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I’m just a girl… the Equal Rights Amendment was Never Ratified?

equality birdcage painting mental illness womens rights flower

20% of print sales from Un-Equivalent  are gifted to the Alice Paul Institute

Am I constitutionally a lesser human?

ALTHOUGH “my kind” physically grow the human race inside our bodies, we (in America) constitutionally have less rights than the sons we give birth to. As with any unsettling news, I handle this realization in my own (self-prescribed) 3 stages of grief… first = shock, second = anger, third = action.

1. Shock: How did I not know this until now?

I know we fight for equal pay and equal say and equal education, but how did I NOT know that the Equal Rights Amendment was never ratified? Blame it on public education (just kidding…I went to a great public school) or my own complete naivety (not kidding, I still look for gold at the end of rainbows), but I am seriously ashamed that at 34 years old, I just learned last night that every mother, daughter, aunt, grandmother, sister…is constitutionally less equal than their male counterpart.

2. Anger: Are you flipping kidding me?

How is this still a thing? (That is a rhetorical question since I now know)

In short, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) passed the Senate and the House, and on March 22, 1972, was sent to the states for ratification. BUT only 35 out of the 38 states needed ratified it before the 7yr deadline…therefore it was never adapted into the constitution. 

The first instinct is to be upset with all men…but here’s the truth, a lot of the anti-ERA was headed up by conservative women opponents such as Phyllis Schlafly – afraid that…. “the ERA would deny woman’s right to be supported by her husband, privacy rights would be overturned, women would be sent into combat, and abortion rights and homosexual marriages would be upheld.”

Can we just stop and digest this all for a moment? First – every one of those “fears”  are idiotic, second – they have all happened, YET women still do not have constitutional equality! Pay attention!!

I grew three little girls in my stomach who are living in a country where they are not equally protected as men under their own constitution…

despite any fault of their own…

3. My Response: An “ERA Sales Tax”

I propose an “ERA sales tax” to be initiated by all female run organizations. Not a tax on men, because they aren’t all bad…in fact, it was a man who brought this to my attention!

But to the 15 states that did not ratify the Equal Rights Amendment:

  1. Alabama
  2. Arizona
  3. Arkansas
  4. Florida
  5. Georgia
  6. Illinois
  7. Louisiana
  8. Mississippi
  9. Missouri
  10. Nevada – Nevada gets a pass because they ratified the ERA in 2017 (albeit 35 yrs late)
  11. North Carolina
  12. Oklahoma
  13. South Carolina
  14. Utah
  15. Virginia

To these 14 states, your 20% “tax” will be donated to the Alice Paul Institute to provide women with

Education. Empowerment. Equality.

(Consider this a mandatory donation to a responsible cause – until your state changes its ways! So call your representatives!)

Even though “I’m just a girl,” thank you so much for letting me have a visual voice and supporting my work… 

For some more info on the ERA, check out the FAQ’s
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Hush Little Baby – It’s okay to Cry

 

Hush, 12×18″ acrylic on paper

“Hush, little baby, don’t say a word.
Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird
And if that mockingbird won’t sing,
Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.”

Sometimes we have days, weeks… even years that are exhausting and truly painful. From infancy, until the day we die… there are times that we all just need to cry. No amount of money, religion, or education can prevent the pain of heartache, sadness, or grief. We are all equally vulnerable.

One night, I was crying alone in the darkness –  a grown woman, without children of my own yet – and I caught myself running the lines of a lullaby through my mind.

“hush little baby, don’t say a word…mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird…”

That was the night I realized that any time I was stressed or shaken, I subconsciously comforted myself with a familiar lullaby my mother used to sing to me.

And in sadness and in comfort,
the Lullaby Series was born.

I painted the work above, titled “Hush.” Then, for years I have gone on to paint and exhibit pieces that are inspired by lullabies. This collection began taking on even more significance to me as I started having children of my own.

 

PS- You all know that I like to use art to communicate and give back…after all, there is no heART without Art 😉 So when you order from the Lullaby Series 15% of every sale is donated to Save the Children to help with the pain in Syria, with hope that children everywhere are able to find comfort.

“Save the Children is on the ground in Syria and in refugee communities throughout the region, providing children and their families with warm clothes, shelters, protection, clean water and emergency care.”

At various points in our lives, we all find ourselves alone in sadness. Sometimes we are struggling with a grief or fear that no one, not even ourselves can understand. My hope for myself, children and everyone on this planet with us, is that at those times… when nothing else seems to hold us through all our pain and fear, we can find comfort in solitude…even if it is just in the words of a lullaby.

Love and peace to all who are hurting,

 

View the Lullaby Series