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To read more about Episode 201, visit the main episode page.
Michael Moore [00:01:25] This is Rumble with Michael Moore and I am Michael Moore. Welcome, everyone. Back in February, shortly after President Biden was sworn in, I was joined on Rumble by Congresswoman Jackie Speier. She’s from California and she has been spearheading the push in Congress to finally amend the U.S. Constitution to enshrine equal rights for women. Nowhere in our Constitution do we talk about women, their equality. Doesn’t exist. We just celebrated on July 4th, the 245th of this country, and we are still having a problem saying the word women when we talk about our constitutional rights.
Michael Moore [00:02:21] Well, this struggle, which I just pointed out has been ongoing for the past century, but in the last few years, so much progress has been made. Virginia became the 38th state to sign off on the amendment in January of 2020. And the number now that’s needed to officially make it the 28th Amendment of our Constitution is 38. We got 38 states, the number needed to officially make it the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution. So right, we’re on the brink of victory. Yeah, sort of. Because the Republicans started saying, well, wait a minute, getting the 38 state, where you’re supposed to get those 38 states in a time period. Now, this isn’t true for all amendments to the Constitution, but when this was passed back in the ’70s, in order to get these Republicans to go along, they had to say, you know what, we’re just going to we have to get these 38 states in X number of years. Well, they didn’t get them in those years, but like so many other amendments, they did eventually get the number of states that were needed. And that’s a fact, but the Democrats decided, you know what, let’s just have a vote to get rid of that old deadline, then the Republicans won’t be able to say, hey, you didn’t meet the deadline.
Michael Moore [00:03:55] And then 1,000s of you called your members of Congress and called the White House to demand that they prioritize the passing of the Equal Rights Amendment. The House went ahead and passed Jackie Speier’s resolution to remove the deadline to ratify the ERA by a vote of 222-204 in the United States House of Representatives. So now we’ve got the 38 states. We’ve got the House saying, forget the old deadline. It doesn’t matter, didn’t matter in all these other amendments to the Constitution, we got the 38 states. Let’s put it in the Constitution. Oh, but wait a minute. You know, now the House has removed the deadline. The Senate’s got to remove it, too. Oh, I know, right? Yeah. So here we are. Now it’s in the Senate’s hands where SJRes.1 that’s the name of the bill, SJ.1 was introduced by a bipartisan group of senators.
Michael Moore [00:04:55] Yes, some Republicans, a few, joined on to say forget the old deadline. We got the 38 states it should be in the Constitution. But because the filibuster hasn’t been abolished yet. Joe Biden, are you listening? You’ve got to tell them this is it, we’re sick and tired of this, a majority is a majority, that’s 51 votes, 50 Democrats, plus the vice president. That’s the majority. But because this hasn’t been fixed yet, we are still trying to get now 60 votes in the Senate in order to let this now certified 38 state amendment equal rights amendment for women be put into our constitution.
Michael Moore [00:05:43] So here we are today. We are in July of 2021, and I’m not giving up on this. I told you this at the beginning of the year, one of the things I was just going to keep on keeping on is this ERA rights amendment has to be part of our Constitution. Just as women are mentioned in virtually every other democratic country in their Constitution, in the industrialized world, whatever you want to call it, women exist. And we need to do the same damn thing.
Michael Moore [00:06:13] In a moment, I’m going to be joined by a legendary and glass ceiling breaking TV journalist, Carol Jenkins, who is also the president of the ERA coalition. And she’s going to be here, right here, in just a couple of minutes to discuss with me how we, you, me, all of us got to this point. Yeah, but what we must still do in order to make equal rights for women, part of the United States Constitution. So hang on for just a couple of minutes here.
Michael Moore [00:06:48] Ok everyone, now it is time to Rumble. There’s this thing called the ERA coalition, that’s the Equal Rights Amendment Coalition, it’s made up of 150 organizations across the country. The coalition provides research, education and advocacy, and it works with both federal and state legislators in trying to get this as part of our Constitution. In the year 2020, the coalition was instrumental in the advocacy work that brought about the 38 and final state needed. That was Virginia. For ratification of the ERA amendment to be placed now in the United States Constitution. And also the coalition was active in the vote of Jackie Speier’s bill in the House last year to dissolve the time limit that had been weirdly attached to the Equal Rights Amendment back in the ’70s, saying that you had to get the states in this amount of time, the just the last amendment that got it passed, 27th Amendment that had been introduced 200 years before it was ratified, so this is not a thing that’s in the Constitution. It was a made up thing that Congress did in the ’70s. That’s the kind of semi-pickle that we’re in.
