In Memoriam of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away yesterday, Sept. 17 from complications due to cancer. We here at Her Campus Geneseo are mourning the loss of an incredible icon who has done so much for our country.

In her honor, we decided to create a round table sharing thoughts, feelings and memories about the “notorious RBG.”

 

Rebecca Williamson 

I can’t believe that this just happened. As my cousin and former HC national writer Lily Herman tweeted, RBG deserved to retire and live happily. That was my first thought, too. I’m grateful that at least she was with family when she passed. She fought so long and hard for this country. Her spirit, strength and perseverance are unmatched. As the first Jewish woman (and second woman in general) to serve on the Supreme Court, she inspired me and many others. I can’t even put into words what her death makes me feel. All I know is that dozens of emotions are running through me. Shock. Sadness. Anger. All I can do is think of the incredible legacy she leaves behind. The woman who did not hold back when she agreed or dissented, famously dropping the “respectfully” from her written statement on a decision from 2000. I strive to live life like her: Dissent when necessary and fight for what is right. 

Just days before her death, RBG told her granddaughter, “my most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed." While she sadly can no longer do this, we can do it for her. Register to vote. Vote Donald Trump out. Do this for RBG. 

 

Margaux Carmel

I am honestly at a loss of words. RBG was such an important member of the Supreme Court and, in a larger sense, our government. She has done so much to fight for and preserve gender equality and women’s rights, especially in her efforts to preserve the Roe vs. Wade ruling on abortion, despite her reservations on the true effectiveness of the ruling. As someone assigned female at birth, RBG was and still is an inspiration and motivation for my activism and morals. 

I’m fearful of what will come next regarding the nomination of her replacement. What I do know is that if the election wasn’t already the most important thing in the near future, it certainly is now. Check your voter registration status, apply for an absentee ballot if you need to and be sure to vote in November. RBG, I hope we can do your legacy justice and fight for what we believe in.

 

Emily Tsoi

One of my favorite quotes as of late has been, “women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” It’s one of RBG’s many quotes and it’s resonated with me as I think about some of the obstacles that she had to overcome as a woman to get to the Supreme Court, as well as the obstacles that women as a whole have had to go through in order to be seen as equal in society. Her words are truly just empowering and motivate me to keep going.

When I found out she had passed away, I felt an instant pit in my stomach. She deserved so much more than what she got. She deserved to be able to retire and enjoy time with her family. Instead she tried to hang on and she fought until the very end for us which truly speaks to her resilient character. She will forever be remembered as a true American hero. May she rest in peace. 

 

Kristine Pereira

The Notorious RBG. I went through life wanting a female role model. There are so many great women in this world with so many wonderful different strengths. Still, no one was just right.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. Or what it was I was really looking for. I would know ‘it’ when I saw it. I would know her when I found her. It turns out I was looking for strength. And I found that strength in Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

The more I read about her the more in awe I was. Her early career and contributions were impressive. She was a trailblazer, paving the way for future women like myself. But what really impressed me was her sheer will and determination in later years. She continued to fight through sickness and age. She could have hung up her robe. She sure as hell earned it. But she wasn’t done fighting for us. Her strength gave me strength. And there have been days I have truly needed it. I’ll keep fighting just like her. And maybe one day I’ll give someone else the strength they need to continue their fight. So, thank you sweet RBG. The world did not deserve you, but we were lucky to have you.  

 

Jess Kaplan 

Civil Rights activist Marian Wright Edelman said, “you can’t be what you can’t see.” The incandescent magic of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the “Notorious RBG,” is that she allowed women to see and imagine lives beyond what was ever conceived as possible. Justice Ginsburg had to fight her entire life, whether it was systemic injustice, sexism, numerous cases that she did not always win, to get one of her first jobs as a legal clerk despite being at the top of her class in Harvard Law School, or to attend law school while caring for her ill husband and first child. She literally had to do it all, and she faced an insurmountable amount of obstacles in her way. And, yet, it is because of that very fight—her tenacity, her strength, her ability to articulate her beliefs and fight for justice—that made her an icon. Some of her titles include: first female tenured professor at Columbia Law School, founder of the Women’s Right Project at the ACLU, first Jewish woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court and second woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg made history and scathing dissents time and time again. She was a comfort to many that, in times of unjust or uncertain cases and time periods, she would be there to act as a voice of reason, a voice that was honest and that spoke for women. It is why Ruth Bader Ginsburg has transcended generations and has remained an icon for women in every generation: because she dared to dissent, and fought for all of us. She dared to be a feminist champion; she dared to be a champion for women in America and around the world; and she will go down in history as one of the greatest champions of women of all time. 

Thank you, Justice Ginsburg, for everything. And please, if you take anything away from RBG’s life after reading all of our perspectives, take her life as a reminder to fight for what you believe in, to not only speak but act when you see or hear about something unjust, to stand up for others as well as yourself, to not give up in the face of odds that may seem unconquerable, to be tenacious and “notorious,” and to be unafraid in the pursuit of breaking glass ceilings and sitting at tables you might not think you belong at. Because if RBG’s life taught us anything, it’s that you do belong, and your voice matters. Dare to dissent, and please vote on November 3rd. 

 

Julia Clancy

My heart goes out not only to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s loved ones but also to girls around the globe who have lost their idol. RBG paved the way for so many women, myself included. She was a political powerhouse and a crusader for representation of women in government. There is so much to be learned about RBG’s character and persistence. If there’s one thing that I have learned from her, it’s that “women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” 

 

Nicole Kemmett

I am at a loss for words. RBG was an idol to me growing up, especially as a young woman aspiring to be a lawyer and become involved with the law. She inspired me to pursue a career where I would be able to make a difference and not only advocate for women’s rights, but human rights. She is somebody that I aspire to be like everyday, a crusader and an icon. One of her most popular and one of my favorite quotes is “my mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.” As somebody who used to vehemently detest being told to ‘be a lady’ and ‘act ladylike,’ knowing that being a lady can be left up to how you see fit is eye-opening and life-changing. I hope her words and accomplishments continue to inspire young women in every generation for years to come. 

 

 

Rest In Peace Ruth Bader Ginsburg. You will be forever loved and honored by many.