May 31, 2021

Julie Suk and the Unstoppable Mothers of the Equal Rights Amendment

The Equal Rights Amendment is on the cusp of being adopted into the Constitution, if the Senate gets its stuff together. It’s the product of more than a century of work of women and allies, and I’ve invited my friend Julie Suk, author of the new book “We the Women: The Unstoppable Mothers of the Equal Rights Amendment” on the podcast to talk about the history of this movement. – Alyssa

Praise For We The Women: The Unstoppable Mothers Of The Equal Rights Amendment…

“We talk as if only men make constitutions. Julie Suk changes this. She introduces us to the diverse cast of women constitution makers who supported, and opposed, the Equal Rights Amendment over the last century. Their quest showcases concerns missing in standard accounts of the Founding, and shows us how these concerns differed among women and over time. Essential reading for those interested in the future of gender justice.”
—REVA SIEGEL, Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor, Yale Law School

“Julie Suk’s We the Women is a fascinating and nuanced recounting of the history of the ERA. It brings to light the many women who made constitutional equality for women across generations, highlighting complexities not widely known; documents the unending opposition; and showcases the potential of the ERA’s meaning for the twenty-first century. It will soon be recognized as the go-to resource for the ERA’s long legislative history.”
—LOUISE MELLING, Deputy Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union

“Meticulously researched and compulsively readable, We the Women draws important connections between the past and present, making clear how, despite long odds and many obstacles, generations of women have come together to debate and demand the conditions necessary for a more perfect union.”
—MELISSA MURRAY, Frederick I. & Grace Stokes Professor of Law, NYU School of Law

“In We the Women, Julie Suk shows us that the Equal Rights Amendment at its core was—and still is—about freedom and power. The mothers of the ERA laid the groundwork of the battle waging in this country today, and though this campaign can feel long and arduous, We the Women has left me more hopeful.”
—FATIMA GOSS GRAVES, President and CEO, National Women’s Law Center


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Sources for audio clips

Alyssa Milano Testifies on the ERA, Speaks with Rep. Carolyn Maloney
Illinois House Passes Equal Rights Amendment - CBS Chicago
NOW ERA One More State SD 480p - Nevada NOW
With Virginia ratification, where does the Equal Rights Amendment go from here? - PBS NewsHour
14th Amendment
The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: A History
Myra Bradwell
Rep. McDermed Speaks About Myra Bradwell for Women's History Month
Alice Paul
Alice Paul Institute - An Introduction - Alice Paul Institute
Crystal Eastman
Shall Not Be Denied: Crystal Eastman - WSKG Public Media
Minimum Wage 33:05
A History Of The Minimum Wage | TIME
Shirley Chisolm
Shirley Chisholm: Declares Presidential Bid, January 25, 1972
Bipartisan Labor Concerns
Debate 1980, ERA (Equal Rights Amendment); Phyllis Schlafly and Peg Anderson - Iowa PBS
Virginia Passes ERA
Virginia votes to ratify Equal Rights Amendment - CBS News
Alyssa Milano Testifies on the ERA, Speaks with Rep. Carolyn Maloney

Show Credits

Host: Alyssa Milano
Executive Producer: Alyssa Milano
Associate Producer: Ben Jackson
Editing and Sound Production: Natasha Jacobs
Music by: Josh Cooke & Eleisha Eagle