Speaker 1 [00:10:12] I just also want to say that the coalition has also continued its work in the Senate for the removal of that timeline and took a leadership role in the development of an Amicus brief supporting the attorney generals of Nevada, Illinois and Virginia in their suit to compel the archivist, that’s the guy who runs the National Archives to publish the ERA. Did I say he was a guy? Yeah, he’s a guy. Ok, no offense to him, but still dude. Well, the Trump administration forbade him from putting the ERA into the Constitution. Carol Jenkins, though, is here. She is our guest and she is the president and CEO of the ERA coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality. She’s also an author and a former Emmy Award winning journalist. How many women did you see on the evening news, if you’re my age or older? How many black women did you see reporting on the evening news? So she’s a trailblazer in her own right. She’s here to lay out the roadmap for how we, you and me, listeners of this podcast, how we make the Equal Rights Amendment, The Law of the Land in 2021. Welcome, Carol Jenkins.
Carol Jenkins [00:11:28] Michael, thank you so much. I always tell people because there are people always ask me, can you just give me the short version of the ERA? And my answer is always, there is no short version. We’ve been at this for 100 hundred years, but the way you presented it made it seem very doable. Don’t you think that we should, after 100 hundred years, be able to get this done?
Michael Moore [00:11:52] Yes, yes. Because first of all, when I was in civics class, I was taught that we have a government, a democracy that’s based on majority rule, but minority rights. And so in this case, you have both the majority rule, a majority of the country are women. There are more women than men. It’s like 51-49. Some years, it eats up near 52 percent. That’s the majority. Women are the majority and the minority rights is: women are the minority because they don’t hold the power. You know, we were so excited in November. How many more women got elected to Congress? Well, you know, and I don’t like, I don’t want to rain on anybody’s party and be the Debbie Downer here, but I said at the time, yes, progress, but we went from women having 20 percent of the seats in Congress from 4 years ago to 25 percent today. Right. So 52 percent of the population has 25 percent of the power. You know, that’s a version, and I hope this is ok to use this word, but when the mind when the majority don’t have the power and don’t have access to the power, it’s a version of apartheid. It’s gender apartheid, in the sense that the majority gender does not rule, right?
Carol Jenkins [00:13:21] And you know why, right, as we talk about systemic racism and systemic sexism, it’s because it’s the U.S. Constitution that was written by white slave holding men who had no thoughts about women. Well, that’s one thing. Certainly not slaves, certainly not anybody else that we would think would want to or need to be included in the Constitution. But they did give the ability to amend it. And our Constitution has been amended 27 times now. It’s just that this amendment to give women equal rights, and it doesn’t even say that, what the amendment says is, you know, Michael, and thank you for your leadership in this, is it: all it says is you cannot discriminate against someone because of their sex. And that means because of the recent Supreme Court decision, any one, sex, any gender expression, and that’s the only thing that this amendment fixes as this constitution needs to be fixed. But I say let’s not dream about some other solution to systemic sexism or racism. It’s written in the playbook that we all have to live by.
Michael Moore [00:14:37] And Lincoln and the Congress at the time and the states at that time did take care of the racial part. It didn’t it didn’t really, it wasn’t enforced. It didn’t really come into action for another 100 years. And we’re still fighting it now with voter suppression and all these other things. 8 minutes and 46 seconds. So we got a ways to go, but it got put in the Constitution so that years later when, when Martin Luther King, when others wanted to have at least a leg up to try to get some equality, it was there in the Constitution, it was right there. And to this day, as you said, women are not acknowledged anywhere in the Constitution. 193 countries acknowledge women, equal rights, whether it’s equal rights for women or there’s not to be discrimination based on gender. 193 countries, that’s got to include some dictatorships – that have equal rights.
