Lapas attēli

ascertaining the future financial status of the spouses so that the State will not be burdened with support.

Subsidies and gratuities are necessarily class legislation and will not be affected by the equal-rights amendment. Veterans and maternity benefits are examples of subsidies and gratuities. The only requirement is that they extend to all members of the class benefited. The present maternity legislation is an excellent example of nondiscriminatory legislation. Although it applies to mothers as a class, it is for the benefit of children and any man can qualify under the act for benefits for the child, provided the mother is dead or legally incompetent and the man stands in relation of the mother to the child.

The equal-rights amendment will wipe out all wage-hour labor laws that are applicable to men solely or to women solely. The class to be protected is employees and the law must apply to all members alike. To exclude men or women makes the legislation discriminatory because both preferential and projudicial. In any event, such discriminatory laws are not consistent with and do not promote the public interest. They fail to serve the purpose for which they are intended, which is to maintain normal social and economic conditions and protect the free flow of commerce. They must serve the purpose of both the welfare and commerce of the State. If limited only to the so-called protection of the health of certain individuals, they do not benefit the people P3 a whole.

The only actual obstruction to women getting civil rights is the existence of the master-servant family rule of law. Men want to be masters. They do not agree with Lincoln, who said, “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.” Men through the use of laws have placed themselves upon a legal pedestal They have been unwilling to date to surrender their legal and economic ownership of women and their monopolistic ownership and control of citizenship rights.

It is not true that if wives were taken out from the individual control by men and placed under Federal and State governmental protection that husbands would not be able to protect wives. The States should never have delegated their powers of control to husbands. So long as the States have the power to vest men with management and control of women so long will women be considered something less than persons and citizens. Wives should have the right to voluntarily vest their husbands with management and control if they so desire but this they are not free to do when the law does it for them. Possession of the right to make volun. tary decisions evidences a free person and lack of the right evidences slavery.

Under the master-servant family rule of law no married woman can vote except with the implieri or express consent of her husband. The manner and form she exercises her franchise rights under the suffrage amendment is under the husband's management and control which extends to her as a person and is absolute. His discretion will not be interferred with by the courts.

Equality of rights without discrimination means freedom unhampered by the management and control of another person.

The term "rights" in the amendment includes freedom of speech and religion ; equal protection of the law; the right not to be deprived of life, liberty, and property without due process of law; and, in particular, the right to be free from conditions of servitude.

Women have none of these freedoms as inherent rights. The only inherent right which is recognized in them is the right to vote and that is subject to control by their masters if they are married women.

They do not have freedom of speech because they are subject to the common law offense of being common scolds. This common-law offense is applicable only to women and not to men and can be wiped out only by a constitutional amendment.

Nothing short of a constitutional amendment will ever emancipate women and vest them with civil rights.

The purpose of the third paragraph of the text of the equal-rights amendment which provides that the amendment shall take effect 3 years after date of ratifcation is to permit the States to first emancipate women so that they can be recognized under the Constitution is free, independent, and responsible persons and citizens. It is to be remembered that the racial slaves were first emancipated before recognition under the Constitution.

There is no basis for denying women civil-rights protection on the grounds that they do not perform services for the Government on the same basis as men.

Government requires three types of compulsory services from the people and these are military and jury service and financial support of the Government in form of taxes.

The States transferred the power to defend the country to the United States. There is no constitutional or statutory law depriving women of the right to eligibility for military service or restricting such service to men. No man or woman can compel selection because the right to selection is vested in the United States. It is not the lack of selection but the deprivation of eligibility that discriminates and degrades the person or class so deprived. Women are not deprived of eligibility for compulsory military service and the lack of selection is a matter over which they have no control. They have performed satisfactory military service on a voluntary basis. Withholding of civil rights for any lack of military service would not be justified any more than women would be justified in withholding tax payments proportionately with the civil-rights protection the Government fails to give.

Unlike military service women consistently have been deprived of eligibility for jury service. There is no constitutional compulsion on either the United States or the States requiring eligibility notwithstanding exclusion from eligibility so degrades their status that no woman can get a fair trial before a jury so constituted because the exclusion in itself evidences such prejudice that they do not receive fair consideration. Exclusion deprives them of life, liberty, and property without due process of law and is a denial of equal protection of the law. The practice in the Federal is required to conform to practice in the State courts. Only about seven States now deprive women of eligibility. So long as the States have the power to exclude or include as a special privilege to women they will never be vested with eligibility as an inherent right. Their exclusion is due entirely to the master-slave marital rule of law and their inclusion is only a modification of man's power of control. No man or woman can compel selection because the right to select is vested in government but men and women are entitled to eligibility to assure due process and equal protection. Performance of jury service involves both responsibilities and duties.

The United States and the States have never deprived women of eligibility for payment of taxes on an equal basis with men. In recent years the theory of economic ownership has led to a different policy with respect to family income, gifts, and estates for Federal tax purposes. This theory takes the master-slave marital rule of law into consideration and holds that the person who derives the economic benefit by reason of powers of management and control over property and income is the taxable owner. It is probably only in these Federal tax opinions that we find a discussion of the rights of the spouses while the marriage is on a going basis. These opinions probably show that the privilege of splitting family income was erroneously extended to the community-property States in the first place and that it should be withdrawn. In lieu thereof, however, Congress now proposes to extend the privilege to the common-law States. If the equal-rights amendment were a part of the Constitution then the master-slave marital relation would be changed into one of equal partnership and the splitting of family income on an equal partnership basis for Federal tax purposes would be compulsory in both community and common-law States.

