Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for those of you somehow not in the know, is the 84-year-old juggernaut that graces the bench of the United States Supreme Court. For the last 24 years, Notorious RBG has remained steadfast in her convictions and has been a bastion of good among those that would try and stifle our rights.
For these reasons, and many, many, many, MANY more, we have chosen Bader Ginsburg as April’s Patron Saint of Feminism. We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate this phenomenal woman than with her very own words. Sit back and relax and let these nuggets of wisdom act as your shining light in the darkness.
Don’t even mention retirement (The New York Times):
Now I happen to be the oldest. But John Paul Stevens didn’t step down until he was 90.
Don’t worry, RBG, your legacy is safe (MSNBC):
[When asked how she’d like to be remembered] Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has. To do something, as my colleague David Souter would say, outside myself. ‘Cause I’ve gotten much more satisfaction for the things that I’ve done for which I was not paid.
She gets a real kick out of those Notorious RBG shirts & merch (NPR’s Nina Totenberg):
I think a law clerk told me about this tumblr and also explained to me what Notorious RBG was a parody on. And now my grandchildren love it and I try to keep abreast of the latest that’s on the tumblr. … [I]n fact I think I gave you a Notorious RBG [T-shirts]. I have quite a large supply.
Feminism– she gets it, obviously (Makers):
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.
SHE DISSENTS (Live with Bill Maher):
Dissents speak to a future age. It’s not simply to say, ‘my colleagues are wrong and I would do it this way,’ but the greatest dissents do become court opinions.
We are not worthy, ma’am (CBS News):
[W]hen I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the supreme court]? And I say ‘When there are nine.’ People are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.
On bodily autonomy and women’s rights (From the Senate hearing on her nomination):
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 Government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.
She makes valid points, no? (From Ginsburg’s concurring opinion in the 2016 decision on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt)
The notion that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act furthers any legitimate governmental interest is, quite simply, irrational … the Court’s defense of it, cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court—and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women’s lives.
She knows that an equal marriage is the only kind of marriage for feminists (From an interview with Katie Couric for Yahoo):
If you have a caring life partner, you help the other person when that person needs it. I had a life partner who thought my work was as important as his, and I think that made all the difference for me.
She recognizes that working with those you disagree with is a part of life (C-Span):
We care about this institution more than our individual egos and we are all devoted to keeping the Supreme Court in the place that it is, as a co-equal third branch of government and I think a model for the world in the collegiality and independence of judges.
RBG knows how to break it down in the simplest of terms (The Record [PDF]):
Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.
She appreciates a shimmery, silver lining (Makers):
You think about what would have happened … Suppose I had gotten a job as a permanent associate. Probably I would have climbed up the ladder and today I would be a retired partner. So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great good fortune.
Finally– she gives credit where credit is due (ACLU):
My mother told me two things constantly. One was to be a lady, and the other was to be independent. The study of law was unusual for women of my generation. For most girls growing up in the ’40s, the most important degree was not your B.A., but your M.R.S.
I can only imagine how profoundly proud RBG’s mother would be of the woman she has become, and we are so grateful she is on our side, fighting the good fight. Thank you for your service, Justice Bader Ginsburg.
Long may you dissent.