Supreme Court of the United States / Wikimedia
Ruth Bater Ginsburg’s official SCOTUS photo. Although Ginsburg has passed away, the fight for women’s rights isn’t over yet.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at 87 today at her home in Washington D.C. with her family. Although most of us worry what the Supreme Court will look like in the coming months, or if President Trump will begin conversations to fill that seat before the elections, we—as Americans—need to pause and mourn for her.

If you click onto one of your social media apps, you’ll see a slew of different posts. Instead of engaging with social media wars with people celebrating her death, or guessing who might fill that seat in the Supreme Court— we need to remember what Ginsburg did during the time she was alive.

Ginsburg was a revolutionary feminist icon who actively fought for women’s rights in the 1970s. Once graduating from Harvard and Columbia, she struggled to find a job in her field she was extremely qualified for—like many women before and after her.

She helped create the Women Rights Project within the ACLU. Her influence helped establish how gender is a protective class within law. People despised her for her drive to change social problems within the United States and will remain an unfortunate controversial topic for others. 

She never completed her fight before she passed.

Women in the U.S. are still subjected to discrimination. Pew Research Center has found 42 percent of women in the U.S. have faced some sort of discrimination before.

“The survey – conducted in the summer before a recent wave of sexual misconduct allegations against prominent men in politics, the media and other industries – found that, among employed adults, women are about twice as likely as men (42% versus 22%) to say they have experienced at least one of eight specific forms of gender discrimination at work,” the article read.

These types of discrimination varied between payment, treatment, receiving less support, denied promotions, turned down from a job and feeling isolated in the workplace.

In the same article, it states how 25 percent of working women say they earned less than a man who was doing the same job while 5 percent say they earned less than a female peer.

Adding intersexuality to these concerns produces more problems. For example, Perception Institute conducted the “Good Hair” test and found 20 percent of Black women feel social pressure to straighten their hair for work, which is twice as many as white women. In 2016, there was a study by Socius, which found LGBT women are subjected to receive less pay then straight women. Finally, in another study by the National Center for Transgender Society found in 2008, 63 percent of their participants experienced serious acts of discrimination—such as loss of job.

As we say goodbye to Ginsburg, we cannot forget the fight she and others worked so hard to achieve. We need to continue her fight in order to better this country for the future of our friends, family, colleagues and members of this society. 

Ginsburg, may you rest in peace. The embers of the torch you have given us will not die.

 

Taylor Johnson can be reached at tkjohnson@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @taylorkendyll.