A terrific volunteer opportunity to empower young girls and young women in the sciences » News Lincoln County

A terrific volunteer opportunity to empower young girls and young women in the sciences » News Lincoln County.

Unique Volunteer Opportunity
From NOW, Central Coast Chapter

Women represent only 24 percent of the workforce in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) according to the Department of Commerce’s Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation (August 2011). Increasing this percentage is critical to our country’s ability to excel in these areas.

We have a unique opportunity to encourage our Lincoln County girls to pursue STEM education and careers. The Lincoln County School District was recently awarded a grant that has enabled it to open seven 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC). These Learning Centers provide enriching after school programs that focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math (STEAM) for children between the ages of 6 and 14. T

The Central Oregon Coast Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) is recruiting volunteers, particularly women, who are interested in engaging with children and youth in STEM pursuits in the Learning Centers. This is a great opportunity to improve a young girl’s life and her future career choices. Research has shown that women role models make a huge difference in whether girls remain interested in STEM fields. Mentoring is a powerful way to open doors for girls to careers in scientific endeavors. Helping with homework is another excellent way to touch their lives. Offering girls after school activities and experiments expands critical thinking and boosts self esteem. These are three of the many possible ways you could become a role model. So whether you only have a little time or can commit to more, your help is truly needed.

Men are also encouraged to volunteer, but because of the low percentage of girls and women who successfully pursue STEM careers, Central Oregon Coast NOW is focusing its efforts to assure that participants in after school programs have the opportunity to meet, work with, and learn from women who are, or have been, active in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics. If you are one of these women, please contact Jan Eisele at 503-965-9950 or centraloregoncoastnow@gmail.com by email.

Open request to strangers, doctors, teachers: Don’t make small talk about my daughter’s appearance | Reel Girl

Open request to strangers, doctors, teachers: Don’t make small talk about my daughter’s appearance | Reel Girl.

DONATE to VoteERA.org and SIGN E-Petition!
There is an excellent letter from Kasey Edwards to Santa posted on the blog Culture and Politics. Here’s how it begins:

Dear Santa,

What I want for Christmas is for people to stop objectifying my daughter.

But after I took my 4-year-old daughter Violet to visit you last week, it seems that even YOU can’t deliver on this particular request.

You may recall that we walked into your little house for the family photo and you remarked on every item of clothing Violet was wearing—including her socks.

And then you told her she was the most beautiful and best-dressed person in the shopping center.

Couldn’t you have just stopped there? Hell no! You kept going and suggested that she takes up modeling when she grows up.

I wrote a post about this topic 2 years ago, when my youngest daughter started preschool.

I know making small talk with a two year old is hard. Toddlers can be shy, are easily distracted, and might even burst into tears if you say the wrong thing. It’s not easy to break the ice. But please: if you meet a little girl on the street, in a store, on the playground, try to think of something, anything to say rather than commenting on her hair, dress, shoes, eyes etc.

My two year old just started preschool, and by the time I’ve kissed her good bye and left her in the classroom, she’s gotten about 10 compliments on her appearance. Of course, she’s adorable. All little kids are. But remember, their little brains are getting wired up. Kids love attention, to be smiled at, and to connect– these are exactly the kinds of interactions that make their brains grow. When they learn, this young, that so many responses are based on how they look, it affects them for life.

For alternative ice breakers try “Hi, you seem happy today! What’s going on? (or sad or angry)” or “Is that your kitty? (or bunny, dog) What’s her name?” Talk about the weather, seriously. Ask if they come here often. If you must say something to a little girl about how she looks, balance it out with other topics that have nothing to do with her appearance (meaning don’t talk about how she looks unless this is going to be a long interaction.)

When people tell your daughter how pretty she is, don’t repeat the compliment to her (as in “She loves this dress. It’s her favorite.”) Don’t make her say thank you. Gently deflect the topic. No matter what other people say, you’re the parent whose opinion matters most to her at this age. Do tell your daughters they are beautiful “on the inside and the outside.” It’s something that should be said by you and that she feels confident about. It’s the proportion of looks based comments, the constant repetition of them, and how they form the basis for social interaction that’s damaging.

