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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 17, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Gender-neutral legislation

Old beliefs run deep

Since I went through the actual woman’s movement in the ’60s and ’70s, I am not surprised at the opposition to using gender-neutral titles in our state statutes [“Man, what an overreaction,” Opinion, May 15].

Men run the world and the chasm between the world of men and women is still very wide. I sat on the superintendent of public instruction’s women’s commission in those days and we went through all the state laws and made suggestions to eliminate sexism. But even in those days, we could not change the timeworn sexism of titles.

Many years ago, Congressmember Jim McDermott said to me that he would accept the title congressmember but his own staff would not change to that title in his stationery. His title is still congressman in all his literature.

Old beliefs run deep. Women may have made some gains, but the basic dominance of men in our culture is strong. Case in point: the millions of dollars that are being thrown around to entice a male basketball team to move to Seattle and talk of a new basketball arena even before there is a team on board.

It is overwhelming that whatever men want, men get. Things haven’t changed that much after all.

Last fall was the 40th anniversary of our state Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) legislation. There was no great celebration about it in an era of male-oriented activities in our culture.

Some people still think that the federal ERA was ratified. It was not. Only 35 of the 38 states needed for ratification came through. Corporations are now people, but women are still not equal beings under our federal constitution. What’s new?

Georgie Bright Kunkel, former president, National Organization for Women- Washington chapter, Seattle

0 Comments | Topics: gender equality, gender neutral laws

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