RBG: the Woman, the Myth, the Legend

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice commonly referred to as RBG, was more than just a political icon. She was a role model for young girls, the epitome of a feminist, a mother and grandmother, and most of all, a true badass. 

Personally, as a woman trying to enter a male-dominated profession, RBG personifies everything I want to be in life. She showed me that a woman can have a full-time job while still having a family. Not only that, she showed everyone that you can still excel at both. If a female decides to go into a male-dominated profession, she feels like she has to prove something to everyone else, but that is not often the same for males. Ginsburg demonstrated that she deserved to be there (whether at Harvard Law School, the Supreme Court, or anywhere in between) and that she did not have to prove anything to anyone. She knew that she deserved it and that was most important. 

Ginsburg was ahead of her time and her primary goal as a Supreme Court Justice (in my opinion) was to make America a place that everyone can be proud to belong to. That statement can be difficult for us to say when we look around at all of the divisions surrounding us. However, if you reflect on how far females have come and how far we still have to go, we realize that we are making some progress, albeit slow. No one can deny that RBG has played an integral part in our progress. For example, she was one of the justices who secured the right to marry someone of the same sex, worked to ensure that a woman has the right to make decisions about her own body, and promoted racial and gender equality. 

Growing up, I always knew who RBG was and that she was an important female in the world of politics, but I did not truly understand the significance of her existence. It was not until later in high school and into my early years of college that I started to do more research about who she was and why she was (and will always be) incredibly important. There are countless little things that she did throughout her career, that when added up, surmise anything you could’ve imagined. For example, while at Harvard Law School, she not only attended her own classes and took care of her 3-year-old daughter, but also attended all of her husband’s law classes, took notes for him, and typed his final paper while he was hospitalized for cancer treatment. 

When I found out that RBG passed, I was in the hallway of my apartment building and I said loudly, “this can’t be true.” Ginsburg is one of those people who you never imagine dying. Other people on this very exclusive list include the Queen, Betty White, and Alex Trebek. She just seemed invincible, given all that she went through in life. After a few days, I finally began to process what her death meant. It was almost as if she was a grandmother or great aunt to all women in the U.S. She was and still is everyone’s role model no matter where you are from, what you want to do, etc.

One of the most popular nicknames to describe Ginsburg has been the “Notorious RBG.” Notorious, in my opinion, does not do RBG justice. In fact, you cannot put into words the legacy that RBG will have. However, we must try. A few words that come to mind when I think of RBG include invincible, powerful, collected, and legendary. My personal favorite is “WWRBGD” or “What Would RBG Do?” 

I hope to see little girls dressed up as her this Halloween and when they are asked what they want to be when they go up, they reply “RBG.” Ginsburg’s legacy will live on forever in the hearts of little girls and women who have her to thank. In her own words, “We are at last beginning to relegate to the history books the idea of the token woman." Rest in Peace RBG, you will never be forgotten.