metoo

The Twenty-Eighth Amendment?: The Equal Rights Amendment’s Popular Resurgence

(Source)   The only way to tell photographs of Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) advocates from the 1970s apart from the advocates of the 2010s is by the quality of the photo. Recently, women have taken to the streets, the legislatures, and the courts, coming together to change the Constitution. Their advocacy has paid off. This year, the Virginia legislature became the thirty-eighth state of the thirty-eight states necessary to ratify the ERA. Unfortunately, the ratification may be almost forty years too late. The 1982 deadline for state ratification has long passed. Why has the amendment recently resurged in popularity, and what will happen next? The History of the ERA The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was first introduced in 1923 in Seneca Falls, New York, the birthplace of the women’s suffrage movement. There, celebrating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention, Alice Paul introduced the original ERA. The original amendment stated, “Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place in its jurisdiction.” The amendment was introduced to Congress the year it was first proposed, but due to resistance from the labor movement, which called for protective laws treating women differently from men, the [read more]

Climate Crisis: Removing Authority from U.S. Military Commanders Over Sexual Assault Cases May Remedy the Prevalence and Underreporting of Sexual Assault

(Source)   The latest Department of Defense (DoD) Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military reports an increase in instances of sexual assault in the U.S. military (military). While rates of sexual assault increase, rates of conviction and punishment remain unchanged. The current military justice system allows for the accused’s unit supervisor (hereinafter “Commander”) to play a significant role in how sexual assault cases are resolved. While Pentagon officials promise to take more aggressive action in addressing sexual assault, it is often questioned whether the military is “equipped to police and reform itself.” According to a study commissioned by the DoD, an estimated 20,500 service members “experienced some kind of contact or penetrative sexual assault in 2018.” This is a 38% increase since the 2016 survey. The same study found that while rates of sexual assault against men remained steady, rates of sexual assault against women increased by almost 50%. With less than one-third of military survivors reporting sexual assault, and 6,053 reports of sexual assault in the 2018 fiscal year, there appears to be a greater institutional problem within the military justice system. Military sexual assault reports are processed either through the restricted or unrestricted reporting systems. Restricted [read more]