On March 8th, I got on the bus to Springfield to be part of the ERA rally. The U.S. Constitution doesn’t explicitly give rights to women. Only in the case of the 19th amendment women have the right to vote. The ERA first passed the U.S. Congress in 1977 with a 1979 deadline for 38 states to ratify. Later this was extended to 1982.
It was a hot day at Springfield, IL. I stood in the back of the rally. I wanted to absorb the feelings around me. I sketched with my pens and fountain pens. I was ready with my watercolors. I listened to the songs and the speeches. I wrote down what resonated with me.
The atmosphere yesterday was hopeful, but also dejected. Hopeful, that we will be part of history and IL will be the 37th state. Dejected because most people at the rally fought for this for many years ago. Dejected because some think it was a waste of time because we are still fighting this.
I do not know what the outcome will be. I do know that I can thank the many people before me that fought for this. That's why we only needed two more states to support the ERA. For that I'm grateful. For that I'm optimistic.
As a parent, I want to leave the world a little bit better for my kids. I won't be able to win all the battles. I face sexism, racism, harassment. I know people before me had it even worse. I know I alone can not fix everything. Maybe I will be the one that will feel hopeless many decades from now. If I can no longer fight, I hope my daughters will take over the reigns. Perhaps my future grandkids will too.