Two Paths to Equality: Alice Paul and Ethel M. Smith in the ERA Debate, 1921-1929

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SUNY Press, Apr 11, 2002 - History - 167 pages
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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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To the Victor Belong the Spoils The Merits of a Combined Suffrage and Labor Agenda 18771920
From Charity Organization to Militant Protest Alice Pauls Rise to Prominence 18851920
Some Group of Women Must Keep on Developing the Power of Women As a Class The National Woman s Party 19211923
Womens Biggest Battle Is Yet to Be Fought Ethel M Smith and the Womens Trade Union League 19211923
The ERA v Womens Minimum Wage The Legal Debate Between Paul and Smith 19211925
Two Paths to Equality The Difference It Makes

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About the author (2002)

Amy E. Butler is an independent scholar who resides in Washington, D.C. and a former member of the National Woman's Party Board of Directors.

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