Even the most powerful woman in the country has faced sexual harassment.
Over the weekend, Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shared her own #MeToo experience to an audience at the Sundance Film Festival. During a panel with NPR‘s Nina Totenberg, the 84-year-old powerhouse revealed that the incident took place in the 1950s while she was a student at Cornell University.
The legal expert shared:
“Every woman of my vintage knows what sexual harassment is, although we didn’t have a name for it. The attitude toward sexual harassment was simply, get past it. Boys will be boys.”
The Supreme Court justice continued by explaining that it was an instructor hired by the Ivy League institution that tried to take advantage of her. Bader Ginsburg added:
“I am taking a chemistry course at Cornell and my instructor said, because I was uncertain about my ability, he said, ‘I’ll give you a practice exam.’ So he gave me a practice exam. The next day, the test is the practice exam, and I knew exactly what he wanted in return.”
Being the strong woman we know and love, Ruth ripped the educator a new one. She recalled:
“I went to his office and I said, ‘How dare you?’ How dare you?'”
Sadly, this wasn’t the only instance of sexism which Ruth dealt with over her lengthy career. While a young professor at Rutger’s Law School, Bader Ginsburg asked the dean about the salary of a male colleague, as they had the same professional experience. Per the feminist icon, her employer replied:
“‘Ruth, he has a wife and two children to support. You have a husband with a good paying job in New York.'”
How awful. Thankfully, these unsavory experiences didn’t deter her from fighting the good fight.
In fact, Ruth went on to co-found the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project AND has regularly petitioned for other marginalized groups. On the revolutionary #MeToo Movement, the New York native praised:
“I think it’s about time. For so long, women were silent thinking there was nothing you do about it, but now the law is on the side of women, or men, who encounter harassment and that’s a good thing.”
[Image via Carrie Devorah/WENN.]