Friday, February 15, 2008

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I had the opportunity to meet Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a group for questions.  

Two things really stuck out for me.  The first was a question that opened with the following, "As an activist for women's rights..."

Justice Ginsburg clarified that she does not see herself as an activist for women's rights, but as an activist for equal rights--for men and women, across races, and across religions (I was hoping for sexual orientation and gender expression...maybe in the next few decades).  This really hits the core of my preference for the frame of humanism as opposed to feminism. 

The second was her response to my question: was appointment something that you aspired toward, or was it something that you happened upon as your career developed?  Justice Ginsburg explained how in her day, women would not even think to have such dreams, and although she graduated top of her class from Columbia law, she could not even get a job.  In order to get litigation experience, she actually volunteered for the ACLU.  Surprisingly small in frame and faint in voice, Justice Ginsburg delivered a powerful story, and thanked the re-birth of feminism for the change in direction that lead President Jimmy Carter to appoint women in the courts.  

It was really very uplifting, and from this I just extracted what I keep telling myself: just do your thing and see what the hell happens.  It will be great. 

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