Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg

As the world mourns the death of an icon, Cactus Shadows reflects on the lasting legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her special place in the hearts of women around the country.
“Her fight impacts women everyday because we aren’t asking for permission from men, we’re allowed to hold our own lives in our own hands. We are closer to being equals with men than before, and she was the catalyst,” said Audrey Phipps, a junior.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, born in Brooklyn 1933, was a woman of firsts. Born to Jewish American parents in a low-income neighborhood, Ginsburg never had it easy. Despite her struggles, however, she graduated at the top of her class at Cornell in 1954. Then again at Columbia Law School in 1959.
“[Ruth Bader Ginsburg] serves as an example to many women what you can do when you don’t take no for an answer, and helps many understand that gender is not a limitation, even if the world tells you it is,” said Phipps.
Soon after graduating, Ginsburg began teaching at Columbia, where she would eventually become the school’s first female tenured professor. She also co-founded the ACLU’s Women’s RIghts Project, where she fought for gender equality in front of the supreme court six separate times.
“She is a major reason I care so much about the government and paying attention to the political climate because I realized how much one person was able to change what I am able to do with my future,” said Annie Bugbee, an active advocate for women’s rights.
Finally, in 1993, Former President Bill Clinton appointed Ginsburg to the United States Supreme Court, becoming only the second woman and first Jewish person to hold that position. While on the Supreme Court, Ginsburg ruled in many cases against sex discrimination. According to an article published in the American Academy of Achievement, “In 1996, she joined the majority in United States v. Virginia, ruling that the state could not continue to operate an all-male educational institution (the Virginia Military Institute) with taxpayer dollars. She dissented vehemently in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire (2007), in which an Alabama woman sued unsuccessfully for back pay to compensate for the years in which she had been paid substantially less than junior male colleagues performing the same job.”
“She helped to make the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause apply to women, which helped women to obtain better opportunities in the workforce because employers could no longer discriminate based on gender. She also made it so that women could serve in the military,” said Bugbee.
Ginsburg was a trailblazer, in and out of the courtroom, but when asked about her legacy, one thing became clear: many people today simply don’t know about her many achievements.
“To be honest, I didn’t really know a lot about her until after her death,” said Danae Sprouse, a Biology teacher.
Yet with her groundbreaking history, why are so many ignorant to her triumphs for women?
“I’m not sure why so many people don’t know about her legacy. It definitely isn’t included in school curriculum and I would say that’s a problem. It’s saddening that influential women continue to be overlooked despite their contributions to society,” said Phipps.
The only way to honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life and accomplishments is to continue telling her story, one of a Jewish American woman, who against all odds, made a difference for women everywhere.