Actress: I could feel Kavanaugh's rage

Actress Alyssa Milano describes what she perceives to be a double standard toward Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's behavior at his confirmation hearing.

Posted: Oct 5, 2018 7:24 PM
Updated: Oct 5, 2018 7:38 PM

"My name is Alyssa Milano, and I do not have equal rights under our Constitution. I have a three-year-old daughter named Bella. She does not have equal rights under the Constitution, either."

This is how I began my testimony at a Congressional shadow hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) just a few months ago. At that point, I didn't think it could be possible to feel more urgency about insisting that women be protected in our government's highest legal document, the US Constitution. I was wrong.

Now, as I watch Brett Kavanaugh's likely ascension to the Supreme Court, it feels like a new kind of violation, proving we need an Equal Rights Amendment so that our justice system has the tools to treat women equally under the law.

Our country has allowed men like Brett Kavanaugh to use our founding documents to preserve their power and privilege, while denying women protection from the consequences of their actions. That is because, for most of our country's history, the Constitution has treated anyone who is not a white, land-owning man to be a second-class citizen -- a legacy the document has yet to shed.

According to polls conducted by the ERA Coalition, a group of over 75 member organizations as diverse as the American Association of University Women, Union Theological Seminary, the YWCA, GLAAD and the African American Policy Forum, 80% of Americans think women already have equal rights under the Constitution. They assume that provision is already there, because, of course, it's absurd for it not to be.

What's more, they think it's there because they believe wholeheartedly it should be. The same polls tell us that 94% of Americans support constitutional equality for women.

My question is: Who are the other 6%? And to be clear, that question is not a rhetorical one.

When asked by Sen. Dick Durbin (who has called for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and whose state of Illinois has ratified it) whether he agreed the ERA should be added to the Constitution in his questions for the record, Brett Kavanaugh (as he did on a number of subjects about which he was questioned) declined to provide a substantive answer. I am not asserting that Brett Kavanaugh opposes constitutional equality for women and men, but then again, I do not know. And his actions, I do not trust.

What I do know -- what all of us have seen proven beyond a doubt -- is that our country's 200-plus-year history of subjugating women has come at a devastating price. In recent months, we've heard an outpouring of firsthand accounts about what life as a second-class citizen in this country is like.

We've heard about the injustices women suffer every day -- in our relationships, in the streets of our communities, in our court system and our healthcare system, and, especially, in our workplaces.

Survey data tells us that as many as one in three women has experienced sexual advances from a man they work with. Let that sink in: one in three.

I'm not talking only about actresses and celebrities, although those stories tend to get the most coverage. I'm not talking only about women who work at universities and tech companies and in the United States Congress. I'm talking about women who work in hotels and hospitals and farms and restaurants. Women who count on every paycheck. Women who cannot afford an attorney. Women who are targeted precisely because they are vulnerable. Women whose abusers think they can depend on their silence.

It used to be that their stories were told only in hushed whispers. But that has started to change.

So what is the connection among #MeToo, Kavanaugh and the #ERA? Everything.

We've already seen that people act differently when they know that they will be held accountable. Even the richest and most powerful men are finally seeing that there will be consequences for their actions. They're being shamed and fired and ostracized for their predatory behavior.

But when men abuse women, they should be held accountable not only by the media, not only by their employers, not only by the public, but they should be held accountable by our justice system. By enshrining equal rights in the United States Constitution, the ERA would guarantee every woman is protected by the full force of federal law as well.

Ratifying an Equal Rights Amendment would, for the first time in our country's history, open a pathway toward true gender equality. It would send a message to our daughters. It would send a message to our sons. It would send a message to every state in the country. And it would send a message to the world.

These rights are our birthright, but enshrining them in our Constitution is our responsibility. Democracy requires action by us. Because, at the end of the day, it is us.

In 1776, the year our country declared independence, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband, John, urging him to "Remember the Ladies" -- to be fair to us as he helped write the new code of laws for a new nation.

Today, 242 years later, we no longer have to wait for anyone else to grant us our rights. We are standing up for each other, marching in the streets and running for office in record numbers. We are the ones holding the pen. We are lucky that we get to be the ones to live through this new era -- but with that comes a responsibility to ensure this moment lives up to its promise. We must come together today to put the ERA back on the agenda.

