Opinion: Ruth Bader Ginsburg: a pioneer, a hero, an inspiration


Photo by Sarosh Ismail

A protestor holds her sign during a rally held in Dallas to honor Ginsburg. Many of these powerful women are inspired by Ginsburg and hope to continue her legacy.

After serving 27 years on the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away Sept. 18, at the age of 87. Ginsburg was the second female justice to serve in the Supreme Court, and was also the co-founder of the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

She was a fighter, having dealt with four rounds of cancer before her passing, something almost unheard of at the severity she was dealing with. Although hardly any politicians have truly impacted my life, Ginsburg is one of the few. 

Growing up in school, I thought it was bizarre that I was never taught about the term feminist. For a lot of people, feminism exhibits a negative connotation, and can be interpreted as women who are aggressive, and believe women are better and should have more rights than men. The definition Ginsburg gives is “[the] notion that we could be free to develop our own talents and not be held back by man-made barriers,” simply stating that women should be allowed to do what they want without men stopping them. It’s so important to be educated on feminism; I was unaware of what it meant to be a feminist a couple of months ago, but if I had just known what it was, I would have definitely been pushing feminism a long time ago. 

Another thing that was normalized in school was for boys to make jokes generalizing all women and referring to them as objects. Sure, they’re just harmless jokes to most people, but when little girls grow up hearing things suggesting they don’t matter, they are bound to develop ideas that they are not as good as men and can’t perform the same tasks as men. Even girls would say these jokes, degrading themselves because it was so normal. 

Being raised by a single-mom, Ginsburg has made an enormous impact on how my family and I function. One of the laws she helped pass ensured that all women have the right to financial independence and equal benefits. This includes applying for bank accounts, credit cards, and mortgages without a male co-signer. Ginsburg has directly impacted my family, and I can’t imagine where we would be without this law in place. 

One of the greatest things to note about Ginsburg is the fact that she didn’t only fight for women. Ginsburg often stressed how gender equality should benefit both women and men. Another law she helped pass ensured men would be entitled to the same caregiving and social security rights as women, a big issue for men that isn’t really talked about. 

It is not a debate that Ginsburg was an amazing woman who fought long and hard for the benefits of our country. She changed so many lives, and inspired many others. Throughout her life, Ruth Bader Ginsburg carried the torch of justice; now it is our turn to carry forward that legacy.