State Senator Karen Peterson’s letter on gender equality

The following letter appeared in the Wilmington, DE The News Journal, December 2, 2015 in the OPINION – Our Reader’s Views section. Senator Peterson is an ERANow member.

Equal gender rights

Professor Glenn Reynolds’ recent article, “Women should be just as subject to being drafted as men” was interesting. He argues that since women have now reached equality they should be drafted for military service.

Prof. Reynolds “equality argument” falls short in two important respects. First, he ignores the fact that women are paid only 76 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. Second, he ignores the fact that women are not yet protected by the U.S. Constitution. Following World War II, the United States insisted that all countries drafting constitutions include a statement prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, yet the U.S. has failed to include such a statement in its own constitution. Our constitution protects religion, national origin, race, and color – but not gender. Despite the fact that women are underpaid and unprotected by the U.S. Constitution, they still volunteer to protect our country by serving in the military. Even without the draft, nearly 300,000 women currently serve in the U.S. military. They are not the “ladies auxiliary,” they are soldiers who risk their lives to protect our freedoms. It’s time for Congress to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. Until then, 50.8 percent of our nation’s population will remain second-class citizens in a country that boasts “equal treatment under the law.”

Senator Karen Peterson
Delaware State Senate
Dover