Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Influence on Young Women in America


Sylvie Wolkenbreit

Sylvie Wolkenbreit, Staff Reporter

When I was in fifth grade I did a project on Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I researched her and recited my information, I even dressed as her. As a fifth grader, I looked up to her. She was a smart, independent woman who fought for what she believed, the first Jewish female to serve on the Supreme Court.  Now that RBG is gone, I feel our entire country is solemn with the loss of a great woman. So I believe it’s a better time than any to reminisce on some of the amazing tasks she accomplished for American women.

The year of 1996, in a Virginia case, Ginsburg wrote, “There is no reason to believe that the admission of women capable of all the activities required of (Virginia Military Institute) cadets would destroy the institute rather than enhance its capacity to serve the ‘more perfect union,’ ”. It is crazy to think that less than 30 years ago, state-funded schools were not required to accept women. And without Ginsburg, maybe they would still be strictly men. If I were to apply to a school and be denied, simply for the fact that I am a woman, I would be beyond upset. I believe society has been ruled by men for much too long. The fact that even still, men and women aren’t treated equally is disgusting. 

Up until 1974, women were not allowed to sign a mortgage or bank account without a male co-signer. Ginsburg played a huge part in the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Essentially, this act requires lenders to evaluate an individual applying for a loan solely based on facts directly related to their creditworthiness, not on their race, gender, color, marital status, etc. Women who were the primary source of income in a household had still been required to sign a loan with their husbands name on it, however, now women don’t have to.

With RBG in the Supreme Court, a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion or not was protected. It is worrisome that her replacement may not protect those rights. This will lead to unsafe abortions and a population boom. It is unfair to the women of the United States to restrict a right to choose what happens to her own body. Especially if birth control is not provided/accessible to all women. I believe that the only person who should be allowed to make a decision such as aborting a baby is the woman herself, no one else. Regardless of the circumstance, if it is not your body, it is not your choice. Without Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is in danger of being eliminated. The ACA provides healthcare for 20 million American citizens with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level. 

“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. …It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”

You’ve probably heard this quote before. It came from a speech Ginsburg made pertaining to women serving on juries. In 1979 jury duty was optional for women in many states. It was viewed as a burden for women who were seen as the “center of home and family life.” Ginsburg argued women should be valued equally to men. Along with women’s rights, Ginsburg pushed for same sex marriage and LGBTQ+ rights. Members of the LGBTQ+ community are now terrified their rights to get married will be revoked. All of the work the American people and progressive leaders, including Ginsburg, put in… reversed. Children are growing up scared for their lives and their right to be themselves.

Ginsburg protected and fought for minorities, we must hope that her replacement will do the same. I am so disappointed in our country, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish was to wait to appoint a replacement until after the election, we couldn’t even do that. RBG has been and will forever be an influence to young women in America. She was a confident leader constantly empowering women. She is an inspiration to many, including myself.