This Picture Still Awes Me

I was born in 1968 in Detroit, Michigan and I grew up with a single mom and two sisters in San Francisco, California. My mother and her friends fought hard in the 1970s to get the Equal Rights Amendment passed, an effort that unfortunately failed. In our home, we had a powerful poster of a woman with dark black hair dressed like Uncle Sam and pointing her finger at the viewer with a simple message: ERA. I remember looking at this determined woman with awe as a child and the image is something that has followed my sisters and me into adulthood and is hung proudly in my mother’s living room in San Mateo to this day. It is an aspirational message that has yet to become a reality. When I hear the words “All men are created equal,” the inspiring words of the Declaration of Independence, the phrase now strikes me as antiquated. Language matters and leaving women’s rights out of the equation is a reflection of the lack of opportunity and protection under the law that members of our gender have experienced for centuries. It would mean a lot to my mother, my sisters, and me to finally see the ERA become part of the US Constitution so that women and men are equally recognized in the inspiring words of freedom and liberty. For us and many other women in the United States, full recognition of equal rights under the law regardless of gender has been a long time coming. I certainly hope more generations of American women do not have to wait much longer to be able to recognize themselves in the pages ofa founding document of our nation. By Amy Glover in Mexico City. Vote in Maryland. Photo of Carole Drake (76), Molly Glover Gallatin (50), and Kendall Gallatin (15) in California