If 'Notorious RBG' Steps Down Who Will Take Up Her Sword?

If 'Notorious RBG' Steps Down Who Will Take Up Her Sword?

What shall we do if Ruth Bader Ginsberg leaves? Who will take up her fierce nature in fighting for the rights of women?

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November 11, 2018, after a fall Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was admitted into the hospital for fractured ribs. "I'm now 85...My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, he stepped down when he was 90, so think I have about at least five more years," said Ginsberg to CNN. So according to her, we have five more blessed years with Ruth but what happens after? In a post-Trump Presidential world in which many a feminist are fearful of what may come next in the fight for equality, it is understandable to ask. I mean who is going to rise up and protect or fight the good fight?

Well, all is not lost. As it was made aware in the last couple of months a record number of women have won seats in the house. A massive win for female candidates and it was a night of many firsts. According to the Congressional Research Service, the previous record was 85 as of 2018 we have 107 women and five non-voting members. These numbers are a win themselves. The other wins were of inclusivity. The first Native American, Muslim, Hispanic, openly gay/bisexual/lesbian, and first females were elected in many states.

My own state elected Democrat Kyrsten Sinema was elected to the Senate and is the first female senator of Arizona. With this in mind, there are plenty of women who can and likely will step forward to be a champion of women's rights. With all these firsts this year it seems like in a dark spot there is some form of light. That there are people that have voiced their opinion and that opinion is that finally there are a record number of women that are in the house and the Senate.

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While this year has brought a few disappointing blows in both the current women's movement and the #me too movement these are just slight setbacks. These wins in the past month mean that while there have been setbacks this is a small battle we have won. In the fight for total equality for women and survivors, there will be failures, there will be lost, there will be people that step down, but there will always be smaller wins that will ultimately lead to the accomplishment of our goals as long as there are people left fighting. As I see it these wins prove there will be those people ready to stand up and fight or in other words to take up the sword. We don't know who the next RBG may be. They may not have endured as much adversity and been at the forefront of so many winning battles for women but this person will come. I am certain of it. It's only a matter of time just like so many other things in this life.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg has more than earned her position in the courtroom and for years has proven time and time again how unwavering and "notorious" she is. The following is just a bit of her story that will be in part told in the movie "On The Basis Of Sex." The movie is expected to be released everywhere next year but in select theater is already out.

Fighting tooth and nail to the top of her class in both Harvard Law (where she was one of nine women in a class of five hundred) and Colombia Law. Helping her husband through school and his battle with cancer while raising two children and attending her first year of school. Facing gender discrimination despite her very successful academic merits and kept pushing the agenda later became the first female professor at Columbia to earn tenure. Ginsburg directed the Women's Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. She led the fight against gender discrimination and successfully argued six landmark cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Ginsberg not only fought for the women affected but also for men. She was indeed hardcore. So hardcore in fact that she hid her pregnancy from her Rutgers colleagues.

Ginsburg accepted Jimmy Carter's appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1980. She served on the court for thirteen years until 1993, when Bill Clinton rightfully appointed her to the Supreme Court of the United States where she would become the second women in history to hold a seat. From there Ginsberg has never stopped championing women's issues and toppling large-scale issues. Dissenting on Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, a case where the female plaintiff, was paid significantly less than males with her same qualifications, sued under Title VII but was denied relief under a statute of limitations issue.

Ginsberg toppled tradition writing a formal version of her dissent to read from the bench. Later working with President Obama to pass the very first piece of legislation he signed, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, a copy of this document still hangs in her office. More impressively Ginsburg has not missed a day of oral arguments, not when she was undergoing chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer, after surgery for colon cancer, or the day after her husband passed away in 2010. Her supreme dedication to her position, fight for equality, and unwavering integrity is what continues to inspire current feminists like myself.

I will not have to undergo much of what Ginsberg did because of her. I will still struggle but that struggle was made much less due to the good fight and battles won by Ginsberg. When she does step down, it will be hard to find someone of her caliber. Though I do not believe it will be impossible. "When they go low, we go high," and we will continue to go high and battle.

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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News Flash: 'Building The Wall' Is Still A Dumb Idea And Always Will Be

The government is still partially shutdown because of funding for the wall. Really?

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A man who is a strong supporter of building the wall told me this metaphor: If you don't want the wrong people walking into your backyard, you put a fence up. We don't want the wrong people coming to America, so we put a wall up. I respect people's political beliefs, and because of this, I want to share mine.

I believe that President Trump demanding money to build a border wall is dumb.

It's hard to believe so many people really think that this "build a wall" has everything to do about border security. It's just inhumane and wrong.

Literally, the most notorious drug lord of Mexico has shed light about how he smuggles the drug into the U.S. They have brought it through fishing boats, trucks going through the legal point of entry, underground tunnel, but not through unwalled parts. The half of million pounds of narcotics that were secured at the border? They were all al legal points of entry.

I'm saying this because I am a proud daughter of immigrants who crossed the border. The media has portrayed immigrants as these horrible people infiltrating our country. They just want somewhere safe to live to raise their kid.

The conditions of Latin American countries are inexplicable. Communist have risen from the ashes dominating these countries letting people rot on the street starving. There are little to no job opportunities. I haven't seen my family in three years because it is dangerous to go.

The media doesn't tell you this. They don't tell you how many people have gone to the border and returned to Mexico because ICE agents tear gas them.

They tell you that they throw babies over fences to distract border patrol agents. They tell you children are dying because of malnutrition of trekking thousands of miles to get the border. They don't tell you that those same children have been eating unmonitored food with thousands of microorganism some mal some good.

Not all immigrants are not bad people. The notions that all immigrants are criminals is "fake news." It has been a hook, line, and sinker for the Republican Party. There are studies such as one from the journal Criminology showing that places with high undocumented immigrant population does not equal high crime.

Should undocumented citizens attempt to become legal residents of the United States? Absolutely, and that is a problem if they are evading taxes and other legal notions with more consequences.

However, we should not lie to ourselves and act as a wall is to help border security against drugs and crime. It's just a physical quota like 1920s immigration laws. There is a better solution then sacrificing 5.7 billion dollars. Let me translate that: 5,700,000,000 dollars. That is our taxes. As a college student, I rather have those 5.7 billion dollars be translated to scholarship, grants, financial aid, and helping us, the future of this country become the best people we can be. Why build a wall when the future of America, who I personally think is more important can be helped.

I don't come from a rich family, and I don't have the means to afford a college education without loans, so when I hear that the Government can afford to give 5.7 billion dollars for a wall, I have the right to be upset. Tell me I'm wrong, and call me dumb, but this is my unpopular opinion.

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