A Woman Defined

Art & Culture by Mahvash Mossaed

My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg

April 1, 2019

I am in the middle of a conversation with myself as I am driving home: It’s been a cold winter this year! I think life is always a bowl of cherries, yes, but sometimes, no matter how we plan, wish, and dream, still certain things are out of our power and will occur in their own accord. It is as though we are standing on the shore, and these humongous waves come towards us. Sometimes they bring us treasures from the ocean, but, some other times, they take away what is so dear to us and what we are embracing so tightly in our arms. How insignificant yet how very significant each one of us are, a small stitch in this grand, tightly-woven tapestry of life.  

As I am making a turn and noticing the trees along both sides of the road, I say to myself, “Look at them. These trees are so together, almost like they are holding hands, yet so alone and so wickedly stripped of their once beautiful garments of leaves. They are naked, dark, and cold, shamefully trembling in the piercing winter wind.” I murmur to myself, “Do trees have consciousness, I wonder? Do they go to heaven when they die? Do they feel fear and despair and hope? Are they aware that this cold winter will pass and soon they will be covered once again with their beautiful, green, spring blankets?”

My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg

As I continue to drive, I also think of how fascinated I have recently been with Ruth Bader Ginsburg! I have just finished reading her book, “My Own Words.” What an incredible woman she is, being one of the most influential justices, bringing gender equality to the spotlight, and standing strong for women’s rights and justice for all. Her life as a lawyer, her love of her family and opera, her style, her mind, her quiet confidence – everything is incredible. Kiki Ginsburg, as she is called by her friends and family, is a pillar of strength and courage. Reading the book, I was so very much in awe of her greatness. In the very beginning of the book, when she gives us a chance to look into and examine her childhood and reveals to her readers more of  herself as a private person, I was excited to learn that I had successfully detected a well-hidden humanistic side of her. It was like, behind a heavy thick iron wall, I had discovered the evidence of feathers and silk.

There are so many great women, whom in my mind I select to be my role models, and whom I wish to be just like when I grow up!  These women have each come a long away, cleared the way, and made the blueprints of each of their journeys accessible to all of us. I want their road maps permanently pinned to the walls of every room of my house! I am so taken by who they are and how their lives have changed and have affected our lives. Can we ever thank them enough? 

I am at the end of the cul-de-sac now, driving into the garage of my home. The train of my thoughts on this cold winter day is broken; my thoughts, which all have been running and tangling into each other – the thoughts of the trees, the thoughts of the waves by the ocean, and the thoughts of the amazing, incomparable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, my hero. I have to park my car now, thus, I interrupt the conversation with myself and say farewell to my thoughts until next time.

About Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, born Joan Ruth Bader on March 15, 1933 is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office on August 10, 1993. She is the second female justice (after Sandra Day O’Connor) of four to be confirmed to the court (along with Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, who are still serving). Following O’Connor’s retirement, and until Sotomayor joined the court, Ginsburg was the only female justice on the Supreme Court. During that time, Ginsburg became more forceful with her dissents, which were noted by legal observers and in popular culture. She is generally viewed as belonging to the liberal wing of the court. Ginsburg has authored notable majority opinions, including United States v. Virginia, Olmstead v. L.C., and Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc.Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her older sister died when she was a baby, and her mother, one of her biggest sources of encouragement, died shortly before Ginsburg graduated from high school. She then earned her bachelor’s degree at Cornell University, and became a wife and mother before starting law school at Harvard, where she was one of the few women in her class. Ginsburg transferred to Columbia Law School, where she graduated tied for first in her class. Following law school, Ginsburg turned to academia. She was a professor at Rutgers Law School and Columbia Law School, teaching civil procedure as one of the few women in her field. Ginsburg spent a considerable part of her legal career as an advocate for the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights, winning multiple victories arguing before the Supreme Court. She advocated as a volunteer lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union and was a member of its board of directors and one of its general counsels in the 1970s. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where she served until her appointment to the Supreme Court. Ginsburg has received attention in American popular culture for her fiery liberal dissents and refusal to step down; she has been dubbed the “Notorious R.B.G.”

Read more on Wikipedia.

Tags: , ,

Posted in Book Reviews, Reviews |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box