Two Paths to Equality

Alice Paul and Ethel M. Smith in the ERA Debate, 1921-1929

Amy E. Butler
eISBN-13: 9780791488874

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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.

ISBNs 9780791453209, 079148887X, 9780791488874
Language English