Losing RBG, Now It’s Our Turn to Carry the Torch
The definition of feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.
That is what it is, not the very grotesque definition anti-equality activists have given to the term. It is not worthy of negative inflection or patriarchal redefining. Feminism is about understanding that women and men make up exactly half of the population—equally. So why is it that the male population, religious organizations and the government continue to demand they have a say over everything we do, say, feel and believe? Is it fear? Is it egotism? Is it control? Whatever it is, women have every right to speak on behalf of their half of the population as much as men have the right to speak on behalf of theirs.
When you lay out the facts and figures, the gender war is one that seems utterly pointless. Women and men are fully capable of independent thought, intellectual stimulation, sexual curiosity and determining what is best for themselves. And that is exactly what the late and incredibly poignant, powerful, politically fair Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg believed. She devoted her life to pursuing that very truth on behalf of women who continue to be silenced and placated by society.
“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”
The moment we lost #RBG was the day all fair-minded women were asked to step up and continue the fight Ruth Bader Ginsberg began decades ago. The impact of losing her aches so deeply because there has never been anyone who has fought as hard, or as determined for the justice of women. She is the beacon of strength and courage for many of us. Much like when Kennedy was shot or the Twin Towers went down or Obama won his presidency as the first African American man to take oath as POTUS, I will never forget when I found out RBG had died.
“Women’s rights are an essential part of the overall human rights agenda, trained on the equal dignity and ability to live in freedom all people should enjoy.”—RBG via the ACLU.
The day the world lost Ruth Bader Ginsberg is a historic moment that shook many of us. I learned about her passing from my kiddo who called to tell me, “I have to tell you horrible world news, mom. Ruth Bader Ginsberg died.” My stomach sunk to a place of total and utter defeat, fear, devastation, anxiety and uncertainty because as we have seen, this nation’s leadership is determined to undermine every ounce of progress made over the past 60 years and that is utterly shameful.
Notorious RBG was more than a lawyer, a Supreme Court Justice, a mother, a wife, a friend, a woman; she was a modern-day hero to many of us. Heck, her best friend was Judge Scalia and they couldn’t be more different, yet somehow their friendship extended well past party lines and into the core of humanity. Simply put, she was about good and decent people doing what serves all of the people, and she was a champion for women when no one else before (or after, to be honest) was willing to devote their lives to standing up for gender equality.
She stood against a male lineage of justices who didn’t believe women ever deserved a seat on the Court to begin without yet somehow, in her tenacious and methodical way she brought women’s rights to the forefront. And she swayed them with logical and factual data.
But her fight is far from over. Her fight is OUR fight. Her championing now falls on our shoulders and complacency is not an option.
As a working mother and a woman, RBG represents voting rights, dignified laws, individual choice, equal rights, civil rights, human rights. Those rights are not negotiable. They were hard-fought to maintain, and going backwards cannot happen. We have already seen the hate and abuse of power wielded by the law, the military, and the White House. That cannot possibly be representative of how most veterans, most police officers and most politicians believe, and yet like the nation has been poisoned by a cancer of indifference, RBG’s passing leads us to a rather poignant and frightening fork-in-the-road.
You cannot change things if you refuse to change.
The thing RBG did was not respond to violence or malicious slander. She stood her ground, lived on principle, and believed in her soul that humanity was capable of justice and level-headedness. Now it’s time to surpass indifference, get those feet off our necks, and continue what she began.
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”—A 2009 interview with USA Today, via CNN.