Even the strongest, most badass woman on the planet has a #MeToo story. Supreme Court Justice and all-around feminist hero Ruth Bader Ginsburg was doing an interview with NPR when she revealed that even she has been sexually harassed. If that’s not proof the movement is desperately needed, I don’t know what is.
Ginsburg was chatting with NPR’s Nina Totenberg at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday when she revealed that the first instance of sexual harassment she can really remember came from one of her professors at Cornell, who gave her a “practice exam” that turned out to be exactly the same as the real exam.
“I knew exactly what he wanted in return,” Ginsburg said.
Then she dropped what we’ve come to know in recent months is an absolute truth bomb: “Every woman of my vintage knows what sexual harassment is, although we didn’t have a name for it.”
One tiny correction, though. Every woman knows what sexual harassment is, whether she’s Ginsburg’s age, older or younger. It is a universal problem, and that’s where the #MeToo movement gets its power. Every woman has a story, and the sheer numbers have overwhelmed many people into finally listening to those stories.
As for that Cornell professor? Ginsburg recalls going to his office later to tell him off. “How dare you? How dare you do this?” she remembers asking him.
She went on to work as a women’s rights attorney before being appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993. Needless to say, Ginsburg understands what the women of the #MeToo movement have faced and overcome.
“For so long, women were silent, thinking there was nothing you could do about it, but now the law is on the side of women, or men, who encounter harassment and that’s a good thing,” she said, adding that “it’s about time” women were finally heard when they tell about their experiences.