In her letter to Santa, Edwards also gives some suggestions about how to break the ice when talking to a little girl besides focusing on her appearance, though, obviously, these are geared towards Santa.

– Where have you been today? or Where are you going today?

– How old are you?

– What do you want to be when you grow up?

– What’s your favorite book/toy/sport/animal/food/song?

– Do you know any Christmas carols?

– Check out your surroundings and remark on something such as a flowering plant, a truck, a picture on the wall, Christmas decorations, even the weather.

– Or just imagine what you would say to her if she were boy.

I love the last one. Thinking that way really helps to become aware of our sexist conditioning. I get how challenging this is. Yesterday, my two older daughters dressed my younger one, and she went out into the world looking like this.

girl

I tried my best to get the monster-flower off her head, but had to give up because my struggle was getting counter-productive. I was giving her appearance too much attention. But I knew it was unlikely this kid would go out in the world and no one would comment on that thing, which was, by the way, a Christmas present. That’s its whole purpose, right? It’s going to feel almost rude to an adult to ignore it.

But that’s what I’m asking you to do. Ignore it. But don’t ignore her. Talk about something else. Ask her how her day is going or what she’s on her way to do or if she had a good sleep last night.

In Melissa Wardy’s great new book Redefining Girly, Rosalind Wiseman offers these suggestions:

So compliment her on something she’s specifically doing that you think is great. Ask friends for their support because you’ll be raising your girls together. To strangers, I’d say: “Thanks, but you know what is the coolest thing about her? She draws animals incredibly well!” Yes, the other person may think you’re strange for saying something so random but your daughter will hear you complimenting something she specifically does, bringing attention to a skill you admire. She’ll know that the most important people in her life value her for more than her appearance.

This is messy stuff and you don’t have to fight every single battle that comes your way. If you’re too tired to have these conversations on a particular day, don’t sweat it. You’ll always have another day. Be proud of taking this one on. I see way too many girls whose parents haven’t provided this guidance and support and truly believe their self value is based on looking like the “perfect girl.”

From the moment they are born, girl babies get attention for how they look. They are dressed like dolls and turned into objects by their own parents, a practice reinforced by our powerfully sexist culture. For too many women, how we look is the source of our identity and power or lack there of. When is it going to stop? Why not start with you? Make a different kind of small talk with the next little girl you see. It’s a small but powerful step to change the world.

—–Margot Magowan, Reel Girl

ANOTHER WAY YOU CAN HELP GIRLS! You know how important it is to gat an EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT (ERA) into the U.S. Constitution. VoteERA.org is working hard to get a state ERA into Oregon’s Constitution (22 states have ERA’s written into their constitutions; Oregon does not and there is nowhere in Oregon’s Constitution, just as there is nowhere in the US Constitution, that explicitly guarantees equal rights to women). In order to even get the Oregon ERA initiative onto the November 2014 ballot, VoteERA.org must gather 116,284 valid signatures on petitions. Winning this battle in Oregon is an important step towards getting an Equal Rights Amendment into all state constitutions and into the US Constitution. PLEASE HELP! Even if you are not an Oregon resident you can help by DONATING. If you are registered to vote in Oregon, please also SIGN THE E-PETITION (and mail it in!). THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Oregon offers an income tax credit to residents who contribute to qualifying state, federal or local political campaigns. The total credit is limited to $100 on a joint return or $50 on a single or separate return. Please see Oregon.gov for details. Contributions or gifts to this campaign are not tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes.

—–Nancy Campbell Mead, Board Member VoteERA.org

Oregon Equal Rights Amendment approved for signature gathering | OregonLive.com

Leanne Littrell DiLorenzo

Oregon Equal Rights Amendment approved for signature gathering | OregonLive.com.

