Open Letter To MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow And Ed Schultz


— by Kimberley Johnsonaarom1

The three of you are the big MSNBC liberal spokespeople. You have powerful positions. You are admired and influential.

Ever since the Republican Party started going medieval on women’s rights, I have seen it covered in the media and on MSNBC. Outrage is expressed when it works for the segment but all in all, it’s not been properly reported on. Why? Because not enough women know about the War On Women and no real solution is provided. There is something that will make a huge difference and though it’s not an absolute solution, it would make an enormous and positive difference in women’s issues. The Equal Rights Amendment. It needs to be broken down in the simplest terms and sadly, I see no one person with major influence taking the problem to everyday women and breaking it down. If this were to happen, we would see swifter change.

Approximately 70% of women in this country don’t even know the ERA never passed. Someone who is influential in the mainstream media needs to address this.

Recently, a White House petition received the required signatures for the ERA to be ratified. This means the President must address it. I have not heard him do so. Rachel Maddow was Twitterbombed with tweets begging her to spread the word. Nothing.

Why would a Rhodes Scholar, who happens to be a lesbian and a champion for women, ignore the ERA? If I were Rachel Maddow, I would be on TV with a bullhorn demanding action NOW. But Maddow doesn’t address it and a Google search resulted in only one story by Maddow in 2011.  The same search showed zero results for Lawrence O’Donnell and Ed Schultz. No one is addressing the ERA now.

Why?

Feminism still carries a negative connotation. The women who don’t shave their legs and run naked through the streets in protest come to mind. Those women who take on the name ‘slut’ because they are SICK TO DEATH of not being equal and wanting choice and available, affordable birth control, are not wrapped up in a shiny, pretty media packages. Feminists are too often portrayed as angry and don’t make for appealing journalism unless there is a bill or legislation attached—and the guests on these shows talking about women’s rights are professional pundits, not everyday women who are working on passing the ERA. The idea of equality in the Constitution is largely ignored. Perhaps this is why we get angry.

Women dropped the ball in1972. We failed to get the ERA ratified, thanks in part to the lies anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly told in her successful campaign to stop the ERA. We did see progress in the following decades but we forgot about our mission and got lazy. 2011 changed all of that and our rights are under attack. Thousands, maybe even millions of women realize that it’s now time take the necessary action and are currently working  to make it happen.

The ERA also brings to mind the protests. Eww, yucky women’s protests that no one in the media EVER wants to cover. Women dress up like vaginas and make demands! That’s not very ladylike or classy and does not fall into the purview of how women ‘should’ act. Women should be graceful and know their place—right? Even liberals are guilty of expecting this behavior. We are also guilty of arguing amongst ourselves about the how of it, and the action falls by the wayside.

We rarely hear about the struggles women have gone through so that women today have the right to vote, the ability to be financially independent, go to college and earn degrees. Women didn’t used have these rights, and in order to achieve these rights we were forced to ‘get ugly.’

Alice Paul dedicated her life so that women have the right to vote, along with Lucy Burns, Susan B. Anthony and many other feminists. If we take a clue from herstory, we see that being ignored didn’t stop these women. Angry mobs didn’t stop them. Being falsely accused and arrested didn’t stop them. Being forced to wear a straightjacket, strapped down and force-fed raw eggs until vomiting blood didn’t stop them and neither did violence, solitary confinement and public ridicule.

The lesson here is that you can continue to ignore the bigger picture when it pertains to women’s rights, but women are not going to stop. I hope that no woman has to ever endure the atrocities inflicted upon our foremothers, but I believe that we will do whatever it takes, even at the risk of being ‘angry.’ The media can help things move along. The question is, will you?

Equal rights takes nothing away from anyone. It only adds to the freedom everyone should have. Someone on television needs to explain why the 14th Amendment isn’t enough. It needs to be explained that black suffrage and women’s suffrage were the 15th and 19th Amendments, and the 14th does not guarantee equality under the law.

Unitewomen.org. Feminist Majority. ERA Action Commitees.  Me. All of us would be willing and grateful to appear on your show to enlighten viewers on action they can take right now. These groups are working very hard and need exposure to hasten progress. We promise to keep our clothes on and we won’t say vagina. I’ll even shave my legs.

Will you talk about this? Or will you continue to ignore it?


Re-published with permission —Original post found at
Liberals Unite

Kimberley A. Johnson – A.K.A. The Anti Coulter is the author of The Virgin Diaries and an activist for women’s rights. Like her on Facebook, Twitter or friend her on FB HERE. Check out her campaign to raise money for her next book on Women’s Rights and The Importance Of Voting.

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