Natacha de Santignac
Resilient Bright and Grand. Notorious RBG.
Dernière mise à jour : 20 sept. 2020
To be honest, I had never heard of RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, before watching the documentary about her work, directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen. I wrote “never heard”, and it might be a slight exaggeration since the Supreme Court of the United States does sometimes appear in our European news, so let’s say I had not paid attention to neither her name nor her dissents. How wrong can one be?
Notorious RBG as she is now known, has been an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court since 1993. Well, even though I am not familiar with the institution, I understand how important it is. You may think it is an achievement for Ruth to be in such powerful position, and it is in some way but let’s not be mistaken, Ruth is certainly not part of the décor and she was working hard on gender discrimination for decades before she got the post, and she still is.
Women of the western world owe this minute lady the way they are able to live today. She has defended cases of injustices based on gender with such passion and determination, she has thrown overboard her opponents who were not expecting such subtle arguments and positions. The opposition is now organised and probably feels more legitimate since the president is a notorious sexist!
She was lucky, as she says “to marry a man who did not see her as a threat” and admired her intelligence. Marty, a lawyer too, supported her with all his love and relations for fifty-six years.
Ruth has taken on cases likely to make a difference to society. She has studied them so carefully, and her arguments were so sharp, that she won five out of six at the Supreme Court.
Benefits equality, possibility to study in all schools, fair pay, you name it. To make her point she has also defended men, like widowers denied widows pension, and therefore showed gender discrimination was harmful to both sexes, as it kept them in specific postures which were no longer relevant, if they ever were i.e. men at work and women at home.
The female factory workers striking for equal pay at the end of the nineteenth century, were not housewives, farmers’ wives worked in the field whether they had children or not, and the upper classes ladies who had governesses to educate their children and nannies to dress them up, did not take care of their own. This is a mythology designed to keep women down, to continue dominating them after they had gained much freedom due to the two world conflicts. Unfortunately for them, they showed, too clearly, how well they managed without men.
Ruth has demonstrated male domination throughout her work, qualifying women as second-class citizens, and one can only feel privileged to know that this woman has been fighting for equality like a warrior of our time.
The documentary is a masterpiece. It brings hope and joy. Do not miss it!