Supporters of an Oregon Equal Rights Amendment for women have started gathering signatures in an effort to qualify the initiative for the November 2014 ballot.

Volunteers have been gathering signatures since the petitions were approved for circulation Dec. 20, and paid signature gatherers are expected to hit the streets starting Monday, said Leanne Littrell DiLorenzo, the president of VoteERA.org.

DiLorenzo and her two co-sponsors, Eugene attorney Erin Gould and Nike global marketing director Kerry Godfrey Scroggins, will need to submit 116,284 valid signatures to place the initiative on the ballot.

Three attempts to pass the amendment or refer it to voters during the 2013 legislative session went nowhere, leading the trio to pursue the initiative route.

“Shouldn’t women be explicitly equal in every Constitution?” Littrell DiLorenzo said. “To me, the answer is an absolute ‘Yes, of course.'”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, which opposed earlier versions of the amendment, hasn’t decided yet whether to support the initiative effort, said David Fidanque, the group’s executive director.

“We’re going to take another look at it here in the next few months depending on how the signature gathering goes,” Fidanque said. “I think the way it’s written now, it shouldn’t do any harm, which was our major concern in the spring.”

A national Equal Rights Amendment is needed because the federal government treats sex discrimination differently than racial and other forms of discrimination, he said, but that’s not the case under state law, Fidanque said.

“One of our concerns last spring is that by passing a measure that specifically elevates discrimination based on sex as opposed to our current provision, which protects everyone regardless of what type of discrimination, might somehow change the current interpretation that has been applied by Oregon courts,” he said.

Littrell DiLorenzo says that the ban on sex discrimination in Oregon is based on case law, and she isn’t convinced that the Oregon Constitution provides enough protection against sex discrimination. The same Constitution once prohibited women from voting or owning property, she said.

“Imagine if we took gun rights out of the Constitution and just made it case law,” she said. “The reason an ERA is needed is to provide women the highest level of equal protection possible, so they’re not open to future Supreme Court judges reinterpreting case law or to the winds of political change.”

A February telephone poll of 650 voters indicated that three out of four Oregonians would support the initiative if it reached the ballot, she said.

The campaign to pass a state amendment coincides with a revived national campaign to pass a federal Equal Rights Amendment. That amendment, approved by Congress in 1972, never went into effect because it fell three states short of the minimum 38 states that needed to ratify it.

— Yuxing Zheng

LA Times – ‘Men are stuck’ in gender roles, data suggest

LA Times – 'Men are stuck' in gender roles, data suggest.

Brent Kroeger pores over nasty online comments about stay-at-home dads, wondering if his friends think those things about him. The Rowland Heights father remembers high school classmates laughing when he said he wanted to be a “house husband.” He avoids mentioning it on Facebook.

“I don’t want other men to look at me like less of a man,” Kroeger said.

His fears are tied to a bigger phenomenon: The gender revolution has been lopsided. Even as American society has seen sweeping transformations — expanding roles for women, surging tolerance for homosexuality — popular ideas about masculinity seem to have stagnated.

While women have broken into fields once dominated by men, such as business, medicine and law, men have been slower to pursue nursing, teach preschool, or take jobs as administrative assistants. Census data and surveys show that men remain rare in stereotypically feminine positions.

When it comes to gender progress, said Ronald F. Levant, editor of the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity, “men are stuck.”

The imbalance appears at work and at home: Working mothers have become ordinary, but stay-at-home fathers exist in only 1% of married couples with kids under age 15, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

In a recent survey, 51% of Americans told the Pew Research Center that children were better off if their mother was at home. Only 8% said the same about fathers. Even seeking time off can be troublesome for men: One University of South Florida study found that college students rated hypothetical employees wanting flexible schedules as less masculine.

Other research points to an enduring stigma for boys whose behavior is seen as feminine. “If girls call themselves tomboys, it’s with a sense of pride,” said University of Illinois at Chicago sociology professor Barbara Risman. “But boys make fun of other boys if they step just a little outside the rigid masculine stereotype.”

