What does it signify politically--that is what does it tell us about the relations of power of the 'state' in 1982--that the Equal Rights Amendment has not been ratified? It tells us that the patriarchal foundations of the state, even when narrowly defined in terms of the law, remain necessary to those in power. Or (at least) that those in power, particularly in this case state legislators as well as President Reagan, think that the political system of capitalist patriarchy cannot abide women's (legal) equality.

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