Document 24: Alice Paul to Florence L. C. Kitchelt, 30 July 1945, in National Woman's Party Papers, 1913-1974 (Glen Rock, N. J.: Microfilming Corporation of America, 1977-1978), Reel 87.


   Alice Paul's letter to Kitchelt reiterated their differences, including Paul's opposition to "discrimination in [women's] favor."


July 30, 1945

Mrs. Florence L. C. Kitchelt
36 Mansfield Street
New Haven, Connectiout

Dear Mrs. Kitchelt:

    Your letter of July 17, addressed to Moorestown, N. J. reached me only yesterday, having been forwarded here.

    You refer to my "thesis that equal means identical." My thought is that identical laws and regulations for men and women are necessary to ensure equality of status for men and women -- not that "equal means identical."

    You wrie: "When I quoted Professor Borchard, that the Amendment puts no limit on laws that discriminate in favor of women, you replied that a law of that kind THEREFORE discriminates against men." It seems to me that this is the case. For instance; - there is a law in New York, I understand, requiring a partition to keep away poisonous fumes from women in certain occupations, while there is no similar requirement in the case of men workers. If this is a discrimination in favor of women, it is a discrimination against the men concerned, is it not? By making the law apply to all workers, men and women alike, in such a case, the discrimination against the men concerned would be removed. I cannot think of any law based on sex that is not of advantage to one sex and to the disadvantage of the other. Can you think of a case?

    You write that a lawyer has said: "If the Constitution is so amended as to prohibit all discrimination in the law against women, it is plain that it will also prohibit all discrimination in their favor." It seems to me that this statement is correct.

    May I tell you again how much we enjoyed our tea with you and how charmed we were with your beautiful home.


[Alice Paul]


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