used about the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment (*against* the ERA) is prettymuch the *identical* logic used by those who say that gay marriage is a constitutional right...] Can you say RED HERRING?!
And then I get to chapter 11. The "potty" chapter. (I kid you not.) Which says that if we pass the ERA, we'll have to have unisex bathrooms because we have to treat everyone the same. [It also says a very snarky thing about feminists lacking "common sense," but I digress.]
Oh, Orin. Seriously? Seriously the ONLY way to treat the sexes equally is to have a unisex bathroom?! How about this: instead of everyone having access to "identical" facilities, we write into law, "everyone shall have an identical *right of access* to the facilities *they require* for potty purposes." That way disabled people would have handicapped stalls. Men could have their urinals. Women could have the 2X-as-many-as-men bathrooms that they need all nicely equipped with tampon receptacles. And even the strictest constitutionalists would agree that this satisfies the "identical" treatment required by the ERA.
I had to stop reading. I was about to start crying. And it was mostly Orin's fault. And a little bit the fault of the fact that SO many people use RIDICULOUS excuses to avoid taking action. Things that could have been super-easily overcome if they were *at all* interested in treating the marginalized as equals.
Thus, let us return to my title. Orin Hatch did, in fact, grab my butt. (True story!) I haven't put it online before because, well, what did he ever do to me? (except grab my butt.) But because Orin ticked me off? The truth must. be. told.
But this post is already too long. Read tomorrow to find out the rest of the butt-grabbing drama!