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is in the Federal jurisdiction and by State law if it be within State jurisdiction.
But the exercise of a right should not as a corollary call for the abrogation of certain general rights which our society owes to all citizens in general, and women in particular.
We make our plea, gentlemen, for equal rights in fact. We ask that in the interest of the common welfare you support the women's status bill and oppose the so-called equal-rights amendment.
Mr. CHADWICK. Miss Borchardt, if I ask this question or invite you to discuss this, I want you to realize that that involves a compliment to you personally.
I have caught through the discussions that I have heard, from time to time and at place to place, a suggestion or an implication that the opposition of the trade unions to this bill stemmed in part from a desire to protect the men rather than the women. Now, that is a very broad generalization of what we are talking about, but I think you know what I mean.
Miss BORCHARDT. I have heard that, and I think there are probably some men who would say, let's see if we can keep our jobs by keeping women out. I think undoubtedly there are men who would seek to restrict employment opportunities. May I, as an attorney, say that when the bar association limits the number of people who may enter a law school, that is exactly the same sort of limitation. There is a tendency to restrict opportunities for those who may be potential competitors, be they men or women.
At first when our women proposed opposition to the equal-rights bill, so I am told by those who originally heard it proposed, the men were the most surprised. When the women asked the A. F. of L.--of course that was long before the CIO was established—when our women asked the A. F. of L. to oppose the equal-rights amendment, the men were very, very much surprised. They could not quite figure it out. They said, “I thought you wanted equal rights. All these years you have been coming up here and asking." Then came the need of having our industrial women sit down and say, “Well now, look, we want equal rights but what this law would do is to deny women the chance to retain the 8-hour day. Employers would employ unorganized lowpaid women in hazardous conditions, and so on.''
Mr. CHADWICK. May I interrupt there? From your personal observation you regard those protective measures as desirable in the interest of women?
Miss BORCHARDT. Very desirable, very desirable; and may I say that wherever a trade union agreement has been negotiated on any one of those points, the trade-union agreement has gone at least as far as the statute and often further.
In other words, the women—the industrial women themselves— when they sit down to negotiate, do exactly what the men do with protective labor legislation. They say, “All right, we have got that. You cannot wipe that law out in this negotiation. But we want something better, something above the law.
Mr. CHADWICK. In your observation of the operations not only of A. F. of L. but CIO, which you have, I know, with interest watched as we all do, is it your observation that the union organization through its union machinery does actually and in complete good faith try to protect the best interests of the women as such without regard to whether that impinges on the interest of the men ?
Miss BORCHARDT. I would say without reservation that it is true that our men seek to act to protect our industrially employed women. You will find that the men concern themselves very seriously with general social welfare. The rank and file of the trade union membership in America, is, gentlemen, a conservative family group. They have a desire to preserve anything that is going to protect the welfare of the women. When it comes to the question, you say, "Oh, well, that is just sentimentality.” It is not. It is true sentiment, coupled with a recognition of three things: First, a recognition of physical differences; second, a recognition of a fact, which I hate to admit but it is true, that women are not yet as well organized in the trade-union movement as men and that therefore they need the help of men in getting the things they desire; third, because the welfare of the child is affected in this proposal.
Now, during the war, the women abrogated certain recognized advantages for which we had fought for years. So did men; the men gave up the 8-hour day which under normal times they would never have given up. But that was a war emergency.
We were out to win a war; our men and women together abrogated rights they cherished for this cause. Those were abnormal conditions. Let me repeat, men do not ask to exclude women from work through protective legislation. If they want to exclude women for that reason they could do it in a very different way. They would come right out and say they don't want women. In some cases that is just what they do. But they may also decide not to admit more than a certain number of men. I repeat, gentlemen, exactly what a bar association may do when it limits attendance at law schools.
In other words, when a question confronts us of a scramble for jobs, those in the jobs are going to use means to hold their jobs, but I have never found in my many years of experience in the bona fide tradeunion movement sex antagonism, nor have I ever found any evidence of that antagonism manifested in a desire to get protective legislation.
Mr. CHADWICK. I told you that when I asked you the question, it was a compliment to you. Your response has been very constructive.
Mr. CHELF. How many of the 17,000,000 working women now are organized or belong to some trade union of some description?
Miss BORCHARDT. So far as I know, we do not have a break-down of our membership by sexes. The national organization pays a per capita on membership regardless of sex. I know of no A. F. of L. figures on this. Maybe, the Women's Bureau has figures on these data which we do not have. Our membership figures are not broken down by
The internationals pay the same per capita regardless of sex. Mr. CHELF. I understand from the figures you introduced this morning that there is now approximately 25 percent of the total working class, shall we say, that are now women; would the ratio be comparable to that, do you think?
Miss BORCHARDT. Yes; with perhaps even a little higher ratio because the professional groups are being organized into trade unions and they are more predominantly women.
Mrs. STONE. Mr. Chairman, may I interrupt just a minute to say that the Women's Bureau figure is approximately 3,000,000 organized women out of the 17,000,000. Mr. REED. Thank
you. The committee will recess, then, until 1:45.
(Whereupon, at 12:45 p. m., a recess was taken until 1:45 p. m. the same day.)
(The hearing was resumed at 1:45 p. m.)
Mrs. STONE. Mr. Chairman, I would like to introduce as our first witness this afternoon, Miss Irma Piepho, who is representing the National Council of Catholic Women.
STATEMENT OF IRMA PIEPHO, REPRESENTING NATIONAL COUNCIL
OF CATHOLIC WOMEN
Miss PIEPHO. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am Irma Piepho, administrative assistant of the National Council of Catholic Women, representing Miss Ruth Craven, our executive secretary.
