Ginsburg leaves behind generation of strong women

Madeline Bruce, Features Editor

I think that I’ll always remember where I was in the exact moment I found out Ruth Bader Ginsburg died.
I’m not just saying that for dramatic effect, either. Her death, while not exactly a shock, is one of those life moments that I’ll tell my kids and my grandkids.
I’ll tell them that I was making a sandwich while working the closing shift on a Friday night at Panera (typical), and I got the text from my friend that Ginsburg died.
I’ll tell them that my heart sank, and it felt wrong to continue on with my night without taking a moment to remember her and her achievements.
I’ll tell them that I asked one of my co-workers if she knew who Ginsburg was, and that she said she was the first woman in the Senate, and I corrected her. She asked if Ginsburg was my role model, “or something,” and I said yes, to which she answered, “Of course, that doesn’t surprise me.”
While that comment may have been condescending or patronizing, I did not take it that way in the least. Yes, Ginsburg was, and still is, my role model. She’s one of the many women who inadvertently shaped me into the woman I am today.
I remember hearing her name when I was young, too young to even know what the Supreme Court was. I remember being in middle school and seeing the “Notorious R.B.G” slogan on social media as I was discovering feminism, and forever associating the “Notorious B.I.G” part of the song “Big Poppa” with “Notorious R.B.G” instead. I remember going with my friends to see “On the Basis of Sex,” the biographical drama film based on her law career in high school, feeling like I could hold all of the power in the world as I watched her break down barriers and change the course of her career, all on her own.
Not only that, she is responsible for so many of the rights I have today as a result of her influence on the Supreme Court.
I, and all American women, have the right to choose.
I have equal protection under the law, without discrimination based on sex. I can take out my own credit card and my own mortgage, without a man to co-sign.
Other things I can do that don’t have to do with the law, but with societal standards, include working, attending college and holding powerful positions, all things that Ginsburg had to fight to do. She paved the way for women to be able to do those things without thought.
Having such a powerful, unapologetic, yet graceful female role model as I was growing up is something that I am so grateful to say I had. In watching her find her voice in a society that only wanted her to hide behind a man, I found my own.
I hope she knows how much she’s done for me, and for girls and women of all ages. We owe it to her now to carry on her legacy and ensure it is not torn down by those who refused to honor her last wish in the moments after her death.

[email protected]