Two Paths to Equality: Alice Paul and Ethel M. Smith in the ERA Debate, 1921-1929
In Two Paths to Equality, Amy E. Butler provides a fascinating portrait of two of the major adversaries in the 1920s’ battle over equal rights legislation for women in the United States—Alice Paul and Ethel M. Smith. While they shared the goal of full political and legal equality for women, they differed on how best to achieve it. Paul, the author of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and leader of the National Woman’s Party, fought to establish that women were the same as men under the law. Smith, legislative secretary of the National Women’s Trade Union League and a recognized leader of the opposition to the ERA, believed the ERA did not adequately consider the impact of class and economic differences in women’s lives and consequently would sacrifice the interests of one group of women to another. Smith and Paul’s conflict is a telling story of the inextricable relationship between personal politics, collective action, and the intersection of law and culture on the social construction of gender. Comparing their perspectives on equality creates a new understanding of the people and issues at stake in the ERA debate.
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Adkins agenda Agnes Nestor Albert Levitt Alice Paul Alice to Mamma amendment American Anna Howard Shaw argued believed campaign civil service conference Congress Congressional Committee convention created debate December discrimination economic emphasized Equal Rights Amendment Ethel Smith Federal Employee Felix Frankfurter Florence Kelley folder 29 gender Gompers History industrial interests issues January June Labor Bulletin labor movement leadership Mabel Vernon Margaret Dreier Robins Mary Anderson ment militant Minimum Wage Minimum Wage Board minimum-wage law National Woman's Party NAWSA NFFE November NWP's NWPP opportunity Pankhurst participants Paul and Smith Paul's protect Reclassification reel 16 reel 32 reform Roscoe Pound salary September social suffrage movement suffragettes suffragists Tacie tion told Trade Union Trade Union League wage law wage-earning women Washington WJCC Woman Suffrage women workers Women's Bureau women's equality women's labor laws women's organizations Women's Trade Union Woodbrooke WSPU WTUL WTUL's York