We may be human, but we are not persons under the United States Constitution, according to that militantly anti-female Justice, Anton Scalia. The Fourteenth Amendment defines as “citizens” all persons born in the United States, but Scalia says women are not included in the intent of the text and the amendment does not protect us or our rights.
Here’s the text:”All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
If we are not persons under this Amendment, we do not have the right to the equal protection of the laws. Period. We are back to where we were thirty years ago when we tried to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, because each state had its own set of laws defining women’s rights, or the lack thereof, and Scalia is happy to see us struggle state by state to try to establish our rights.
Scalia’s statement foreshadows his decision to back Wal-Mart against the million plus women suing the mega-corp for back pay. It also underscores his frequently articulated opposition to abortion and reproductive rights for women. We aren’t persons, we are therefore not citizens with full rights, we are merely the possessors of ovaries and uteri.
I am angry but I also feel helpless. If anyone out there reading this has suggestions for action, PLEASE write in!