ERA YES Pins: Fashionable (and Feminist) as Ever

The audience was awash in a sea of “suffragette white” during President Trump’s State of the Union Address last week—with a sprinkle of “equal rights green.” 

The ERA Coalition, Feminist Majority and Rethinking Eve distributed iconic ERA YES pins to members of the House Democratic Working Group on Women to amplify the Congressional tribute to early 20th American century suffragists, many of whom would go on to become staunch advocates for the Equal Rights Amendment. (Notable suffrage leader Alice Paul, who led a hunger strike for suffrage while being jailed for her activism, wrote the legislation.) 

“It’s very exciting to see these buttons on the floor of the House,” Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, told Ms. “The drum is beating, and it’s only getting louder.”

That sentiment was shared by feminists across the Internet when the women of the 116th Congress took to the House Floor with their pins in tow.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtjHzqgAAeM/

Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Jackie Speier were among the lawmakers distributing the pins to their peers—and their legacies as lawmakers will undoubtedly lie in their persistent fight for women’s constitutional equality. Maloney and Speier have long led the fight for the ERA in Congress, and last month introduced legislation to both remove the 1982 ratification deadline imposed on efforts to pass the ERA and restart the ratification process.

The ERA was passed by Congress in 1972, and the 10-year push for ratification that followed ultimately came three states short before the deadline imposed by lawmakers. The fight, however, went on—and in the last two years, Nevada and Illinois voted to ratify the amendment.

The ERA is now just one state short of ratification—and back at the forefront of the fight for women’s equality. Snag your own ERA YES pins from the Feminist Majority Foundation store today to join the fight (and accessorize that all-white pantsuit).

ms-headshotLauren Young is a Ms. contributor. She has a Master’s Degree in European and Russian Studies from Yale University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and Russian Civilization from Smith College. Follow her on @thatlaurenyoung.

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