The Equal Rights Amendment in the Age of #MeToo

DePaul Journal for Social Justice, Vol. 13, Iss. 1 [2020], Art. 4

35 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2023

See all articles by Deborah Machalow

Deborah Machalow

University of Toledo - College of Law; Independent

Date Written: January 2020


Efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment stalled in the late 1970s and the congressionally-proposed ratification deadline lapsed in 1982 with only 35 state ratifications. More recently, Nevada and Illinois became the 36th and 37th ratifiers, while Virginia, Arizona and Georgia are considering ratification. The renewed interest in the ERA stems in large part from the #MeToo Movement, which has brought women’s day-to-day lived experiences to the forefront of public discourse, as well as societal changes over the past four decades that have reshaped American society. These societal changes have mooted many of the STOP ERA movement’s concerns.

Should another state ratify, Congress will have to decide whether these belated ratifications are timely, as well as whether the five purported rescissions are valid. Because of these legitimacy concerns, Congress should restart the ratification process, but instead of using the version of the ERA approved in 1972 Congress should rely on the language proposed by Representative Maloney in 2013, which provides that “[w]omen shall have equal rights in the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Naming women explicitly in the Constitution for the first time would reflect women’s prominence in society and provide additional protections and routes to equality.

Keywords: Equal Rights Amendment, #MeToo

Suggested Citation

Machalow, Deborah, The Equal Rights Amendment in the Age of #MeToo (January 2020). DePaul Journal for Social Justice, Vol. 13, Iss. 1 [2020], Art. 4, Available at SSRN:

Deborah Machalow (Contact Author)

University of Toledo - College of Law ( email )

2801 W. Bancroft Street
Toledo, OH 43606
United States

Independent ( email )

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