Two years ago, for instance, a Global Toy Experts survey found that more than half of mothers wouldn’t give a doll to someone else’s son, while only 32% said the same about giving cars or trucks to a girl. Several studies have found that bending gender stereotypes in childhood is tied to worse anxiety for men than women in adulthood.

In the southern end of Orange County, former friends have stopped talking to Lori Duron and her husband. Slurs and threats arrive by email. Their son calls himself a boy, but has gravitated toward Barbies, Disney princesses and pink since he was a toddler. In a blog and a book she wrote, Duron chronicles worries that would seem trivial if her child were a girl: Whether he would be teased for his rainbowy backpack. Whether a Santa would look askance at him for wanting a doll.

“If a little girl is running around on the baseball team with her mitt, people think, ‘That’s a strong girl,'” said her husband, Matt Duron, who, like his wife, uses a pen name to shield the boy’s identity. “When my 6-year-old is running around in a dress, people think there’s something wrong with him.”

Beyond childhood, the gender imbalance remains stark when students choose college majors: Between 1971 and 2011, a growing share of degrees in biology, business and other historically male majors went to women, an analysis by University of Maryland, College Park sociologist Philip N. Cohen shows. Yet fields like education and the arts remained heavily female, as few men moved the opposite way. Federal data show that last year less than 2% of preschool and kindergarten teachers were men.

In the last 40 years, “women have said, ‘Wait a minute, we are competent and assertive and ambitious,'” claiming a wider range of roles, said Michael Kimmel, executive director of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook University. But “men have not said, ‘We’re kind, gentle, compassionate and nurturing.'”

As the Durons and other families have discovered, messages of gender norms trickle down early. In Oregon, Griffin Bates was stunned when the little boy she was raising with her lesbian partner at the time came back from a visit with Grandma and Grandpa without his beloved tutu and tiara.

“They were perfectly OK with his mother being gay,” Bates said. “But they weren’t OK with their grandson playing dress-up in a tutu.”

Boys stick with typically masculine toys and games much more consistently than girls adhere to feminine ones, Harvard School of Public Health research associate Andrea L. Roberts found. Biologically male children who defy those norms are referred to doctors much earlier than biologically female ones who disdain “girl things,” said Johanna Olson of the Center for Transyouth Health and Development at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Even the criteria for diagnosing gender dysphoria were historically much broader for effeminate boys than for masculine girls.

Why? “Masculinity is valued more than femininity,” University of Utah law professor Clifford Rosky said. “So there’s less worry about girls than about boys.”

Gender stereotypes do seem to have loosened: The Global Toy Experts survey found that most mothers would let their own sons play with dolls and dress-up sets, even if they shied from buying them for other boys. Parents in some parts of Los Angeles said their boys got barely any flak for choosing pink sneakers or toting dolls to school. And in a recent online survey by advertising agency DDB Worldwide, nearly three quarters of Americans surveyed said stay-at-home dads were just as good at parenting as stay-at-home moms.

But while attitudes may have shifted, Rosky said, “nothing changes until men are willing to act.”

Some experts say economic barriers have stopped men from moving further into feminized fields. Jobs held by women tend to pay less, an imbalance rooted in the historical assumption that women were not breadwinners. Women had an economic reason to take many of the jobs monopolized by men, particularly college-educated women trying to climb the economic ladder.

“But if men made the switch, they’d lose money,” New York University sociologist Paula England said.

Yet it isn’t just economics that keeps men from typically female jobs. Men are still rare in nursing, for instance, despite respectable pay. England and other scholars see that dearth as another form of sexism, in which things historically associated with women are devalued.

Men who do enter heavily female fields are often prodded into other ones without even searching, as other people suggest new gigs that better fit the masculine stereotype, said Julie A. Kmec, associate professor of sociology at Washington State University.

While women have “come out” to their families as people who want a life outside the home, men have not “come out” at work as involved fathers, Kimmel said. And that, in turn, holds many working mothers back, Risman argued.

