The Equal Rights Amendment WAS offensive. Not the First Section of the language of the amendment, but the Second Section:
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
The Bill of Rights enumerated specific powers the government was not to have. This section in the amendments that followed gave the government sweeping powers that could be interpreted to mean anything they could get past the courts. The limits on government power began to wane.