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Setting the Clock Back

In March of this year the United States Senate surprised virtually everyone by unanimously approving a measure to make Daylight Savings Time year-round so we wouldn’t have to set the clocks back in the fall. Of course, then the measure went to the House of Mispresentation where it sits with the dust bunnies under the members’ seats. I was pretty sure this measure would fail in the House since the House (and several other branches of government) seems to be intent on turning back the historical clock as far and as quickly as possible.

The most prominent example of clock turning today is the effort to set the clock back to 1973 to abolish Roe v. Wade. Several states, including Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma and my new home state of Florida (state flag: Trump MAGA, state embarrassment: Sen. Rick Scott; state lap dogs: Republican legislators) have passed legislation severely restricting a woman’s right to abortion. On January 22, 1973 the Supreme Court enacted Roe on a 7-2 vote. Nice to know nothing is permanent.

Florida is also edging closer to trouble with the 1972 Title IX of the Education Amendments and the 1964 Civil Rights Act Title VII by passing the “Don’t Say Gay” bill which prohibits discussion of gender and sexuality in grades K-3. You may be surprised, as most of the Florida teachers were, to find that teachers regularly discuss this topic with six-year-olds. But just in case some “liberal” child mentioned that they had “two mommies”, Florida has passed legislation to address this horrific act and assure continued media attention for Presidential Very Very Hopeful DeSantis.

Let’s spin back to those heady days prior to 1974 when most women could obtain credit cards only with the signature of a husband or father. Women were regularly asked by those companies if they planned to have children, although on the plus side, it doesn’t appear that a vaginal exam was required. In 1974, the Senate passed the Equal Credit Opportunity Act which prohibited discrimination based on gender, race and national origin. Now we lucky women can get credit cards with a 29.9% annual interest rate, just like the guys. The Senate gives, the Senate can take away.

In 1972 the Senate passed the Equal Rights Amendment which basically said that gender discrimination was prohibited in general and wouldn’t have to be specifically mentioned in bills like the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (above). It needed 38 states to ratify and the ratification was to be complete by 1982. Well, Virginia ratified in 2020 and the ERA is still not in the Constitution. Thank you Phyllis Schlafly!

I never thought I’d be nostalgic for the 1970’s but from my point of view, the Republicans who controlled everything until Carter was elected in 1976 (a strong recommendation for Republicans btw) seem pretty reasonable. Sad to say, they’d all be considered RINOs now.

Into the Way-Back machine with Professor Peabody and Felix (look it up) to August 18, 1920, when women were “given” the vote with the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment. Side note: Wyoming was the first state giving women the vote in 1869. Since Liz Cheney is currently their elected Representative, Wyoming may be reconsidering.

Speeding up now: Tune back to 1916 when Margaret Sanger founded the first birth control clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Of course, birth control was illegal so she was forced to close after being raided multiple times. She founded the movement that eventually became Planned Parenthood, which is again under attack in various states. Since parts of Europe are again fighting in the trenches ala WWI, 1916 doesn't seem so far away.

Finally, let’s not forget Abigail Adams who in 1776 implored her husband to “remember the ladies” when envisioning a government for the Colonies. We aren’t at the begging stage yet, but it looks closer every day.

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