Familiar measures of progress toward gender equality, such as women working in management or men picking up housework, began to plateau in the 1990s. Cohen found that in the first decade of the millennium jobs stayed similarly segregated by gender — the first time since 1960 that gender integration in the workplace had slowed to a virtual halt.

“If men don’t feel free to go into women’s jobs,” said Risman, a scholar at the Council on Contemporary Families, “women are not really free.”

emily.alpert@latimes.com

Less “Big Bang Theory,” More Dana Scully: What It’s Going to Take to Lead More Girls Into Science

Sunday, 29 December 2013 10:59
By Christopher Zumski Finke, Yes! Magazine | Op-Ed

Only 25 percent of STEM jobs are held by women. YouTube science sensation Emily Graslie on how we can inspire them with better-quality pop-culture role models.
When Emily Graslie started her YouTube program, “The Brain Scoop,” out of a lab at the University of Montana, she couldn’t find many role models that looked like her. Today, she’s a popular Internet science educator—Chicago’s Field Museum’s first-ever “Chief Curiosity Correspondent”—whose viral YouTube shows often get hundreds of thousands of views. And she’s still looking for that role model.
“There should be some woman on some show on some channel,” she told me. “I keep searching for her, and I don’t think she exists. There is no female equivalent of Brian Cox, Neil DeGrasse Tyson.”
Graslie is wondering what many women in science have been wondering for a long time: Why we don’t see more women depicted as scientists in popular culture. Are we as a culture failing to perceive women as legitimate scientific figures? Are there too few female scientists because female role models are rare? Or are the depictions that do exist so skewed that a life in science appears undesirable?
Such questions come to a head in “The Big Bang Theory.”
It’s the second-most popular scripted show on television. But if you’re not familiar, the half-hour CBS sitcom tells the story of four young (male) scientist friends who work in Caltech’s research laboratories. Two of these men are in relationships with female scientists. Given the rarity of female scientists in pop culture, you’d think that finding two in one show would be considered a move in the right direction.
Yet, “The Big Bang Theory” raises the ire of many proponents of boosting women’s participation in the sciences (Graslie: “I could go on all day about ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ Really, who are these women in media making these shows?”).
The show’s satirical take on geek culture relies on caricatures and tired conventions, and the options provided for women in science fit snugly into limiting stereotypes of women whose primary function is the pursuit of men. Graslie sums two characters up this way: “You can be either one of two dorky women: You can be a super-ditzy blonde or you can be the straight-haired woman with the dorky glasses who is socially awkward. Why are we giving women those two role models to look up to?”
Even more troubling, the intelligence of both of these scientists is played for laughs against the show’s central object of desire and chief stereotype: the beautiful, blonde Penny, who is street-smart but academically challenged.
“The Big Bang Theory” seems unavoidable in discussions of pop culture and science because of its immense popularity and its role as one of the few shows to prominently feature women working in STEM fields. Programs like this create culture beyond the confines of the show, and with the many challenges facing women working in science today, problematic representations—when representations are found at all—are ripe for a critical eye.