Carol Jenkins [00:15:37] I know. I know. It’s extraordinary, isn’t it? And, you know, we are here the same woman, Alice Paul, who gave women the right to vote, fought when that was passed that we have one more step to go that really doesn’t do it. As we can see, women have had to vote for 100 years now and we’re still unequal. One other piece was recognition in the Constitution, but it’s taken all of this time. And Alice Paul, I am told, when the ERA finally passed Congress in 1972 and went out to the states, when she understood that it had this little thing written in the preamble, in the introduction, that said that there was a time limit, that she actually cried because she knew, she knew that this was going to create a problem for getting it adopted into the Constitution. And so here we are now, having met, the Constitution only says Article 5: 2 things passage by 2/3 of Congress and 38 states.
Michael Moore [00:16:46] Done? Right?
Carol Jenkins [00:16:46] Done.
Michael Moore [00:16:49] 2/3 of Congress already did it. And how many states?
Carol Jenkins [00:16:52] 38 states. Virginia was our 38th state last year. Done. So it’s just this wrinkle in the introduction that we’re still fighting over, that we hope the Congress can dissolve. And Jackie Speier, last year, was a miracle woman. She got that through the House of Representatives. It passed. The resolution went out. But in order for it to take both houses, have to pass it in the same congressional session. And the Senate refused to take it up.
Michael Moore [00:17:26] But now we have one. Now we have, we who support equal rights for women. We have the Senate and we have some Republicans, like Lisa Murkowski in the Senate, who will join with us. She has already said she’s already, she’s a co-sponsor.
Carol Jenkins [00:17:43] Yes. With Ben Cardin, Senator Cardin, we believe, and Susan Collins is also, has been a stalwart supporter. So we have 2 Republican women and the entire Democratic caucus in the Senate. We just have not been able to get it to the floor for a vote.
Michael Moore [00:18:00] So let’s just pretend like I’m a man. So let’s reverse this, that it wasn’t 38 states and 2/3 of Congress that said men have won the right to do something, just whatever whatever it is, like we have a constitutional right to hold the remote control. All right, so let’s just say that became, that once we’ve got the 38 states, we’ve got 2/3 of Congress, now we have the House and the Senate where we can take the time limit provision off because it’s been put on and off, not just this amendment, but before, and it’s like, you know, what guys would say if this was if this was you, you stopping us.
Carol Jenkins [00:18:47] We do know.
Michael Moore [00:18:52] Because we’ve been throwing our weight around for like 10,000 years. And now I hope in my lifetime I will see the end of that.
Carol Jenkins [00:19:02] You do know that you’re our hero, right? Because you have consistently been out there for us on this amendment. And so we appreciate it. You’re one of the few male voices that we hear, who get it, who understand. The question that we usually get is: why do women need it? And what we say is, if you look around, do you know who the poor people are, the impoverished are women? Do you know who the starving are? Their children? 1 out of 3 children. I mean, the figure they usually use is 1 out of 4, but we believe it’s one out of 3 children who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. And even if they’re not in single family homes, if the women are partnering, the fact that they get paid less than men than their partners do is creating this. As we saw, as we have seen during the pandemic, this huge, scandalous group of people who cannot afford to eat, who do not have homes, and who are scared to death that they’re going to die, because they’re essential workers. And so it is time to rectify this, with your help, I think we’re going to get it done this year in 2021.
Michael Moore [00:20:21] In addition to being the majority of our poor, women and children. There’s another effect that never really gets brought up. And I hear people, Democrats and Republicans, talk about the working class, the working poor and conjure up the image of lunch bucket Joe. And the truth is, in 2021, the majority of the working class, in other words, the lowest paid amongst us are women. Right?
Michael Moore [00:20:50] Their jobs were the first to go in the pandemic, right? I mean, there’s so many statistics on this with what we’re living through right now. Thank you for saying that about, you know, I, you know, part of this is I mean, I always say I’m motivated for selfish reasons here, but I just say this to guys all the time that we will benefit. We, as men, are going to benefit. And I show I talk about the countries around the world that where they have close to a majority of their legislatures are women or they have executive president or prime minister, generally, those countries, if you look at the good that they do for the working class, for the poor, for children, education, health, all these things. I mean, I hate to say those guys, you know, if you’ve ever been married to any of us, to get us to go to the dentist, you might as well literally be pulling teeth. So I’m just saying. So but, I don’t know if I’ve ever said this publicly, but I actually feel blessed, I’ve only lived in majority female households in my life. I’ve never been in the majority from birth. So it’s me and my two sisters.
