The Notorious RBG: Everyone’s New Best Friend

Perhaps day-to-day life feels depressing right now. Perhaps daily tasks seem menial right now. And, just maybe, life is not cutting you any breaks. For that reason, I think we need a guiding light. I might even argue we need an intelligent, elderly, fit woman to guide us: Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Illustration by Ben Murphy

Justice Ginsburg became an internet sensation following the summer of 2013. She became notorious for her plethora of famous court decisions and dissents. As a result, memes, Facebook posts, and Twitter hashtags erupted around the 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice. New York University students even created a Tumblr page called “The Notorious RBG”. From that moment on, the woman was a popular culture icon. A documentary was even created about her life: “RBG”.

I think this movie is one that all members of the Colorado College community should watch. The movie shows Justice Ginsburg’s journey into the Supreme Court. Essentially, she put herself through undergraduate school and law school, while also helping her husband get through law school when he fell ill. During this time, she was also carrying their first child. Women were not widely accepted in law school or law firms during her time, however, RBG pushed through.

Once she finished school, Ginsburg started working on cases to prove the disparity between genders. InRBG,” Ginsburg explains that the men in the court genuinely did not understand that women faced oppression. She describes it as “teaching kindergarten.” Throughout the entire film, Ginsburg is depicted as a quiet, composed woman. She never loses her temper, yet she always seems to get her point across.

Additionally, Ginsburg approaches the gender issue from the other side. Justice Ginsburg wants to prove that she will fight for any gender, so she also takes a man’s case at one point. She wants to show the Supreme Court full of men that she is willing to fight for any side.

While many of Justice Ginsburg’s cases are out of many college student’s hands, I think this woman can be an inspiration to us all. Ginsburg shows that change can happen without immense amounts of anger. She was likely incredibly angry attempting to relay the problems she faced every day to a group of people who could not possibly relate.

Still, Ginsburg shows that underrepresented people can make an immense difference. She was a woman in a law school where the ratio of men to women was 4:1. So, Ginsburg used her minority stance to represent all women. She realized change is not immediate; in order to change the minds of the people who held the most power, she planted seeds within their minds. Our friend RBG proves that people have the possibility to create change.

Caroline Williams

Caroline Williams

Caroline Williams

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