What RBG Meant to Me


Reagan Witkowski, Editor

On Friday, September 18th, the world lost one of America’s most inspiring women, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburgs. With several documentaries and a feature film about her years as a lawyer, she isn’t just a supreme court justice. To me and many women alike, she’s an icon, a pioneer, and someone whose legacy will never be erased.

What RBG meant to me was determination. In a class of 500 men at Cornell University, she was one of 9 girls and top of her class. Being one of the most knowledgeable people of the law, she was then denied at every law firm in New York City, after receiving her Master’s at Columbia. Only because she was a woman, and women “didn’t belong in the law.” How disturbing to realize that this was only 50 years ago? A woman couldn’t even be financially independent. She presented strength and patience beyond anything I could imagine; it’s a heroic type of strength. 

What RBG meant to me was equality. She was fighting for my rights even before I was born! In 1973, Ginsburg was given her first case to present before the Court. Frontiero v. Richardson stated that benefits given from the U.S military to family services cannot be given out differently because of sex. Ginsburg won her case and continued onto different instances in which citizens were discriminate on the basis of sex. She not only helped women in the Court of law, but she also presented situations where the law discriminated against men for their financial security.

What RBG meant to me was security. When I found out that she had passed away, I cannot lie, I immediately wanted to cry. Of course, I couldn’t, I was at my job, and I had to continue communicating with customers. I knew what her death would mean for my rights. I’m incredibly passionate about politics, and I don’t push my political beliefs onto others. Nonetheless, RBG dying meant that my rights as a woman were in jeopardy at the hands of the Supreme Court. I knew that our current elected president would not hesitate to immediately replace her, knowing that her dying wish was to NOT be replaced until after the 2020 presidential election. I knew that Roe v. Wade was now up for discussion; the female body was now a resurfacing debate topic for the Court. RBG did what she could for the last four years to keep the Court as civil as possible, but now she’s gone. And I’ve lost a great amount of hope in humanity.

Reflecting on RBG’s life is emotional; she has done a lot for women’s rights and made sure they can be as independent as possible from a man. Still, I cannot imagine what was going through her mind on her final days. I’m saddened to think that she couldn’t have a peaceful death; she carried so much weight on her shoulders. I hope she passed on, knowing that someday, America will be united once again. 

If you’re thinking to yourself, “How can I carry on RBG’s legacy?” If you can vote in this upcoming presidential election, please do so. It takes about two minutes to register, and early voting starts October 13th for Texas.