Determined and outspoken, “The Notorious R.B.G,” a.k.a. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (born on March 15, 1933), is a genuine living superheroine!
“My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.”
Despite challenges since she started off as a non-devout Ukrainian Jewish kid in Brooklyn, New York, she’s achieved things that the rest of us only dream of. A lawyer and a jurist, she’s served as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court since President Bill Clinton appointed her in 1993. She’s the second of four women justices. She’s endured the death of her beloved husband, and she’s fought off multiple cancers.
Her mom passed away before Ginsburg was out of high school. She made sure Ginsberg got the best education possible. Already a young wife and mother, Ginsburg entered Harvard law school as a rare female student there. Later at Columbia Law School, she tied for first in her graduating class.
Regardless of her achievements, getting work required a fierce will. In 1960, it was still acceptable to not hire women. Even when she found jobs, employers were within legal rights to pay her less than her male counterparts.
Gender equality became her target when she was inspired while she did research in Sweden. There, women comprised twenty to twenty-five percent of all law students. One judge, still working, was eight months pregnant.
“It is not women’s liberation, it is women’s and men’s liberation.”
In the early 1970s, at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), she co-founded the Women’s Rights Project. Her eyes on the long haul, she embarked upon an action plan. Each of her successes at arguing gender discrimination cases was meant to build upon the previous win. From social security and military benefits to drinking ages and the right to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy — she showed how discrimination hurts everyone. Her arguments emphasized ‘gender,’ not merely ‘sex.’
“My Own Words” is her autobiography (written with Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams) and she’s the subject of numerous books by others such as “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik.
Check out Felicity Jones playing her in the movie, “On the Basis of Sex.”
Who’s your living superheroine?