Documentaries: October 9, 2018
I watched the other night on Netflix the movie RBG—a documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
As a young woman, newly married and busy with babies, I kind of slept through the time when RBG was working to change laws that discriminated against minorities of many kinds, including men whose wives died leaving them with an infant to raise but who didn’t qualify for federal aid in the way a woman would. She fought for women to be able to control their own bodies. She fought for women to receive equal pay with men. She fought for military women to have the same housing allowances that military men received. She fought…to educate men blind to the inequalities they supported in a democracy. She fought to put in place legally what the constitution decreed. She appeared before the Supreme Court many times, defending these principles.
In 1993, President Clinton nominated her for the Supremes. She had a 90+ approval vote from the Senate, which included, for instance, Orrin Hatch’s vote.
It’s a fascinating story—one women should see, of course. But also men. RBG’s history is American history.
Like her or dislike her, she is an amazing woman. When I compare her character to Donald Trump’s or Brett Kavanaugh’s, I despair. Trump uses courts to bully people, and Kavanaugh has never actually tried a case in a courtroom.
Now, the court, which has acquired a partisan majority that is backed by only a minority of the American population, is rolling back a lot of what RBG accomplished for minorities—much of which, I would argue, too many people are taking for granted until they discover what they, personally, have just lost.
So, RBG is reduced to being a dissenting voice on the court. She is no longer a path setter as we roll ourselves backwards to the place where the wealthy control the levels of power in our country. RBG can do no more than try to hold firm in her convictions about what is ethical, moral, and just in a democratic society.
This movie is important. There is a docudrama about RBG coming out at Christmas time, but this one is solid. Take some time to watch it, ok? It’s available on Netflix, Amazon, and UTube.