Ruth Bader Ginsburg is perhaps the only person in the world to hold the title of Supreme Court Justice while also being a full-fledged pop culture meme. It takes an extraordinary person to straddle these worlds so effortlessly, but as a champion of women’s rights in the 1970s and the second-ever female Justice (and the first Jewish female justice), Ginsburg is nothing if not extraordinary.
That’s why we were psyched to learn that Harvard University recently honored the 82-year old dynamo for her pioneering and world-changing work. Naturally the Notorious R.B.G. used the honor as an opportunity to encourage young women to help pick up the fight. Read more below, and for the whole story check out this article in U.S. News & World Report.
BOSTON (AP) — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday advised young women to fight for things they care about, but to do so in a way that inspires others to join their cause.
“Young women today have a great advantage, and it is that there are no more closed doors,” the 82-year-old justice said in a speech at Harvard University, in Cambridge. “That was basically what the 70s was all about. Opening doors that had been closed to women.”
Ginsburg, once a prominent women’s rights lawyer and now the oldest active justice on the nation’s highest court, spoke at an outdoor luncheon at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The institute gave her the Radcliffe Medal, which is awarded annually to an individual who has had a “transformative impact” on society.
Ginsburg “knocked on closed doors, opened them and then held them open for others,” Lizabeth Cohen, dean of the institute, said in her introductions.
Ginsburg, in a conversation with former Stanford Law School dean Kathleen Sullivan, reflected on her work on landmark women’s rights cases.
The Brooklyn native rose to prominence in the 1970s arguing a number of cases dealing with gender discrimination before the U.S. Supreme Court as an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer.
“The object was to get at a stereotype that held women back from doing whatever their talent would allow them to do,” she said. “The notion was that there were separate spheres for the sexes. Men were the doers in the world and women were the stay-at-home types.”