As I scroll through my Facebook feed at dawn, the day after Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at the age of 87, I see quite a bit of despair from my friends.
Ginsburg wasn’t just a progressive ally; she was a pop culture icon.
Her dissent in the 2013 case Shelby County v. Holder—a complicated case that involved Republicans making it more difficult for the marginalized to vote in elections—thrust her into the spotlight as The Notorious RBG. Immediately, the introduction of bobbleheads, tattoos, T-shirts, coffee mugs, and children’s coloring books helped make her as ubiquitous as any Hollywood movie star.
While we, as progressives, have a lot to be concerned about over these coming days, I propose we take a minute to breathe and remember what it was about RBG that made her the consummate badass that she was.
The following are 10 of her most famous quotes that will forever adorn the annals of history:
1. “People ask me sometimes, ‘When will there be enough women on the court?’ My answer is: ‘When there are nine.’ People are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.”
2. “I spent no time fretting, and found a way to do what I thought important to get done.”
3. “A gender line helps keep women not on a pedestal, but in a cage.”
4. “I remember envying the boys long before I even knew the word ‘feminism,’ because I liked shop better than cooking or sewing.”
5. “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 American government.”
6. “I don’t say women’s rights—I say constitutional principle of the equal citizenship stature of men and women.”
7. “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”
8. “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.”
9. “There was a senator, I think it was after my pancreatic cancer, who announced with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months. That senator, whose name I have forgotten, is now himself dead, and I am very much alive.”
10. “I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the best of her ability.”