I'm part of a movement that's not going anywhere until the foundational document of our country insists loudly and clearly to us and to the world that: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 133802

Reported Deaths: 2402
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin34033991
Ramsey14073360
Dakota9823138
Anoka8661150
Washington593272
Stearns582543
Scott338234
Olmsted325230
St. Louis296569
Wright248314
Clay229743
Nobles226816
Blue Earth20437
Carver17897
Sherburne168522
Kandiyohi16705
Rice163310
Mower151717
Winona125019
Crow Wing101022
Chisago10022
Lyon9656
Benton9409
Waseca9289
Beltrami8917
Otter Tail8627
Todd8055
Steele7593
Nicollet73017
Itasca72717
Morrison7269
Douglas6963
Freeborn6694
Polk6434
Le Sueur6235
Martin61317
McLeod5974
Goodhue58511
Watonwan5784
Becker5614
Pine5430
Isanti5415
Chippewa4353
Carlton4341
Mille Lacs40615
Dodge3940
Hubbard3902
Wabasha3780
Cass3705
Pipestone35017
Rock3284
Meeker3263
Brown3213
Unassigned29053
Yellow Medicine2836
Cottonwood2800
Murray2783
Redwood27511
Roseau2640
Fillmore2600
Renville25211
Sibley2523
Faribault2310
Wadena2313
Jackson2101
Kanabec20910
Houston2041
Swift2011
Pennington1911
Lincoln1820
Stevens1821
Aitkin1792
Koochiching1694
Pope1560
Big Stone1380
Wilkin1344
Lac qui Parle1333
Marshall1211
Lake1190
Norman1150
Mahnomen1132
Clearwater1110
Grant984
Red Lake782
Traverse560
Lake of the Woods441
Kittson400
Cook160

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 115574

Reported Deaths: 1621
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk18874288
Woodbury718394
Johnson584430
Black Hawk557498
Linn5513129
Dubuque518657
Scott454138
Story398918
Dallas344344
Pottawattamie323544
Sioux242516
Buena Vista225512
Marshall201436
Webster183015
Plymouth165727
Wapello152562
Clinton148326
Muscatine144258
Des Moines138610
Cerro Gordo136225
Crawford135514
Warren12477
Carroll114512
Jasper109634
Henry10545
Marion100710
Lee95410
Tama94437
Delaware77812
Dickinson7347
Wright7191
Boone7179
Mahaska68724
Bremer6719
Harrison65311
Washington65311
Jackson6283
Benton5812
Lyon5497
Clay5284
Louisa52115
Winnebago48719
Hardin4757
Winneshiek4749
Hamilton4684
Kossuth4660
Cedar4605
Poweshiek45611
Buchanan4514
Jones4444
Floyd43311
Emmet42917
Clayton4193
Iowa4059
Cherokee4022
Page3990
Mills3971
Sac3974
Guthrie39115
Cass3883
Franklin38018
Butler3782
Fayette3744
Shelby3721
Allamakee3638
Madison3603
Chickasaw3561
Clarke3493
Humboldt3233
Hancock3164
Palo Alto3102
Calhoun3074
Grundy3075
Osceola2791
Mitchell2750
Howard2699
Monroe25911
Monona2441
Jefferson2381
Taylor2362
Union2324
Appanoose2253
Pocahontas2232
Fremont2021
Lucas2016
Ida1922
Greene1860
Davis1764
Van Buren1742
Montgomery1737
Adair1611
Keokuk1601
Decatur1500
Worth1440
Audubon1421
Wayne1203
Ringgold882
Adams810
Unassigned260
Rochester
Overcast
24° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 14°
Mason City
Clear
23° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 12°
Albert Lea
Clear
23° wxIcon
Hi: 26° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 15°
Austin
Clear
27° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 18°
Charles City
Clear
25° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 14°
Another Round of Snow
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sean's Weather 10/26

Image

Red Cross in need of volunteers

Image

'The Landing at Silver Lake Station' to open next week

Image

Trunk or treating

Image

Fiddlehead updates business model

Image

'Grateful' Byron Bears continue to dominate on the field

Image

Republicans campaign in Rochester

Image

Dr. Deborah Birx in Rochester

Image

Saturday's football highlights and scores

Image

Saturday Weather 10 pm

Community Events