Carol Jenkins [00:22:12] And you’re such a good guy. You’re one of the good guys.
Michael Moore [00:22:14] Well I think I did pay attention and, you know, and whenever there was a vote in the house, it was my 2 sisters and my mom and then me and my dad. It was 3 to 2. And then eventually, very quickly, though, while in elementary school, I realized that actually their way was better. So then it became 4 to 1. Then my dad realized, yeah, you know what, I’m all in. So it was like a 5 to 0. But it was, then I was married and had a daughter. So again, 2 to 1. But it wasn’t. But it wasn’t that either, because by then I was semi-enlightened and fortunate to be living in households where I could learn. But a lot of this, 2 guys, I mean, the guys are just thinking, ok, ok, dude, what is wrong with you? I’m telling you, if you would just like, lower the volume a little bit, you know, and listen, there’s a lot of things we can learn and we will be better off. All of us will be better off for it. I truly, truly believe that.
Carol Jenkins [00:23:22] Our country has gotten extremely wealthy. We’re a very well off nation for most. And besides the fact that we have so many starving people, that scandal. But corporate America has gotten extraordinarily profitable by the imbalance of payments of income for the women who work in almost every category on almost every level. So I think that, you know, one of the things that gets me so upset is that every year we do the equal pay story, I could tell when that comes around, you know, what a woman generally has to work to make what a white man made the year before, a Black woman, a Latina woman, has to work a year to equal the same salary as the man did it the year before. It’s infuriating.
Carol Jenkins [00:24:17] And what I say is that we have tried everything else. We’ve thrown trillions of dollars, time and energy and it doesn’t get fixed. And it’s because the Constitution isn’t fixed. And so I think with your help, we’re going to make sure that that happens, that we get a level playing field then. And everyone, you know, we’re talking about inclusion by sex now. But the other things that need to be fixed are disability, you know, the gender expression we’re working on, that’s included in this amendment. But in our country, so many people are suffering. You cannot tell me that that many categories of people will be at the bottom of the heap in terms of equality and we do nothing to fix it, so…
Michael Moore [00:25:08] It’s on that gender equality day, like how few of us men have to work to attain what women get each year. I have two non-profit theaters in Michigan, our house movie theaters. And on that day, every year to celebrate, celebrate that, men coming to my movie theater on that day have to pay that percentage more. So if women are making only 80 cents on the dollar, men have to pay 20 percent more for the movie ticket that day than women coming to see. I just like to see it in their faces, like what the?! That’s not the way to fix it by discriminating against us, and I don’t think of it as discrimination. Just think of it as a little tweak, a little pinch to remind you and me and other men that we have to be at the forefront of this fight, too. And so the people listening, Carol, tell them what are the things that they can do to join in and to help – to help get the Equal Rights Amendment, actually, literally, it’s already been passed, so literally put into written down in our Constitution.
Carol Jenkins [00:26:27] Well, we are doing two things. We’ve delivered a letter to President Biden and Vice President Harris asking them, because we know they support it, to use whatever they have at their disposal. One of the reasons is the archivist has not attached to this, because the Department of Justice of a previous administration instructed him not to and not that we want interference from the Department of Justice. But there is a memo sitting there that could be, somehow, we don’t want to encourage any kind of illegal activity…but instruct the archivist in whatever way is possible for him to just publish the ERA. There’s a short way. And otherwise to use his tremendous experience in Congress to massage the votes so that we can provide jobs so that we can get the resolution out of the Senate.
