A Tribute to RBG

We’ve come a long way...maybe?
Benicia Magazine November 2020 - Tribute to RBG

Paying tribute to RBG.

In 2020, much attention has been given to the 100 year milestone of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing a women’s right to vote. The term for the movement was called Women’s Suffrage

The Feminist Movement in the ‘70s sought equal rights and opportunities in the workplace along with greater personal freedoms for women. The term used was Women’s Lib. 

In 2017, the #MeToo movement was born with Women’s Marches held around the world bringing attention to reporting sexual abuse and sexual harassment in the workplace. The movement encouraged women to speak out and know they would be supported by their “sisters.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the legal crusader for gender equality and women’s rights that ultimately led to her appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. Her departure has left us with an enormous void. She was the first Jewish woman and only the second woman to serve on the Court. She became known as the Notorious RBG and her career as fiery liberal justice was popularized by a book, movie, documentary and even an opera. Her pop culture status has inspired her image on everything from a bobblehead doll, to t-shirts, to children’s coloring books and even Halloween costumes and socks. The diminutive super-hero justice set herself apart on the Court with her many collars that were worn to make a statement. She had a dissenting necklace to show condemnation, a yellow jabot to channel approval, and a Stella & Dot necklace that resembled spiky armor to show disapproval. Her favorite and most notable was the simple white lace jabot from Cape Town, South Africa.

These two RBG quotes have personal meaning to me.

“My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.”

“I said on the equality side of it, that it is essential to a woman’s equality with a man that she be the decision-maker, that her choice be controlling.”

My own mother was before her time in acknowledging that women could and should be independent. By her example, I learned the significance of being  your own person. She would often remind me to stand up for what I wanted because no one else would do it for me.

I believe that if my mom were still alive, she would be proud of my accomplishments, knowing that I achieved them as my own person. 

In 2016, I ran for City Council. That same year, as I stood in line to vote at the Senior Center polling location, I was approached by a woman and her three little girls. She expressed her excitement at seeing women like me on the ballot and said that she brought her daughters with her so that they could witness her vote. She wanted to impress upon them the importance of voting and show them that, one day, they could run for office, too. With the absence of Justice Ginsburg, we must lift each other up, continue the fight for equality, and strive to be our own persons. This is the RBG Movement.

Categories: People + Places