The Landscape of Women in Science
There are fewer women working in science than men. Currently, 25 percent of STEM jobs are held by women—and those women generally make less moneyand receive less funding for their research. They also hold fewer positions capable of directing those dollars. The percentage of women on scientific advisory boards in the United States between 1970 and today has never risen above 10.2 percent.
In The New York Times Magazine, Eileen Pollack recently explored why there are so few female scientists, and among the causes she identified is the fact that girls and young women are simply not perceived as scientists.
If girls do not see women portrayed as competent, capable scientists—real or fictional—they are less likely to consider science as a pursuit that is available to them. And if the role of scientist is portrayed as undesirable—associated with social outcasts or the romantically unwanted—or unattainable—requiring not only scientific proficiency but also the beauty and body of a model (see Denise Richards as nuclear physicist Christmas Jones in The World Is Not Enough)—why would girls aspire to it?
Where My Ladies at?
In her New York Times Magazine piece, Pollack finds “The Big Bang Theory” symptomatic of this greater perception problem. Given the options provided by the women in the show, Pollack asks, “What remotely normal young woman would want to imagine herself as dowdy, socially clueless Amy rather than as stylish, bouncy, math-and-science-illiterate Penny?”
So she spoke with women studying at Yale to find out.
Many of the woman she talked to said they lacked encouragement in their fields simply because of their sex. One woman relayed the story of a high school teacher who graded his students on a “boy curve” and a “girl curve” because “he couldn’t reasonably expect a girl to compete in physics on equal terms with boys.” Another said she hates to be identified in public as a physics major. “The minute they find out, I can see the guys turn away.”
It’s not difficult to see why when you dig into the perception problem. The most well-known figures in popular science are men. When we see Brian Cox, Bill Nye, or any of the scientists who have successfully crossed over to pop-culture stardom, no one struggles to see them as scientists.
But what is it we see when a woman holds a role like that? More importantly, are there any females in science who have attained that level of cultural penetration?
In a recent episode of “The Brain Scoop,” “Where My Ladies At?” Graslie explores what audiences see when they see a women talking about science.
Unfortunately, it’s not science.
Physical attractiveness and gendered expectations still trump scientific inquiry when it comes to large segments of audiences, and Graslie’s heard many sexist comments from her viewers (“I’d totally do her,” “She looks like a nerdy pig”). For many viewers, appearance is the sole subject of judgment and praise or aspersions are based on that alone.

“The first thing many see when a woman is on a screen—presenting anything, not just science—is a woman,” she said. “Her clothes, body, appearance. Only afterwards—if ever—does the content start to come into the picture.”
Have we, I asked her, created a world where there are scientists and, separately, women in science?
According to Graslie, yes—and she’s looking toward to the day the term “scientist” can cover everyone.
So how do we clear the cultural space necessary to allow women to engage freely and equally?
“I grew up watching Bill Nye, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Steve Irwin, and David Attenborough,” Graslie said. “Seventy-five percent of them are old white guys. I didn’t identify with any of them …
“Then I started learning about Jane Goodall, and I really hung onto her. Here’s a woman doing independent research, living in Africa, doing remarkable things. I’ve always … wanted to fulfill a role like that in some capacity, where I can publicize what women are doing in science, or be a role model myself.”
I’d say Graslie has already begun filling that role. At 24, her reach is already quite impressive. She tells me about all the girls who reach out to her, and the families who’ve been moved by what she’s making. It’s clear that Graslie’s work on YouTube is is satisfying a need.
Which has made her take her job a lot more seriously. “I was surprised my video [on sexism] was as popular as it was, not because it didn’t deserve it, but because people thought it was news. That people thought I was saying something nobody knew about before. It’s not news. Look around. There are no women filling these roles.”
The Scully Effect
One of the most frustrating aspects of this scarcity is that we know just how significant an influence powerful female, scientist role models can have on young women.
Perhaps the most prominent example of this power has come to be known as the “Scully Effect.” Named for Special Agent Dana Scully, the medical doctor and FBI agent who was one half of the investigative team on “The X-Files”, the Scully Effect accounts for the notable increase in women who pursued careers in science, medicine, and law enforcement as a result of living with Dana Scully over the nine years “The X-Files” ran on Fox.
The show has been off the air for more than a decade. Yet the character of Dana Scully remains a powerful example of how a dynamic female character whose primary pursuit is science—not romantic relationships—can have a lasting impact on our culture.
During an “X-Files” reunion panel at San Diego Comicon this summer, a woman who recently received a PhD in physics rose to thank Gillian Anderson (who portrayed Agent Scully) for the influence she had on her life. Anderson responded that she’s long been aware of the Scully Effect, and has frequently heard from girls “who were going into the medical world or the science world or the FBI world or other worlds that I reigned, that they were pursuing those pursuits because of the character of Scully.”
Ten years on, the Scully Effect remains a subject of academic inquiry, but more importantly, a fond part of many women’s lives.
While Emily Graslie, Vi Hart, and other women on YouTube look to fill the shortage of popular science educators, mainstream characters like Temperance Brennan on “Bones” and Abby Sciuto on “NCIS” have the promise to do for girls today what Dana Scully did a decade ago.
I’ve even heard talk of an Abby Effect.
This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source

