Devastating news tonight. The incomparable, powerful, notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg is gone. Gone from this Earth, and gone from the Supreme Court.
What I felt tonight was reminiscent of what I felt when I heard Hillary lost the election. I felt the wails of women everywhere cry out in disbelief that this pioneer of gender equality was simply gone. I believe I said to my partner, “She was supposed to live forever!”
As I lit a candle for RBG, two thoughts kept vying for my attention:
1) The future seems scarier than ever with her absence on the Supreme Court, and I fear for the future of this country, its citizens (of all races and gender identities), and the immigrants who sought a better life within our borders.
2) I am so grateful for the strides Ginsburg took so that I may recognize the power in my gender, even when I am treated unfairly on the basis of sex. I am grateful to Ginsburg for setting an example of what a healthy relationship looks like between a man and a woman, and that I can stand on my own two feet while my partner stands on his and still be holding his hand. I am grateful for her legacy, which fan the flames of revolution for women in this country.
I’ve done a lot of reflecting in the last few hours, ever since I heard the news. Nearly two weeks ago I shared that I had finally accepted the feminine part of my identity, and that I’m ready to stand and fight against the dismissal of the feminine by our current culture. I wonder if I would have written that post had Ruth Bader Ginsburg not persisted? Would I even be writing on this blog at all? Would I have these thoughts of identity? Would I be as free?
I hope that we don’t gloss over our mourning period in favor of fear for the future of the Supreme Court. I hope that we take time to celebrate this incredible woman’s life, and steep in our gratitude for her existence in our country and in our hearts. I hope we pick up where she left off, and continue to dissent from those who work to ignore or silence us. She may be gone, but she will never be forgotten.
When asked if she ever reconsidered stepping down (after liberals urged her to, so that President Obama could name her replacement), Ginsburg said firmly, “I have said many times that I will do this job as long as I can do it full steam, and when I can’t, that will be the time that I will step down.”
May we all aim to keep going, full steam.
Rest in Peace, Rest in Power, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.