"If they had met two more days," said Rep. Pat Schroeder (D-Colo.) of the Republican convention, "we would all be in veils."
But Pam Curtis, who is a Republican -- in fact, vice chair of the Republican Women's Task Force -- andwho led the ill-fated ERA push at the convention, held out a bit more hope. "I met Ronald Reagan for the first time a week ago," she said at a Women's Campaign Fund benefit last night, "and my reaction was that it was a consciousness-raising session for him. I honestly believe it was the first time he was ever in a room with a bunch of feminists."
For Curtis, it was her fifth Republican convention, but the first she had attended where support for the ERA was not in the platform.And last night, she and some 125 others gathered at the fund-raiser in hopes of helping elect progressive, pro-ERA women candidates throughout the country.
"We did everything we could and we just didn't have the votes," said Curtis of her ERA efforts at the convention."We're still kind of shell-shocked. But we're not drying up and blowing away."
Curtis says she is not sure if she will support her party's ticket. "The ball's in Ronald Reagan's court now."
According to Ranny Cooper, the group's executive director, women Republican candidates who support ERA are trying to reconcile their position with the party. "I know it's not easy for them and I feel for them," said Cooper. "But they're all smart and they'll figure out a way to handle it."
Many of those who attended the fund-raiser at the Textile Museum said they opposed the delegates' view of the family.
"The way they're operating it's like coming out for a flat earth. That's just not the way the family is anymore," said Schroeder.
Terry Bork, representing his mother Norma Bork, a Democratic congressional candidate from California, said his mother had been labeled "anti-family" by opponents who have placed her on a political "hit list."
"I personally feel the family issue is a facade," said Bork of the Republican convention."My mother always worked and she and my father shared equally. I have an older brother too,and I like to think he and I turned out reasonably well."