Roberta Francis has been advocating for the Equal Rights Amendment for over thirty years, chairs the ERA Taskforce for the National Council of Women’s Organizations and administers equalrightsamendment.org. She has also been active with the New Jersey League of Women Voters.
There’s something ridiculous about needing to include the ERA in a project about the future—why didn’t we take care of this ninety years ago? If the ERA reminds us of anything, it’s that old ideas can remain new and common sense can be remarkably controversial. I will revisit this theme in my upcoming conversation with Scott Douglas of Greater Birmingham Ministries.
Roberta and I talk about why the ERA failed and why it’s still necessary to a population that, largely, believes sex equality is already guaranteed by the Constitution. We conclude by talking about the tension between individual and collective good, the role of government, and compromise. You will hear echos of Peter Warren, Lawrence Torcello and, in the last coda, John Fife.
Artwork by Eleanor Davis.