What’s their real end game, then? To the extent that their campaign has any grounding in reality, it’s tied to the #MeToo movement, which revealed systemic sexual misconduct against American women in a number of industries. The ERA, though, wouldn’t address this problem in any meaningful way that hasn’t already been attempted through force of law. The horror stories that have emerged stemmed almost entirely from cultural rot and societal dysfunction, not from the fact that the U.S. Constitution has no Equal Rights Amendment.
This unconscionable treatment of women occurred not in the absence of legal protections but in a cultural climate in which powerful men felt entitled to coerce or harass or assault subordinate women. Those men faced no consequences not because there was no law against what they did but because those who knew about the abuse remained silent and turned a blind eye — until now.
The idea that such a culture would necessarily be transformed by a constitutional amendment restating legal rights women already possess places an absurd amount of faith in the notion that cultural problems can be corrected by legal means. If influential men have, until yesterday, gotten away with using their power to prey on women — despite the fact that laws existed to punish them — why would one more legal mechanism condemning unequal treatment change their behavior? It is the cultural view that must change, not the law.