There needs to be some rebuttal to letters submitted last week.

Equal is equal: If you start selecting certain people as "other" then you are judging them by qualifications that keep them from being equal.

The ERA did not fail, it is a proposed amendment. Minnesota ratified. It was not ratified by enough states by the prescribed date. States continue to discuss and continue to debate ratification. The debate continues about the "other." The debate creates qualifications and the hierarchy creating the qualifications cannot see that equal is equal.

Don't go to affirmative action when equality would eliminate the need for affirmative action. Don't go to abortion to justify why women are not equal to men. (There are no laws that give the government to make decisions about the male body). Walk a mile in the woman's shoes. Abortion is settled law unless you somehow see yourself as the grand poohbah of each individual's private life. In this issue is equal, equal? Don't go to high school athletics and the concern that gender may alter competition. What little significance will this have throughout the athlete's long life. We are not all the same. There is no such thing as a totally homogenous athletic team. It's high school, let everybody play!

The ERA has life consequences, paycheck fairness, equal pay for equal work, equal job eligibility, divorce proceeding equality, property ownership equality, working conditions, etc.

Men who vote no on the ERA need their memory jarred on how their mother and grandmothers were treated. The future holds the struggles for their daughters. History holds the terrible story of the treatment of the "other." Women who vote no on the ERA have not valued their own interests when equal becomes truly equal.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg included in her supporting argument for the ERA that "It firmly rejects the sharp legislative lines between the sexes as constitutionally tolerable. Instead it looks toward a legal system in which each person will be judged on the basis of individual merit and not on the basis of unalterable trait of birth that bears no necessary relationship to need or ability."

End the discrimination of who some consider "other." Equal means equal.

Pat Powers