The Equal Opportunities Movement Orla McNulty and Cassie Walker The Equal Rights Ammendment * Alice Paul believed freedom from legal sex discrimination required an Equal Rights Amendment that ensured the equal application of the Constitution to all citizens. In 1923 she introduced the “Lucretia Mott Amendment,” which read: “Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction. ” It was introduced in every session of Congress until it passed in reworded form in 1972. The Equal Rights Amendment was reintroduced in Congress on July 14, 1982 and has been before every session of Congress since. * An alternative strategy for its ratification has arisen from the “Madison Amendment,” concerning changes in Congressional pay, which was passed by Congress in 1789 and finally ratified in 1992 as the 27th Amendment to the Constitution. Equal Opportunities in the Workplace (Late 1980’s – 1990’s) * The Equal Pay Act of 1963: It states men and women who perform substantially similar work must receive equal pay.

It also enforces federal minimum wage laws for all workers regardless of gender. * The Civil Rights Act of 1964: It states that employers may not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion or national origin. Though celebrated for its impact on African-American workers, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is also significant in the history of women’s rights. * The Civil Rights Act of 1991: It specifies that women who face job-related discrimination are entitled to monetary damages.

Women who observe discriminatory behaviour can consult with lawyers, including civil rights advocates who offer free advice and may even take a case and charge small or no legal fees. However, equal rights for women in the workplace does not eliminate the reality of merit-based pay and variable pay scales for workers based on seniority and job effectiveness. Women are simply entitled to the same treatment within a business’s pay system as their male counterparts. The Tailhook Scandal * The Tailhook scandal refers to a series of incidents where more than 100 U. S.

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Navy and United States Marine Corps aviation officers were alleged to have sexually assaulted at least 83 women and 7 men, or otherwise engaged in “improper and indecent” conduct at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas, Nevada. The events took place at the 35th Annual Tailhook Association Symposium from September 8–12, 1991. The term can also refer to the resulting investigations conducted by the Department of the Navy and the Inspector General of the Department of Defense. * It was the largest such meeting yet held, with some 4,000 attendees: active, reserve, and retired personnel. As a result of the subsequent investigations, a number of officers were formally disciplined or refused advancement in rank. Controversially, military officers and observers have alleged that flag officers attending the symposium were not held accountable for knowingly allowing the behavior in question to occur. Military critics claimed that the scandal highlighted a hostile attitude in US military culture towards women in the areas of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and equal treatment of women in career advancement and opportunity. Several participants later stated that a number of flag officers attending the meetings were aware of the sexual assaults, but did nothing to stop them. On October 29, 1991, the Department of the Navy terminated all ties to the Tailhook Association. Ties were not restored with the navy until January 19, 1999. * Assistant Secretary of the Navy Barbara S. Pope refused to accept the results of this investigation, especially after Rear Admiral Williams made sexist remarks in Pope’s presence, most notably a comment that he believed that “a lot of female Navy pilots are go-go dancers, topless dancers or hookers”.

When Admiral Williams issued his final report, finding that no senior Navy officials bore responsibility for what occurred in Las Vegas, Pope went to United States Secretary of the Navy Henry L. Garrett III and told him that she would resign if the United States Department of the Navy did not “do another report and look at what we needed to do about accountability and responsibility and the larger issues at hand. “ Garrett agreed with Pope, and a further investigation was conducted. Ultimately the careers of fourteen admirals and almost 300 naval aviators were scuttled or damaged by Tailhook. The event also attracted widespread public attention because it highlighted gender issues in the U. S. Navy and Marines, and it raised questions about the efficacy of the U. S. military justice system. Contextual Links * The Tailhook Scandal was a case that heavily dealt with the sexual harassment of at least 83 women and 7 men. This links with ‘Oleanna’ due to the fact that John touches Carol’s shoulders on several occasions asking her to sit down or to stay on in the office. Later, Carol writes a letter of complaint against her professor alleging that John is lewd and sexist. She claims that his intention was not good when he touched her shoulder. She believed it was a case of sexual harassment. * Particularly in the first act of ‘Oleanna’, there are many occasions where John tries to act in authority of Carol and it is presented that they are not completely equal. * Carol: No, no… John: … Certain arbitrary… Carol: No. You have to help me. John: Certain institutional… You tell me what you want me to do… You tell me what you want me to… John constantly interrupting Carol, which is show by ellipsis, suggests that he is trying to exert power by mainly speaking and talking over her. His wide use of vocabulary, such as ‘arbitrary’, also shows this – it could suggest John is trying to show he is smarter and therefore not equal. * John: I’ll tell you why: you’re an incredibly bright girl. * John uses the word ‘girl’ instead of woman, which is what Carol is seen as she is an university student. This could be seen as John trying to belittle Carol and that he is of higher authority than her.


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