Carol Jenkins [00:27:22] So because of the filibuster, we would need the 60 votes. There might be a way now that Durbin is in the Judiciary and Schumer is the leader, we might be able to get a vote or that we have the 52 votes that would give us the Equal Rights Amendment. So what people can do is implore their senators, that’s the focus we have, as Jackie Speier has magnificently collected so many co-sponsors and votes in the House, but in the Senate, to impress upon your senators that you realize that we do not have equality and that it is time in 2021 to give equality based on sex, no discrimination based on sex, and just remove the time limit on the era so that we can proceed then to what we…When we started this organization, we thought, oh, we’ll just get the ERA and then we’ll all go home. What an accomplishment that would be. And then, of course, we began to realize the years ahead of us that we will have to do to correct imbalances. One of our members in Arizona has gotten 22-24 pro bono lawyers and looked in Arizona at the rules in the state government that will have to be changed. That report is 650 pages long. So the work ahead of us to erase that written in stone, in you know, rules across this country, all of that work still is ahead of us. So for your senators…
Michael Moore [00:29:05] Ok, so, all right, so I’ll put this very bluntly then, so, Carol Jenkins, to the people listening to my podcast right now: what can they do to to make sure that the Equal Rights Amendment is part of our United States Constitution, already passed by Congress, already passed by the required 38 states, still not in the Constitution. What can they do so that it becomes part of the Constitution?
Carol Jenkins [00:29:37] Go to our website, eracoalition.org. We give you a way to reach your senators, erase that deadline, get rid of that, and that is the stumbling block that will be in our way until it’s completely taken away by Congress at both the House and the Senate, it will always be straight up to the Supreme Court, be an issue and a stumbling block, so we need that erased. Go to our website, eracoalition.org, and help us reach the Biden administration. We know that they support us. We know that they want to do this. All of the polling suggests that 90 plus percent of America is ready for this and it’s only a few legislators who are not.
Carol Jenkins [00:30:21] It’s hard to find people these days who say there should not be equality or sure, we should discriminate based on sex. It’s hard to find those people these days. It’s a legislative thing that has to be done. And we ask for your support. We will assist you in whatever way we can. We’ve evaluated all of the senators and all of the House of Representatives, where they stand on equality. So it’s an easy way, an equality tool to determine where your representatives stand on the issue and to, you know, let’s make a ruckus and let’s make sure that we get it done.
Michael Moore [00:31:05] Ok, so you go to eracoalition.org, right? Right? ERAcoalition.org. And there you will have what you need, because when you call your senators, you’ve got to know the name of the bill you’re asking them to get behind. Right?
Carol Jenkins [00:31:25] SJ.1 in the Senate. So we moved up.
Michael Moore [00:31:31] Whoah. SJ.1. Resolution 1.
Carol Jenkins [00:31:33] One in the Senate.
Michael Moore [00:31:34] Well, that’s easy to remember. So you call your senators, the number to Capitol Hill switchboard is 202-224-3121. I’ll post it on my podcast page, in case you didn’t write that down, and you call and you ask to speak, to the first senator, then you got to get back on the phone and talk to the second senator and you say, I need you immediately to pass SJ resolution 1 in the U.S. Senate for the Equal Rights Amendment. And it’s to get rid of the time limit, which the 27th Amendment didn’t have. They had 20 to 200 years to get that passed. But women, we only gave you, like a decade or so in the ’70s, if you couldn’t get it passed then, then to hell with you now. We don’t agree with any of that. Neither do you. Listen to this, so you call your senators 202-224-3121. Tell them to pass SJ Resolution 1. And then you’ve got to let President Biden and Vice President Harris know that you want this as a priority and you can reach them at whitehouse.gov.
Michael Moore [00:32:50] But these are the people, they hold the power. They have the White House, the House, the Senate. And you know what, you know, how I feel about the filibuster. That thing’s got to end. And if the Republicans want to filibuster this, let them stand there and filibuster, stand and talk one of you at a time till you drop. No food, no water, no sleep, stand for a day or 2, stretcher will come in and take you out, see how many Republicans want to stand up against women’s rights. I don’t think it’s going to be a lot, folks, but, you know, I hope the Democrats will take care of this crazy filibuster thing. That’s my own opinion, not the purpose of this episode. But we need to get as many Republicans, because that can’t be a bad thing for them to get behind us, Carol. What else? Anything else people can do to help?
Carol Jenkins [00:33:41] That’s it and just to live equality in your own lives, understand that this is not an abstract idea, that people are starving, that there’s a way to fix it, and it is by amending the Constitution and we can do bandaids until we fix the Constitution, but they will only be bandaids. This is the trail we have to follow, which is true equality, in the United States of America.
