RBG has some boss advice for young women today, because she's RBG
While we were just working for the weekend on Friday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was busy dropping gold nuggets of wisdom about gender equality at Harvard University. If anyone knows how to move the needle forward and balance the scales of justice for women in this country, it’s the Notorious RBG. So at a Harvard luncheon where she received the prestigious Radcliffe Medal, she offered up some amazing truths about the way things were and what we need to do next:
“Young women today have a great advantage, and it is that there are no more closed doors,” she said. “That was basically what the 70s was all about. Opening doors that had been closed to women.”
“The object was to get at a stereotype that held women back from doing whatever their talent would allow them to do,” she continued. “The notion was that there were separate spheres for the sexes. Men were the doers in the world and women were the stay-at-home types.”
Ginsburg has been an advocate of women’s rights since the 70s, founding the Women’s Rights Project with the ACLU and representing women in high profile cases that would ultimately lead to the overturning of patriarchal laws. (See Reed vs Reed which extended executor privileges to women for the first time.)
In 1993, she became the second woman ever to hold a seat on the Supreme Court. Two years ago, she was the first Supreme Court justice to officiate a same-sex wedding, and earned a new generation of supporters after her famed Hobby Lobby dissent. But her journey to the top of the legal system has been paved with discrimination. In 1960, when she was still fresh out of law school she was rejected from a clerkship position by the Dean of Harvard Law, reportedly due to her gender. Of course, that only seemed to fuel her passion for equality.
When asked on Friday what advice she would specifically give young women today, she had this to say: “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
Someone make that an inspirational Instagram message, pronto.