The National Council of Catholic Women is a federation of the Catholic women's organizations including 76 diocesan councils of Catholic women, 18 affiliated national organizations, and over 5,100 local organizations. This membership represents 5,000,000 Catholic women in all parts of the United States. This federation has always been opposed to adoption as an amendment to the Constitution of what is known as the equal-rights amendment.
Through the years our position has been made very clear. National conventions, and other assemblies of our federation, have repeatedly denounced this proposed amendment by resolution and otherwise. Typical of such pronouncements was that of our 1946 convention which resolved on this question as follows:
The drive to submit to the States for national adoption the so-called equal. rights amendment has been temporarily defeated. Its proponents will continue their campaign. We pledge our energies to its permanent defeat.
Representatives of the National Council of Catholic Women have appeared before committees of the Congress to voice their opposition.
We feel, therefore, that it is not necsessary at this time to go into a lengthy statement of the reasons for our opposition. We will state merely that we oppose this proposal because we feel that its basic philosophy is repugnant to the natural law and the teachings of Christianity. As children of God men and women are absolutely equal, but the characteristic qualities, physical and spiritual, which divide, the two sexes are so obvious to all that we cannot overlook their significance in social relations. Insofar as these social relations are touched by the law, difference of treatment is necessary in many instances.
For instance the husband and father is required by the law in all jurisdictions to support his wife and children. The obligation placed on the wife and mother is of a different type. This is an instance where the law definitely provides for other than equality of rights. Such legislation implements the natural law and the teachings of Christianity in respect to the family. The status of the family as a social unit, antedating the state and separate from it, would be endangered under the equal-rights amendment. The law would no longer recognize those mutual rights and obligations which subsist between husband and wife, father, mother and children. Instead the family would be, before the law, merely a collection of individuals who accidently happen to be living under one roof.
The industrial world as a field abounding in instances which support our premise. There are statutes which restrict the number of hours a woman may work per working day, others which prohibit employment of women in certain types of industry, for instance coal mining. It is believed that such statutes would be doomed by the equal-rights amendment. These statutes protect women, not against themselves, but against those who would take advantage of economic circumstances under the guise of freedom of contract, or if you will, equality of rights.
On September 28, 1945, Dr. Elizabeth Morrissy, chairman of the committee on social action of the National Council of Catholic Women, presented a statement to a subcommittee on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was holding a hearing on the equal-rights amendment. Quoting briefly from her statement: There is no realism in refusing to face the fact that men are men and women
No amount of legislation and no number of constitutional amendments can alter that fact. To talk about equality without limiting the word is futile. Equality does not mean identity. To refuse protective legislation to women on the shallow argument that it labels them as inferior is simply a blind refusal to recognize basic differences. Yet we know that man's law cannot with impunity challenge or deny nature's law.
We might go on at greater length but we feel that our position has been made clear so often that repetition would serve no good purpose.
We recognize that there are discriminations in the law whereby women suffer injustice. However, we feel that this proposed amendment is not the remedy. In a separate statement, filed with this subcommittee, we have endorsed the principle embodied in H. R. 2007, which would establish a commission to study the problems with the objective of obtaining abrogation of all discriminatory laws "except such as are reasonably justified by differences in physical structure, biological, or social function.” We consider H. R. 2007 to indicate a proper approach to the problem.
(The list referred to is as follows:)
LIST OF ARCHDIOCESAN AND DIOCESAN COUNCILS OF CATHOLIC WOMEN AFFILIATED
With NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CATHOLIC WOMEN
Albany, N. Y.
Grand Island, Nebr.
Portland, Maine. Great Falls, Mont.
Portland, Oreg. Green Bay, Wis.
Providence, R. I. Harrisburg, Pa.
Pueblo, Colo. Hartford, Conn.
Reno, Nev. Helena, Mont.
Richmond, Va. Indianapolis, Ind.
Rochester, N. Y. Kansas City, Mo.
Sacramento, Calif. Kansas City, Kans.
St. Augustine, Fla. La Crosse, Wis.
St. Louis, Mo. Lafayette, Ind.
St. Paul, Minn. La Fayette, La.
San Antonio, Tex. Lincoln, Nebr.
San Diego, Calif. Little Rock, Ark.
San Francisco, Calif. Los Angeles, Calif.
Salt Lake City, Utah. Milwaukee, Wis.
Santa Fe, N. Mex. Mobile, Ala.
Savannah-Atlanta, Ga. Monterey-Fresno, Calif.
Scranton, Pa. Nashville, Tenn.
Seattle, Wash. Natchez, Miss.
Spokane, Wash. New Orleans, La.
Springfield, III. Oklahoma City-Tulsa, Okla.
Toledo, Ohio. Omaha, Nebr.
Trenton, N. J. Paterson, N. J.
Wheeling, W. Va. Peoria, Ill.
Winona, Minn. Pittsburgh, Pa.
Youngstown, Ohio. NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AFFILIATED WITH THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CATHOLIC
American Lithuanian Roman Catholic Federation.
Mr. STONE. I would like to call next on Mrs. Sarah V. Sollars, of Cleveland, Ohio. She is an unemployed postal clerk and I would like to have her testify at this time.
STATEMENT OF MRS. SARAH V. SOLLARS, CLEVELAND, OHIO
Mrs. SOLLARS. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Mrs. Sarah V. Sollars and I am representing 27 Cleveland women, all formerly employed by the Cleveland post office, but now denied employment because of sex discrimination in its employment practices and, as specifically provided in section 4, subsection (a), will require the departments to establish their rules of employment in line with the declared policy. We believe you will understand the pressing need for this bill when we tell you of the experience of the