Remembering the Feminist Icon and Legacy: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

     On Sept. 18, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died from complications with pancreatic cancer. Over the past few days, the media went quick from mourning to questioning who will be her replacement, but as a feminist icon and fighter for both women's and men's rights, Ruth Bader Ginsburg's legacy deserved to be remembered. 

     Beginning her career as a Harvard Law student, Ginsburg was only one of nine women in her class, and was asked by the dean on several occasions why she was occupying a seat that would otherwise be filled by a man. After graduating first in her class from Columbia following transferring schools to keep her family together, Ginsburg struggled to find work. She was eventually hired for a clerkship with Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, even though he "wasn't ready to hire a woman"

     Continuing in the academic realm, she continued to be at a disadvantage as a woman, with her pay being lower than her male colleagues. She, then, joined an equal pay campaign at Rutgers Law School in 1963, which resulted in substantial increases for women. 

     Ginsburg's start in the world of law inspired her to go for sex discrimination cases, imagining that men and women would "create new traditions by their actions, if artificial barriers are removed, and avenues of opportunity held open to them." 

     She became the first female professor at Columbia to earn tenure. From there on, she continued to direct the influential Women's Rights Projects of the American Civil Liberties Union, or better known as the ACLU. During her time with the ACLU, she fought for women and men who faced discrimination based on the basis of sex. She fought six cases against gender discrimination before the U.S. Supreme Court.

     After her appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, she was appointed to the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court. There she fought for women's rights, including advocating for women to attend the Virginia Military Institute, equal pay for women with the same qualifications as men, the right to get an abortion, to marry someone of the same sex, and allowing women to have their own credit card. 

     Needless to say, Ginsburg is a model of advocating for female empowerment. Now, as we reflect on her life, we as women should give thanks to the eample she has laid out for generations of people. She set the path for those who are tired of discrimination and are intolerant of trying to catch up to men. Instead of immediately considering who could possibly replace her in the Supreme Court in the midst of a presidential election, politicians should reflect on all that she has done in her time in the court of law for 40 years. 

     Let's remember the legend, the female rights activist, the icon, and the woman who went against the norm and spoke up about issues that matter. RBG, thank you. 

     "Feminism [is the] notion that we should each be free to develop our own talents and not be held back by man-made barriers." - RBG