The principle of equal rights is the cornerstone concept of American democracy. Therefore, exploring its origin and examining its nature will help build a better understanding of the values that American democracy swears to uphold and the rights it strived to protect. The Equal Rights Amendment, as the cornerstone of American democracy and one of the crucial legal regulations that were created to introduce American society to the principles of equality, also implied significant changes to the status of women.
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According to the principles laid out in the Equal Rights Amendment, every citizen of the U.S., disregarding of their sex, was entitled to the same number of rights and freedoms (Foner 1101). Representing the basic idea of the equality of sexes, the specified regulation can be considered an essential step toward the provision of critical legal protections for women as a class.
The importance of the Equal Rights Amendment as the tool for establishing the principles of equality becomes evident when considering the situation in which women of the U.S. happened to be in the specified time slot. Without the creation of the Equal Rights Amendment, the fight for equality and the further promotion of women’s liberation within American society would have been much more complicated.
Indeed, without the legal standards with the help of which the claims concerning equal rights would be substantiated, the campaign in favor of sex-based rights would have led to much more humble results, leaving women in a rather desperate situation (Foner 1102). Thus, the foundational principles of equality that they promoted were critical to establishing the ideas concerning gender equality that can be currently observed in most domains in the U.S.
Moreover, the Equal Rights Amendment had significant implications for second-wave feminism as a movement. With the active enhancement of the “family values” as the foundation of American society, the plight of feminists was becoming nearly impossible to hear (Foner 1102). Thus, the introduction of legal support that could assist feminists in fighting for their cause was needed. The Equal Rights Amendment, in turn, provided such a platform, encouraging women that participated in the second-wave feminism movement to continue their fight for liberation.
However, the regulation also emphasized the division within the women’s movement as the tension between the women that chose housekeeping as their area of self-fulfillment and the women that strived to achieve equality in other spheres, including career, increased (Foner 1103). Overall, the Equal Rights Amendment led to the identification of several crucial conflicts within American society and allowed the female movement to redefine its course of action to meet the set objectives.
Encouraging the acceptance of the idea of equality and providing women with the same freedoms and rights as the ones to which American men were entitled, the Equal Rights Amendment created the foundation for building gender equality. The regulation has helped to shape the principles of justice that American society would follow and accept as the foundational principles for social interactions, as well as cooperation within any other environments between the representatives of the two sexes.
Thus, the Equal Rights Amendment has become the tool for creating a system of sex-based rights for women as a vulnerable group of the American population, thus guaranteeing legal protections to women of the U.S. Moreover, the amendment helped to discover the inherent disagreement within the women’s movement, causing feminists to realign their priorities.
Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty! 3rd ed., W. W. Norton & Company, 2016.