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“When I'm sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court] and I say, 'When there are nine,' people are shocked. But there'd been nine men, and nobody's ever raised a question about that.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“Rabbi Alfred Bettleheim once said: “Prejudice saves us a painful trouble, the trouble of thinking.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, My Own Words
“When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, My Own Words
“Reading is the key that opens doors to many good things in life. Reading shaped my dreams, and more reading helped me make my dreams come true.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn't be that women are the exception.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“I don’t say women’s rights—I say the constitutional principle of the equal citizenship stature of men and women.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“How to be Like RBG:
Work for what you believe in, but pick your battles, and don’t burn your bridges. Don’t be afraid to take charge, think about what you want, then do the work, but then enjoy what makes you happy, bring along your crew, have a sense of humor.
-Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Notorious RBG by
Irin Carmon”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“Feminism … I think the simplest explanation, and one that captures the idea, is a song that Marlo Thomas sang, 'Free to be You and Me.' Free to be, if you were a girl—doctor, lawyer, Indian chief. Anything you want to be. And if you’re a boy, and you like teaching, you like nursing, you would like to have a doll, that’s OK too. That notion that we should each be free to develop our own talents, whatever they may be, and not be held back by artificial barriers—manmade barriers, certainly not heaven sent.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, My Own Words
“You can disagree without being disagreeable.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“My mother was very strong about my doing well in school and living up to my potential. Two things were important to her and she repeated them endlessly. One was to ‘be a lady,’ and that meant conduct yourself civilly, don’t let emotions like anger or envy get in your way. And the other was to be independent, which was an unusual message for mothers of that time to be giving their daughters.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, My Own Words
“Yet what greater defeat could we suffer than to come to resemble the forces we oppose in their disrespect for human dignity?”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, My Own Words
“So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“The enormous difference between fighting gender discrimination as opposed to race discrimination is good people immediately perceive race discrimination as evil and intolerable. But when I talked about sex-based discrimination, I got the response, 'What are you talking about? Women are treated ever so much better than men!”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“When contemplated in its extreme, almost any power looks dangerous.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“We may be anxious to reduce crime, but we should remember that in our system of justice, the presumption of innocence is prime, and the law cannot apply one rule to Joe who is a good man, and another to John, who is a hardened criminal.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, My Own Words
“For both men and women the first step in getting power is to become visible to others, and then to put on an impressive show. . . . As women achieve power, the barriers will fall. As society sees what women can do, as women see what women can do, there will be more women out there doing things, and we’ll all be better off for it.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, My Own Words
“A constitution, as important as it is, will mean nothing unless the people are yearning for liberty and freedom.”
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When the government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a full adult human responsible for her own choices.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“I remember envying the boys long before I even knew the word feminism, because I liked shop better than cooking or sewing.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, My Own Words
“In Greek mythology, Pallas Athena was celebrated as the goddess of reason and justice.1 To end the cycle of violence that began with Agamemnon’s sacrifice of his daughter, Iphigenia, Athena created a court of justice to try Orestes, thereby installing the rule of law in lieu of the reign of vengeance.2 Recall also the biblical Deborah (from the Book of Judges).3 She was at the same time prophet, judge, and military leader. This triple-headed authority was exercised by only two other Israelites, both men: Moses and Samuel. People came from far and wide to seek Deborah’s judgment. According to the rabbis, Deborah was independently wealthy; thus she could afford to work pro bono.4 Even if its members knew nothing of Athena and Deborah, the U.S. legal establishment resisted admitting women into its ranks far too long.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, My Own Words
“Another often-asked question when I speak in public: “Do you have some good advice you might share with us?” Yes, I do. It comes from my savvy mother-in-law, advice she gave me on my wedding day. “In every good marriage,” she counseled, “it helps sometimes to be a little deaf.” I have followed that advice assiduously, and not only at home through fifty-six years of a marital partnership nonpareil. I have employed it as well in every workplace, including the Supreme Court of the United States. When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, My Own Words
“the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty; and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government. Brandeis”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, My Own Words
“I became a lawyer for selfish reasons. I thought I could do a lawyer’s job better than any other.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg via Lynn Gilbert, Particular Passions: Talks With Women Who Have Shaped Our Times
“According to Ruth, Nabokov changed the way she read and wrote: “He used words to paint pictures. Even today, when I read, I notice with pleasure when an author has chosen a particular word, a particular place, for the picture it will convey to the reader.” Ruth remembers”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, My Own Words
“[Belva] Lockwood sought more than suffrage. She urged full political and civil rights for all women. Though she could not vote for president, she twice ran for the office herself, pointing out that nothing in the Constitution barred a woman's candidacy. (She took that bold step 124 years before Hillary Rodham Clinton first became a contender for the Democratic Party's nomination.) Explaining why she entered the race, she wrote in a letter to her future running mate, Marietta Stow: 'We shall never have equal rights until we take them, nor equal respect until we command it.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“Never underestimate the power of a girl with a book.”
Ruth Bader Ginsberg

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