Let’s Get an Equal Rights Amendment in the Oregon Constitution

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Twenty-Two (22) states have equal rights for women and men expressly guaranteed in their constitutions; Oregon does not.  We now have the opportunity to remedy that.  VoteERA.org has just gotten the approval from the Oregon Secretary of State Office to issue petitions to get an Oregon Equal Rights Amendment on the November 2014 ballot.  YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!  In order to qualify for the November 2014 ballot VoteERA.org needs to gather 116,284 valid signatures on its petitions; here is how you can help:

1)    If you are a registered Oregon voter, please download an e-petition, sign it and mail it in:  Sign E-Petition.  If you are an Oregon resident and not registered to vote you can register online with the Secretary of State’s Office:  Register to Vote.

2)    Get others to sign the petition:

  1. Forward this to your friends and share on Facebook and other social media, and ask others to sign the e-petition.
  2. Volunteer to be a petition signature gatherer and/or help in other ways on the campaign:  Volunteer

This is really IMPORTANT!  It will take 100’s of volunteers to be successful in getting the 116,284 signatures required!  PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE VOLUNTEER!

  1. If you are not an Oregon resident or are perhaps too young to register to vote you can still help by volunteering to help gather signatures (you do not have to be old enough to vote to be a petition gatherer!).  You can also share this with your friends who do live in Oregon.

3)    DONATE!  Money is a necessary ingredient in any successful political campaign.  Please donate whatever you can:  DONATE  (Contributions or gifts to this campaign are not tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes.)

4)    “Like” VoteERA.org on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/VoteERA/173003762851479

In case anyone asks you WHY OREGON NEEDS AN EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT to its Constitution:

There are 1,969,733 females in the state of Oregon according to the U.S. Census Bureau. They make up 50.5% of the Oregon population, which is a majority!

Under the Oregon Constitution that was written in 1857 and ratified in 1859 women could not vote, own property, work the same number of hours as men and more.  We still have the same Article I, Section 20 today and it is critical that the majority of the Oregon population have full express constitutional equality which means to amend the Oregon Constitution! That is the only way to provide full express (written/amended) equality.

  • Right now women are protected by case law.  Case law can be overturned and has before in the Oregon Supreme Court.  The ERA protects women at the highest level of law –having women’s equality in the Oregon Constitution means it is as protected as it can be.
  • Judges can interpret case law differently-why should women be vulnerable to interpretations of sex discrimination that may hurt them?  The ERA makes it clear that women are to be treated equally and that sex discrimination is not tolerated under our Oregon Constitution.
  • Politics and the winds of change can mean women lose the rights they already have as we see happening all over the U.S.  An ERA in our Oregon Constitution means that women will be protected from sex discrimination now and in 10 years, in 50 years and so on.

Why are we collecting signatures-spending our time doing this?

* Because this is NOT just an issue about females.  When females are discriminated against it hurts a whole family, our community and our state.    We all have individual reasons and sometimes it is more important to share what has motivated you to help as opposed to debating any legal ERA issues.  Equality for all in our Oregon Constitution works!  The only challenge is when someone does not believe we don’t already have an ERA because it seems like Oregon would…should.

What is the wording of Oregon’s proposed ERA?

 “The Constitution of the State of Oregon is amended by creating a new section 46 to be added to and made a part of Article I, such section to read:

SECTION 46. (1) Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the State of Oregon or by any political subdivision in this state on account of sex.

(2) The Legislative Assembly shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this section.

(3) Nothing in this section shall diminish a right otherwise available to persons under section 20 of this Article or any other provision of this Constitution.”