Notorious RBG Drops Some Knowledge on Harvard Campus

During a luncheon at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was honored with the Radcliffe Medal and gave inspirational advice to legions of young women.

When asked by a member of the crowd, former Harvard Professor of Law Kathleen Sullivan, on the advice she would give young women today, the 82-year-old said, “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

Lizabeth Cohen, the Dean of Harvard's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, introduced Ginsburg at the luncheon and noted that she “knocked on closed doors, opened them, and held them open for others.” Since becoming a Justice in the 1970s, Ginsburg worked hard to be an outspoken woman in a male-dominated institution and has set several precedents for women to achieve equal rights in high-level roles of business, government, the military and the Supreme Court. “The object was to get at a stereotype that held women back from doing whatever their talent would allow them to do," she said. "The notion was that there were separate spheres for the sexes. Men were the doers in the world and women were the stay-at-home types.”

Ginsburg later compares women of the 1970s to women of today. “Young women today have a great advantage, and it is that there are no more closed doors,” Ginsburg later added. "That was basically what the '70s was all about. Opening doors that had been closed to women.” Actress Natalie Portman, who also recently imparted some wisdom to Harvard students and staff, is slated to play Ginsburg in an upcoming biopic.

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