Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death casts a cloud of fear over the heads of women and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
In her life, “The Notorious RBG,” fought against discrimination as what was professionally known for her fight for women’s rights. She inspired many generations to stand up and make a difference. Her death is more than just a funeral, and more than an empty seat on the Supreme Court. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death is the beginning of a battle she has long prepared us for: The battle for our lives and rights as women, LGBTQ+, and so much more.
The battles Ginsburg prepared us for started with conflicts that were never resolved. Ginsburg fought for gender equality, leading a battle rooted in personal experience. Before her days on Capitol Hill, Ginsburg had already been fighting for gender equality at her alma mater of Harvard, where she was among eight other women who, according to Ginsburg, “were chided by the law school’s dean for taking the places of qualified males.”
Even in her career hunt after graduating Columbia Law School, Ginsburg faced discrimination because she was a female in a “male environment.”
The stereotype of a “job for a man” has been prevalent in our lives since the very beginning, and thus, the “male environment” is not new. In fact, because of the great legacy RBG built for herself has inspired millions of women everywhere, young and old, to change their lives for the better. Imara Jones, creator and producer of TransLash Media, said “…to say she was a strong voice in women’s rights understates her impact. . .[a] large reason why women have achieved the rights we have is literally because of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”
Ginsburg’s impact was not just laid upon women. Her work is inclusive equality for LGBTQ+ community. Matt Baum of Condé Naste writes that Ginsburg has “expanded access to the American promise of liberty and equality for all… is particularly meaningful for the countless LGBTQ+ Americans whose lives she’s touched.”
Ginsburg has fought for cases like Obergefell v. Hodges. Matt Baum goes on to emphasize that in the case Obergefell v. Hodges, RBG joined the majority “in finding that ‘the Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach,” essentially proving that same-sex couples have the right of equal dignity in our country’s Constitution. Obergefell v. Hodges shows that all Americans deserve equality and liberty and that Ruth Bader Ginsburg loved and cared about the lives of all Americans.
The definition of love, according to Merriam-Webster is, “attraction based on sexual desire,” and it blatantly shows us that there is, and never was, a direct heterosexual meaning to the word. Ginsburg, with her knowledge and authority single handedly helped the world understand what it means to truly love one another. Her knowledge stood at the forefront of the battle, on the tallest horse, and with her authority in her hands, she helped shape the world into a much more equal place.
When thinking of all the battles RBG has fought for us, we tend to forget about the battles she fought for herself, the biggest and worst one being her battle with pancreatic cancer. Before Ginsburg’s death, one of her last wishes for herself and her country was, that “[she] will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” according to Li Cohen of CBS news. However, her wish has been ignored, as President Donald Trump appointed and the Senate confirmed our newest Supreme Court Justice, replacing Ginsburg just over a month after her passing.
Amy Coney Barrett appears to be a threat when it comes to the hard work and sacrifices Ruth Bader Ginsburg made for the rights of women and LGBTQ+ Americans. Barrett has made history as the youngest female appointed to the court, but she will also be a disgrace in history. According to Peter Baker and Nicholas Fandos of The New York Times,“[she] would work to dismantle all that Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought for during her extraordinary career.”
It is devastating that one of the most famous court rulings Ginsburg participated in, Roe v. Wade, is might be undone, in addition to “other rulings on gay rights, health care and other issues,” as Petter Baker and Nicholas Fandos said.
We are looking at a cloudy and bleak future, but Ginsburg’s legacy will never go dark. She was a woman that stood for the greater good and wanted change in the world. Her death is now, more than ever, a calling for strong citizens to fight for justice, and for the future of our country.