Instructions [EXTRA CREDIT OPPORUNITY]: You can earn up to 5 points total by completing this assignment. The extra credit points will be given based on the overall quality and strength of your analysis. You are expected to use the analytical and critical thinking skills that you have been working to improve through the last few primary source analyses.
- It is due 5/21 by 11:59pm.
- It will NOT be open for late submissions. Extra-credit opportunities are exempt from the late-work policy. Any extra-credit must be submitted by the due date or it will not be graded.
Read the primary source provided and answer the following questions at the bottom. The length of your analysis should be at least a paragraph or more. These assignments should not be answered in only 3-4 sentences. An excellent analysis will be thorough and detailed, providing a lot of in-depth discussion. Use complete sentences and check your grammar/spelling. Submit your answer as a text entry or as a separate file, saved as a word document or PDF. The grading rubric is posted at the bottom of this assignment page.
What does it mean to analyze and interpret a source?
When you are analyzing a text, you are breaking it down into parts to understand it. You then interpret each part by explaining it in your own words. You look at what it is, what the author meant, who the intended audience is, how ongoing events during that time affected the author’s argument, and why it is significant. As a result, you are doing more than just directly answering the question below.
Brochure on the Equal Rights Amendment (1970s)
First proposed in the 1920s, the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution was resurrected in the 1970s as an outgrowth of the second wave of feminism. Its language was brief: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” But its implications were anything but simple. It quickly won approval by Congress, but as states debated ratification it aroused a growing storm of protest from conservatives who claimed it would undermine women’s traditional roles as mothers, wives, and homemakers. The National Organization for Women, founded in the 1960s to promote women’s equality, led the campaign for approval, but the amendment failed to gain ratification by the required number of states. In this brochure, the Philadelphia chapter of NOW details the gender inequalities that persisted and outlined what it hoped the ERA would accomplish.
Did You Know . . .
- Under the U.S. Constitution corporations are considered legal persons, but women are not
- Women earn on an average 41% less than men
- A man with an 8th grade education earns as much as a woman with a college degree
- Women and men do not receive the same benefits under Social Security, although they contribute the same percentage of their income
- “Equal pay for Equal Work” is based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act which can be reversed by Congress
- If a man dies, his widow pays a large tax; if a woman dies her widower pays substantially less
- A husband controls his wife’s use of “his” credit cards; a wife cannot establish credit in her name
- Insurance rates are higher for women than for men; loans for house payments, etc. are more difficult for women to obtain than men
- The military has higher entrance requirements for women, but significantly fewer benefits and opportunities
- During probate, a joint bank account is considered to be solely the property of the husband
- Women receive longer jail sentences than men for the same crime
- Unemployment is twice as high for women as for men
- There are over 1,795 laws which discriminate against women
The ERA Will . . .
- Declare women full persons under the law
- Outlaw discrimination on the basis of sex, establishing constitutionally the legal right of “equal pay for equal work”
- Provide equal Social Security benefits for women and men at the same retirement age; widowers will receive the same benefits now only received by widows
- Recognize a housewife’s contribution as a financial resource to the home by not taxing her half of the estate when her husband dies
- Give married women the right to establish credit, own businesses, buy and control property, and sign contracts
- Equalize military entrance standards; make military women eligible for equal benefits and opportunities
- Extend alimony and child support responsibilities to members of either sex, depending on need and ability to pay
- Establish equal rights for both parties holding joint husband/wife bank accounts during probate
- Mandate “equal time for equal crime”
- Strike down laws which restrict rights. If a law protects rights, it will be extended to the other sex
Analyze and interpret the document to answer the following questions:
- What kinds of inequality seem to concern NOW the most?
- How does the brochure seem to define freedom for women?
- Who were the target audience for this brochure?
TIP: When analyzing a primary source document, consider who, what, when, and why. For example, how does location, current events (of the period), and who the author is play a role in the author’s intent/message? Remember that you are not just answering the question, you are also breaking down parts of the source to analyze and interpret the author’s message.
A successful and strong analysis will provide evidence (specific example from the text/quote) to help explain and support the interpretation. However, do not let the quotes overshadow your own analysis.