RBG, the recent documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is attracting a great deal of attention, for good reason. Ginsburg is a US Supreme Court justice, nominated by President Clinton in 1993, and the second woman to be appointed to this position. She is generally viewed as belonging to the liberal wing of the court, staunchly supporting social issues like gender equality and the environment.
Ginsburg was born in 1933 in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated first in her class from Columbia Law School (one of eight females out of more than 500 students), and became a courtroom advocate for fair treatment of women. In 1972 she co-founded the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and in 1973 became the ACLU’s general counsel.
In 1999 Ginsburg was diagnosed with colon cancer and underwent surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. Throughout this experience, she did not miss a single day on the bench. Determined to improve and maintain her health, she worked with a personal trainer in the justices-only gym at the Supreme Court. Before her 80th birthday, she was able to do twenty push-ups! In 2009, however, she had surgery for pancreatic cancer that was discovered at an early stage. Again she managed her health needs so they did not interfere with her service on the court.
Ginsburg was named one of the “100 Most Powerful Women” by Forbes and was one of Glamour magazine’s “Women of the Year” in 2012. She was also one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2015.
She married Martin Ginsburg in 1954. Ruth considered Martin her biggest supporter, and said he was the only man she dated “who cared I had a brain.” They were married for fifty-six years. Even though their relationship may have differed from the cultural norm— he was gregarious and loved to entertain and joke, while Ruth is serious and soft-spoken — their differences served to strengthen their bond. A day after his death,in 2010, she wasback towork at the court for the last day of the term.
Obviously, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an amazing woman—astute, well educated, and completely devoted to her principles. Of great importance is that she knows and values her own essence, and courageously manifests her own truth. Our similarities include being of the same generation and having been encouraged by female family members (her mother, and in my case, my oldest sister) to become educated and influential at a time in which females had little support or even latitude to know and manifest their truth. Her example inspires me to continue to know, write about, and speak my truth no matter the consequences!!
Given the above—whether you are male or female—in what ways do you know, value, and manifest the truth of who you are? Whether in big or small ways, you are of great benefit to this planet and thank you for being so!