FemSoc met recently to commemorate the life and work of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an Associate Supreme Court Justice in the United States of America. Eton and partner school students met on Zoom to take part in an interactive discussion about her life, her achievements and what she meant to different people.

In both her education and legal career, Ruth Bader Ginsburg achieved huge success despite facing discrimination and misogyny. Her position as the second woman to ever be appointed to the Supreme Court helped to counteract established social norms.

She helped to pass six landmark cases which legislated in favour of gender equality and worked to bridge partisan divides in the Supreme Court due to her close relationship with conservative judge Antonin Scalia. Their positive working relationship helped to challenge the divisive impact of party politics, placing the law above individual positions.  

Students also discussed RBG’s role as an icon and a symbol, with many referencing her independence and powerful rhetoric, which was used to benefit the lives of those who were struggling. It was agreed that the compassion and perseverance with which she approached her role on the Supreme Court were characteristics that many aspire to.

We remembered Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s comment, “when I’m sometimes asked when there will be enough women on the Supreme Court and I say, ‘when there are nine,’ people are shocked. But there’s been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that”, and concluded that whilst we have come far in terms of gender inequality, we still have far to go.