STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

RBG revolutionized the world for women. We should listen to her

She was ...

Posted: Jan 24, 2018 3:34 AM
Updated: Jan 24, 2018 3:34 AM

She was sexually harassed in college. When she finished law school, at the top of her class, she only found a clerkship when her professor promised the prospective employer that he had a man in mind to take over if she didn't work out. As a young law professor, she was told she could be paid less than a male peer because she had a husband to support her. In her current job, which she has held for 25 years, her male colleagues often interrupt her.

Some of this may sound familiar.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court justice of this story, has always been someone women from all walks of life can relate to. She grew up poor in Brooklyn and made a career on the force of her intelligence; she's a mother and had a long and happy marriage; she blends female gravitas and earthy humor.

At 84 years old, she's of the generation that came up in the proverbial "man's world," when behaviors and attitudes now being denounced were considered unremarkable. She knows that sexism can be so ingrained in a culture that the same men who tell themselves they respect women and consider themselves devoted "family men" can offend and objectify women daily at the office.

She of all people, can appreciate the transformative potential of #MeToo for men and women, and the historical meaning of its appearance during the rule of a president, Donald Trump, who has made political capital out of asserting white male domination.

That's why Ginsburg's decision to speak about the #MeToo movement and her own experiences with inequity and harassment at the Sundance Film Festival the other day is so important. Sundance gathers influencers from entertainment and the media, the very industries that have seen the toppling of male harassers and the exposure of the situations of individual and institutional complicity that protect them.

It's surely no accident that in a wide-ranging interview with NPR's Nina Totenberg, Ginsburg chose to highlight the connection between the past silences of harassment victims and the lack of protocols and legal protections.

"We didn't have a name for it," she stated, with regard to harassment. When there is no common language to describe an experience, it is far easier to dismiss it and discredit those who try to bring it into the public domain. The history of political, sexual, and racial abuse is clear on that point. "I think it's about time. For so long, women were silent, thinking there was nothing you could do about it," Ginsburg continued. "But the law is now on the side of women or men who encounter harassment, and that's a good thing."

These legal protections are especially important with regard to retaliation, which is one of the greatest issues for those who decide to speak up. Ginsburg reminded women that strength lies in numbers: backlash thrives when women hide away.

There's much to be hopeful for on that front. Hillary Clinton's campaign -- and the virulent misogyny it unleashed- and Donald Trump's presidency have caused a flowering of female activism and public presence. It is expressed in women's marches, in the unprecedented numbers of female political candidates for the 2018 midterm elections and beyond, and in the many discussions about female empowerment and workplace parity.

Ginsburg is a feminist icon for many, but her long view also reminds us where we come from. We can thank her, and other pioneers, if today women feel supported to speak their minds and their truths in a way that feels new.

West Lafayette
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 71°
Kokomo
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 70°
Rensselaer
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 66°
Fowler
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 66°
Williamsport
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Crawfordsville
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 67°
Frankfort
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 72°
Delphi
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 72°
Monticello
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 72°
Logansport
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 70°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 47432

Reported Deaths: 2687
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11546683
Lake5104242
Elkhart321144
Allen2737129
St. Joseph190866
Cass16389
Hamilton1538100
Hendricks1390100
Johnson1256118
Porter72037
Tippecanoe6948
Madison65564
Clark64044
Bartholomew58244
Howard56557
LaPorte56326
Kosciusko5354
Vanderburgh5026
Marshall4823
Jackson4693
Noble46928
LaGrange4677
Hancock44035
Boone43743
Delaware43150
Shelby42325
Floyd37144
Morgan32731
Montgomery29320
Grant29126
Clinton2882
Monroe27628
Dubois2666
White26010
Henry25815
Decatur24932
Lawrence24225
Vigo2318
Dearborn22823
Harrison21222
Warrick21229
Greene18532
Miami1822
Jennings17411
Putnam1688
DeKalb1604
Scott1607
Daviess14216
Orange13623
Wayne1366
Steuben1282
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Ripley1157
Jasper1142
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette987
Newton9810
Starke923
Whitley905
Randolph784
Huntington742
Jefferson722
Wells711
Fulton691
Jay680
Washington681
Gibson672
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush563
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Posey380
Blackford372
Spencer371
Crawford300
Fountain302
Tipton301
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike100
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events