The Center for Women’s Studies is hosting a screening of the documentary “RBG” in Colt Forum this Thursday, October 25 at 7 p.m. The film depicts the life and work of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The film was released in selected theaters in May 2018 and is currently available to rent, purchase and stream.
The documentary is a brief, entertaining and informative snapshot of an incredible woman’s life and work. Ginsburg is still alive and actively participates on the Supreme Court at the impressive age of 85. Years of legal work characterize Ginsburg’s legacy and she has become what Magnolia Pictures calls “an unexpected pop culture icon” in recent years; the film does well illustrating both aspects of Ginsburg’s popularity.
The opening scene perfectly sets the tone for the film’s depiction of its “small but mighty” protagonist. 85-year-old Ginsburg is with her personal trainer working through her strenuous exercise routine, laughing and cracking jokes all the while. The film goes on to detail Ginsburg’s upbringing, education and personal life in regards to the legal icon she has become. The film does an incredible job of presenting a well-rounded perception of Ginsburg in just about an hour and a half.
Justice Ginsburg’s legacy is built around her work regarding gender discrimination and valuing women and men equally before the law. Kelli McCoy, co-director for the PLNU Center for Women’s Studies, has yet to see the film but said, “I think many people might be surprised by how much gender inequality existed within the last several decades, but will also be excited to see the ways in which Ruth Bader Ginsburg helped change that situation.” Ginsburg is a major advocate and role model for females but fights for men and women alike. She once fought gender discrimination against a man who had lost his wife and was not receiving the same Social Security benefits a widowed female would have received. Fighting equally as hard for males and females shows her commitment to achieving justice, regardless of gender. Currently the lone woman on the Supreme Court, Ginsburg has always worked hard to counter the male majority. That said, she has potentially attracted more attention for her dynamic dissents on majority opinions.
The gender equality Ginsburg fights for at the bench is also present in her personal life. Ginsburg and her husband abandoned “traditional gender norms” within the home. Ginsburg’s late husband Martin, a successful tax attorney, had no problem stepping back and supporting his wife’s rising legal career, unthreatened by her success. When the couple had kids, homemaking duties were often taken over by Mr. Ginsburg while she worked long hours on cases. A mutual respect between spouses fostered successful careers for both and a supportive home for raising children, without rigorous, predefined gender roles.
Ginsburg and her work encourage others to strive for gender equality. Like Ginsburg, McCoy has devoted her work to women and gender within history. “I am so thrilled to be part of facilitating conversations on our campus through the Center for Women’s Studies about gender equality and the God-given worth and dignity of each person.” The center will be hosting future film forums and other events throughout the year for students to get involved. The center also offers an interdisciplinary Women’s Studies minor in which students take courses from many different departments.
Stop by Colt Forum this Thursday to learn more about Ginsburg, her work and gender equality in the U.S.