Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day: May 8-14

May 14, 1945

“HYDE PARK, Sunday—…I have been getting a good many letters of late about the Equal Rights amendment, which has been reported out favorably to the House by the House Judiciary Committee. Some of the women who write me seem to think that if this amendment is passed there will be no further possibility of discrimination against women. They feel that the time has come to declare that women shall be treated in all things on an equal basis with men. I hardly think it is necessary to declare this, since as a theory it is fairly well accepted today by both men and women. But in practice it is not accepted, and I doubt very much whether it ever will be.

Other women of my acquaintance are writing me in great anxiety, for they are afraid that the dangers of the amendment are not being properly considered. The majority of these women are employed in the industrial field. Their fear is that labor standards safeguarded in the past by legislation will be wrecked, and that the amendment will curtail and impair for all time the powers of both State and Federal government to enact any legislation that may be necessary and desirable to protect the health and safety of women in industry.

I do not know which group is right, but I feel that if we work to remove from our statute books those laws which discriminate against women today, we might accomplish more and do it in a shorter time than will be possible through the passage of this amendment.”

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