Eyes on Icon: Ruth Bader Ginsbgerg

Ruth Bader Ginsberg's lessons and legacy – her Vital Role As An Icon.

We live in a world that places value to people and things who have the power to create movement or influence. The vital role of societal icons has a metaphoric potential to create change and is symbolic of an image or status assigned by society. One such icon that we never took our eyes off is Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RGB) was a Feminist Rock Star and the second female to serve on the Supreme Court. RGB has done tremendous work in the field of gender discrimination and has really contributed to a lot of the progress we enjoy in the Women’s Empowerment movement. Society has a big debt of gratitude due to RGB for pushing the equal rights bar over the last 50 years. Ruth displayed an admirable combination of intellectual acuity and tenacity which made her a giant in all that she promoted. She passed away in September 2020 at the age of 87 with one major wish undone, she wanted nothing more than to hang on to this earthly plane until the November 2020 elections, sadly she was called away two months short of this. RGB was the first woman to lay in state after her passing. Here are some of the ways she earned her Rock Star title:

  • In 1996 the United States vs Virginia case RGB allowed state funded schools to admit women.
  • RGB passed the Equal Credit Opportunity Act in 1974 allowing women the ability to sign mortgages and have a bank account for the first time ever.
  • The year 2007 allowed Ginsberg to make a major break in creating opportunities for equal pay for women (Ledbetter vs. The Goodyear Tire Company)
  • RGB introduced pro-choice giving women the right to choose in Roe vs Wade.
  • 1972 was significant for pregnant women in the workplace. The case Struck vs Secretary of Defense brought sex discrimination in the Air Force to the fore.
  • Women serving on juries must give thanks to RGB in her 1979 ruling on Duren vs Missouri.

Such major accomplishments and I barely touched the surface in terms of the work RGB has done. As I reflect on some of the lessons learnt from the woman who has made a major impact on my life, I can share some of the ways she created meaning in my world.

  1. RGB made me understand that retiring should not be dictated by a legislative decision if we can still contribute to society and make a difference for humanity.
  2. As I watched RBG battle pancreatic cancer she displayed remarked strength in the face of adversity. She talked about having people that care makes the fight against sickness meaningful.
  3. RGB taught me that being in the moment is important so that when the moment is done you have no regrets or longing for the past because if you are mindful of your presence then you can give it your everything.
  4. Ruth and her husband Marty showed that power should not compromise love. They had the ultimate love story and I remember seeing her read a love letter from her late husband. Ruth mentioned she found the love letter in her husband’s bedside cupboard mere days before he died. It reads “My dearest Ruth, you are the only person I have loved all my life aside from my parents and our children. I have admired and loved you almost since the day we met at Cornell almost 56 years ago”, Ruth shared this in a beautiful display of affection in her role as a wife.
  5. Ruth taught me that my sex does not limit me or reduce me, and I am entitled to as even an opportunity as my male counterparts. She made me realize that I need to fight to gain my position and space but that I must take on that fight in a meaning and non-violent manner through the arms of the law.

Let us take these lessons and understand the role Ruth Bader Ginsberg has played in changing our lives and earning her position as an ICON.

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Last modified on Friday, 11/20/2020


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