In yesterday’s blog I argued that the attitude that the rights of women’s were negotiable should be viewed as the crack in the apparently solid wall of democracy into which the wedge of the anti-democratic movement was being inserted.
It may have appeared to the reader that I was engaged in hyperbole in order to make my point. Unfortunately I was, if anything, underplaying the lack of support for the basic rights of women that can be found among many in the political chattering class of America.
Consider, for example, Justice Antonin Scalia's statement:
ll persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
that the exclusion of women from all public offices is a relic of days more barbarous than ours. And to those who would ask why the word "persons" should include females, the obvious answer is, why should it not?"
The idea that Lord Sankey's question still needs to be asked almost a century later indicates just how fragile are the rights women have won in the intervening years.