It's one of the first things they tell you when you start learning about American government in school. If you want something to change, contact your representative. It was a lesson that Meryl Streep clearly took to heart. This week, Streep wrote to every member of Congress asking them to back the Equal Rights Amendment. Those of us who paid attention in social studies will remember that Congress has 535 members — and the Devil Wears Prada actress contacted every single one. That's how passionate she is about protecting and expanding the rights of women in her country.
The Equal Rights Amendment, which would provide a constitutional guarantee of equal treatment for women, was first proposed in 1972. That's right, more than FOUR DECADES AGO. It was actually passed by Congress back then, but to be signed into law, constitutional amendments require 38 states to ratify them and only 35 did (again, social studies is really paying off now).
Streep, who has jokingly referred to herself as a "man-eating feminist," also sent out 535 copies of the book Equal Means Equal: Why the Time for an Equal Rights Amendment is Now by Jessica Neuwirth, the president of the ERA Coalition, along with her letters. Her campaign coincides with the upcoming release of Suffragette, a movie about the British women's rights movement, in which she is co-starring.
The letters read, in part, "I am writing to ask you to stand up for equality — for your mother, your daughter, your sister, your wife or yourself — by actively supporting the Equal Rights Amendment." Sounds like a no-brainer to us.
If you would also like to support the passage of the ERA, you can take the ERA Coalition's pledge.
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