We object to Congress recognizing the master-slave marital relation as an equal partnership for the limited purpose of imposing Federal taxes without giving the States an opportunity to ratify the equal-rights amendment and justify the tax treatment by an actual change of the master-slave marriage laws into equal partnership marriage laws. Changing the criteria for taxes without submitting the amendment ignores the endowment of women with civil rights.

We take this opportunity to state that we oppose any proposed amendment or statutory law that is inconsistent or in conflict with the equal-rights amendment. We particularly oppose the appointment of a commission to study the biological distinctions and functions of the male and female. Such an appointment would be the entering wedge for legislation authorizing gas chambers and sterlization for those persons Government deems biologically and socially unfit for reproduction.

The purpose and intent of the equal-rights amendment is to correct a constitutional defect in the body of the law. To determine the nature of the defect it is necessary to examine the body of the law consisting of the constitutional, statutory, common, and case law. An examination of the equal-rights amendment will show clearly that its operation on the body of the law will cure the constitutional defect and enable the law to function normally.


OF THE NATIONAL WOMAN'S PARTY If we Americans really want an enduring peace for the world, we must make every effort toward the only true source of public peace that has ever existed ; justice under law and government. We must speak up for it so our Representatives will hear and will act one by one; whoever we are and wherever we are, we must stand up and be counted.

The alternative is the catastrophic destruction of our civilization. Brotherhood is the only thing that will cement the world together.

God will not be frustrated. There will never be peace or a democracy until these injustices are corrected.

Let us support the equal-rights amendment.


Yo K CITY, REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL WOMAN'S PARTY Although I represent the National Woman's Party, a nonpartisan and nonpolitical organization, I cannot restrain pointing at least some of my remarks particularly to the Democratic members of this committee.

As a life-long and active Democrat, as a former Democratic candidate for legislative and judicial office, and as at present the chairman of the party platform committee of the Grover Cleveland Democratic Club in New York City, I take seriously the pledge that my party made to me at its 1944 national convention, when it promised to recommend to Congress the submission of a constitutional amendment on equal rights for women. I do not agree with the radio comedian who compared a political platform to a train platform. He said that both were something to get in on but not to stand on after you are in. I trust my party, and believe that its women have the right to expect that its promises will be fulfilled by their Representatives. President Roosevelt accepted the provisions of his party platform, including these planks. President Truman approved this legislation. On April 20, 1944, when he was Senator, he wrote as follows to Mrs. Emma Guffey Miller, chairman of the congressional committee of the National Woman's Party :

“Say to them that I am in sympathy with their fight for the equal-rights amendment because I think it will improve the standard of living by setting a level on wages equal for both sexes,"

After Senator Truman became President he reaffirmed this stand.

Most women are inclined to take it for granted that they share the Constitution equally with men, but this is not true. The Constitution uses the words “persons”, “people”, citizens". When our Constitution was being framed its provisions were formed in the language of the old English common law under which women were chattels with no legal rights to their property, their wages, or even to their children. In other words, the Constitution guarantees to American women only such rights as they then enjoyeol and those rights which had been expressly granted to them since that time. We feel that women should be considered "persons", "people", "citizens" under the law. To accomplish this a constitutional amendment guaranteeing equal treatment under the law regardless of sex is necessary.

The equal rights amendment will not tell any State how to write its laws, nor does it deprive any State of its exclusive dominion over local public policy. It would leave each State free to have any kind of laws it desires, provided only that it did not discriminate between the rights of men and women. Thus, one State may adopt laws that are radically different from the laws of other States, so long as such laws do not deny or abridge equality of rights on the basis of sex to the citizens of the State to which the laws apply.

The United Nations Charter, adopted at San Francisco, June 26, 1945, and ratified by the United States August 8. 1945, reflects internationally the principles of equality when it opens with the affirmation of "faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women.' The charter states that the purposes of the United Nations are "to achieve international cooperation

in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.”

It is essential that in this postwar era all efforts be made to strengthen our democracy. The equal rights amendment is a general statement of a basic


* *

principle of free government, completely in line with the requirements of a democracy which should give all its citizens equal civil, political, and economic rights. America cannot le a vigorous democracy while withholding any fraction of full equality from half of its citizens.

It is for these reasons that I respectfully ask that this committee give the amendment its serious consideration and send it on its way to Congress with a favorable report.



It is my great privilege to represent the New Jersey branch of the National Woman's Party. Mrs. Ethel Adamson is the chairman, Mrs. Mona Marran and Mrs. Georgiana Miles, vice presidents. I am secretary-treasurer and organization chairman.

New Jersey is the first State in the Union to include in its constitution the provisions that wherever the words "persons" or "people" or "he" shall occur these terms shall be interpreted to mean "he and she."

Groups of New Jersey women numbering 40,000 have endorsed and are working for the success of the equal-rights amendment and petition its adoption by the Congress. New Jersey is proud that her two great Senators and many House Members have heartily given active support to the passage by Congress of said so-called equal-rights amendment.



For many years the American Medical Women's Association has endorsed the equal-rights amendment.

During the recent war it was necessary for our organization to have special legislation in order that women doctors might be legal persons and thereby serve their country. This status, however, was not permanent, and 6 months after the war was over the women doctors became once more the same as all other women—not legal persons.

We believe that our rights must be permanently guaranteed by the Constitution the same as all male citizens of the United States.

(Whereupon, at 3:15 p. m., the committee adjourned subject to reconvening at 10 o'clock Friday, March 12, 1948.)

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »