Yesterday I had both my mother and daughter call me crying. Three generation of women happy together having lunch, turned to the three of us consoling each other by phone at supper. Life is like that. I wasn't expecting the first call, and hearing my mother's voice, I knew something was very wrong. Of course I'm deeply thankful that no one we know and love was hurt, or passed away, but the news she shared still left me speechless. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died, and now all of the other dominoes would fall. Where they would end was our true fear. What her death at this time means for women in our country, I don't know, but I do know I will forever be inspired by the work and life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her sheer dedication to truth, justice and equality for all was incredible.
I was contemplating the shocking fact that my three daughters may not have the same rights afforded to them as my mother and I did, when the phone rang. My oldest daughter, who is considering law school, called in tears. I tried to encourage her to remember that we can and must carry on Ruth's legacy with grateful hearts. We need to take care of ourselves, I told her, like Justice Ginsburg did, body, mind and soul. We need to be strong, as she was, so we can fight for the equality of women around the world. Earlier that same day, I listened to an NPR report on the state of women in Egypt. Sexual violence against women is systematic in that country. You are not safe if you are a woman living in Egypt. They do not have, nor did they ever have, a Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, because in order to have a women with that kind of power, you need to have equal protection for women under the law. Soil cannot produce good fruit unless it is fertile, and the soil of a nation must be rich with the hope and constitutional fortitude that all people were created equal.
Although not everyone was included when our Constitution was drafted, I do believe our forefathers got some things right. I also believe they knew the Constitution would evolve, and this has left room for it to grow and encompass all people, not just cisgender white men. Although Justice Ginsburg faced discrimination far worse than American women of today, she persisted and went on to become an attorney, and federal judge. Justice Bader Ginsburg made significant advances for women under the Equal Protection Clause of our Constitution. She became the leading legal advocate of the fight for women's rights, and she rose to the highest court in the land. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg changed the world for good.
My gratitude will take the form of action, and I will carry the strength that she exhibited as she tirelessly worked to fight for equality, and truth. Most importantly I will teach my three daughters, and two sons that advances made for equality must be protected. Complacency is not acceptable, instead like Justice Gingsberg, we will fight till our last breath for what is right.
Rest in peace and power sister Ruth.