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The Mamafesto: Ruth Bader Ginsburg — Feminist hero and total badass

Avital Norman Nathman is a freelance writer whose work places a feminist lens on a variety of topics, including motherhood, maternal health, gender, and reproductive rights. Her work has been featured in Bitch magazine, Cosmopolitan.com,...

The Supreme Court phenomenon known as the Notorious R.B.G. is a hero to girls everywhere

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) is a true icon and inspiration, 81 years in the making. Despite her short stature (clocking in at 5'1"), Bader Ginsburg is a true force to be reckoned with, for a variety of reasons. Here are the top five reasons that I find myself singing this Supreme Court Justice's praises:

1. RBG is a true feminist pioneer. She has the honor of being only the second female Supreme Court justice (Sandra Day O'Connor was the first), and was the first Jewish female Justice. But the Supreme Court isn't her only groundbreaking position. She was the first woman to be in two separate law reviews (Harvard Law Review and Columbia Law Review). As a law professor at Rutgers, she co-founded the first law journal in the U.S. to focus on women's rights.

2. She's known for supporting women's rights, and reproductive rights in particular, making her a total hero for me and many women who want control over their bodies and reproductive freedom. Last year, in the very heated Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the government can't require certain employers to provide insurance covering certain methods of birth control and emergency contraception. RBG wrote a "fiery" dissent which called out the Court's decision as "radical," and one that would have chaotic and significant unintended consequences.

3. She's just awesome, period. This Atlantic piece by a recent clerk of RBG's goes into intimate detail as to how the Justice helped prepare him for his own life… as a stay-at-home dad. RBG was able to impart lessons of work/life balance and gender equality in such a way that it made this man feel confident and comfortable in his decision to take a short career break to stay at home with his 1-year-old daughter while his wife worked on her pediatric residency.

4. She says smart stuff. Sure, her job as a Supreme Court Justice sort of mandates that she's a smartypants, but RBG goes above and beyond with some quotes. Commenting on marriage equality, she's said:

"People who love each other and want to live together should be able to enjoy the blessings and the strife in a marriage relationship."

5. She is a pop icon. A couple of years ago, Ruth Bader Ginsburg got her pop culture due, being turned into a meme — The Notorious RBG — which recognizes just how badass she is. It's full of gifs, pictures, quotes and more. And now, Notorious RBG creator Shana Knizhnik will co-write a new biography on RBG with reporter Irin Carmon.

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