US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, also known as RBG, was a fearless dreamer. She became the second female U.S. Supreme Court justice when she took the oath of office on August 10, 1993. She faced workplace discrimination in the 1960s despite graduating first in her class at Columbia Law School in 1959.
Ginsburg has long been a forceful advocate of women’s rights and gender equality, and she has earned the deep and abiding respect of her colleagues on the Court along with the American Public. She is widely known for winning several cases involving women’s rights before the Supreme Court.
According to CNN, she died on Friday, September 18, 2020, at age 87 from complications caused by cancer.
Her words and mindset, continue to be relevant in today’s hard reality of gender inequality, injustice, complex social issues and racial dilemmas.
Remember her fight with some of her wisest quotes, below.
- “My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.” — Interview with Nina Totenberg
- “Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.” — The Record Vol. 56 No. 1, Winter 2001
- “It is essential to a woman’s equality with man that she is the decision-maker, that her choice be controlling”.
- “Feminism … I think the simplest explanation, and one that captures the idea, is a song that Marlo Thomas sang, ‘Free to be You and Me.’ Free to be, if you were a girl—doctor, lawyer, Indian chief. Anything you want to be. And if you’re a boy, and you like teaching, you like nursing, you would like to have a doll, that’s OK too. That notion that we should each be free to develop our own talents, whatever they may be, and not be held back by artificial barriers—manmade barriers, certainly not heaven sent.” — In an interview with Makers
- “The state controlling a woman would mean denying her full autonomy and full equality”.
- “Attack the most pervasive stereotype in the law – that men are independent and women are men’s dependents”.
- “I … try to teach through my opinions, through my speeches, how wrong it is to judge people on the basis of what they look like, color of their skin, whether they’re men or women.” — Interview with MSNBC
- “A gender line…helps to keep women not on a pedestal, but in a cage”.
- “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception”.
- “Reproductive choice has to be straightened out… There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore. That just seems to me so obvious. The states that had changed their abortion laws before Roe [to make abortion legal] are not going to change back. So we have The New York Times, 2009. , and it can never be otherwise, and I don’t know why this hasn’t been said more often.” —
- “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When the government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a full adult human responsible for her own choices.” — 1993 Senate Confirmation Hearings
- “Justices continue to think and can change. I am ever hopeful that if the court has a blind spot today, its eyes will be open tomorrow.” — From an interview with Katie Couric
Photo Credit: Ruth Bader Ginsburg ‘RBG’