Internet trolls and cheap-trick thinkpiece writers don't keep Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg up at night. Speaking this past weekend at the Sundance Film Festival, she said she's not concerned with any backlash to the #MeToo movement.
“So far it’s been great. When I see women appearing everywhere in numbers, I am less worried about that,” she told NPR host Nina Totenberg.
Moreover, the 84-year-old Associate Justice of the SCOTUS, who's served for almost 25 years, thinks "it's about time," she said of the movement's rise. “For so long women were silent, thinking there was nothing you could about it. But now the law is on the side of women or men who encounter harassment, and that’s a big thing.”
She even discussed her own #MeToo moment in the interview.
“Every woman of my vintage knows what sexual harassment is, though we didn’t have a name for it then,” she said. The term wasn't coined until 1975, and wasn't widely discussed until 1991, when Anita Hill testified against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. “The attitude towards sexual harassment was, 'Get past it, boys will be boys.' This was not considered anything you could do anything about, that the law could do anything about.”
She told Totenberg about an incident when she was a student at Cornell University in the 1950s and her chemistry professor offered her a practice exam before an upcoming test. Only, it turned out that the "practice test" was exactly the same as the exam itself. “And I knew exactly what he wanted in return,” she said. “I went to his office and said, ‘How dare you. How dare you do this.'”
Ginsburg also discussed not being paid as much as the men when she was a law professor at Rutgers University — reportedly, the administration said, because her husband had a good job — and how she banded together with other women to sue their employer.
It's no wonder that Ginsburg isn't fazed by any potential backlash to the powerful movement. She's spent her entire life fighting for women's and minority rights, helping create the ACLU Women's Rights Project, pushing for equal pay in the Lilly Ledbetter case, and defending women's right to privacy when it comes to abortion in 2016's Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the biggest abortion case since Roe v. Wade. She's also called Donald Trump a "faker" and called for him to resign.