Michael Moore [00:34:09] I don’t think you’re asking for a lot by asking that the United States Constitution states, specifically, that it includes 51 percent of the American population, more than 51 percent women. So women and girls. All right. Well, I really appreciate you coming on and saying these things. Thank you for the kind words about what we’ve been doing here. We are not going to let up on this. We want everybody participating in our ERA initiative. And let’s get this done now. This year, no more horsing around on this. It’s wrong. It’s morally wrong. And, you know, you know, whoever you are, it’s the right thing to do. Do the right thing. Carol Jenkins, thank you so much.
Carol Jenkins [00:34:59] Thank you so much, Michael. We love you, [we’re the] Michael Moore fan club, because we know that you are behind the Equal Rights Amendment and you have been for many, many years. So thank you.
Michael Moore [00:35:11] Well, I got to tell you, it was great speaking to Carol Jenkins and an honor to have her on this podcast. I remember her back when I was a kid. As I said in this interview with her, you did not see women reporters or anchors. You didn’t. And you certainly didn’t see Black women reporters and anchors. She broke that barrier and she is still with us. And now she is fighting to make sure the barriers are broken for all women by getting the ERA in our Constitution. So you’ve got your marching orders, my friends. Right? You’ve got to push the Senate right now, and, you know, I would really, I know you think, oh my God, call this senator. I got these awful senators. Listen, here’s the thing in our favor: women are the majority gender. That means more women vote than men. But it’s even better than that. You know, women to men are like 51 to 49 percent of the country. Sometimes it depends on the year, 52 percent to 48 percent.
Michael Moore [00:36:13] So there’s always, you know, more of them because they’re the majority gender, but they also vote more than men. Depending on the year, I mean, they could be voting sometimes 10 points higher than men in our elections. So Republicans, we’re listening to this. And Republican senators, you need to tell your Republican senators, look, you know, we may not agree on a lot of things, but you want to be reelected. You do not want to be listed as one of the Republicans who said no, women shouldn’t have equal rights and they should not be in the United States Constitution. If that’s the position you’re going to take, and believe me, Carol’s group, Jackie Speier’s group, me, you, all of us, we are going to make sure that the citizens of this country know the names of the senators, the Republican senators who vote against this, they can’t win without women’s votes.
Michael Moore [00:37:12] They know that. They need to be reminded of that, and in their own self-interest, even though the last thing they want to do is probably to give equal rights to women, I even have to laugh when I say that, it’s such a weird concept, but they know it’s in their best interest. They better well vote for this because we’re going to make it public and we’re going to come after them and they’re not going to get reelected. They’re not going to get reelected for a whole lot of other reasons, too, because we need a stronger Democratic majority than the one we have now, where we end up having to beg certain Democrats to please be Democrats.
Michael Moore [00:37:50] My friends, you have to do this. I’m sorry to ask you again. Sorry to give the number again, but as I already showed you, the Rumble bump, you did this when I asked you to do it back at the beginning of the year to call your members of Congress and boom, it passed, to get rid of this deadline, the deadline that was set up so long ago. All we care about is the 38 states that were needed to pass have now passed it. And it should be part of our United States Constitution. Just like that. So call your senators.
Michael Moore [00:38:23] I’ll give you the number and I’ll have it here on the platform page, where you found my podcast, 202-225-3121. A human operator will pick up and you’d say, I need to speak to my senator and they’ll say, what state? And you’ll say, you know, Wisconsin or whatever. And then they’ll say, you want to speak to Senator so-and-so first or the other one? Just pick one, call back and then speak to the other one. But really make sure you speak to the Republicans. And if you have 2 Democratic senators, like we do in Michigan, then you need to call them too and tell them that you’re calling Senators, as are thousands of other listeners of Rumble.
Michael Moore [00:39:05] And we expect nothing less than women being given equal rights as 38 states have already voted and passed this Amendment. Which is the number? That’s the number required by the Constitution. So please call them tonight, tomorrow, whenever. 202-225-3121. Let’s make this a reality. Please, my friends, I’m not going to stop until it is. I want to thank my executive producer Basel Hamdan, my editor and sound engineer Nick Kwas, and everyone else, who has helped to make this podcast possible. Thank you, all of you. This is Rumble and I am Michael Moore. Thanks everyone.