Wednesday, September 23, 2020

What Will They Have to Fight for in the Future?


“She changed the way the law sees gender."

Abbe Gluck, Yale Law School professor and former clerk of RBG

never turn on the television during the day, but this morning, when my sister called and said, “Turn on MSNBC,” I complied.
I cried as RBG’s flag-draped casket, her clerks as honorary pallbearers, made its way, ever so slowly, from the street, up the steps, and into the large entryway of the United States Supreme Court, coming to rest on Lincoln’s catafalque. Her own family and her Supreme Court family awaited her.
I watched and listened as Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt chanted the 23rd Psalm, spoke movingly about the justice, drawing parallels between the Torah and the U.S. Constitution, and then chanted the El Malei Rachamim—an only-in-America moment that RBG, no doubt, would have appreciated.
As the coverage continued outside, an MSNBC reporter queried people in line as they waited to pay their respects. Among them was a woman who had driven from Philadelphia with her 12-year-old daughter and the daughter’s friend. Hearing the masked girls talk (in their 12-year-old way) about RBG and her legacy and what it means for them was... right and precious and sad and wonderful, all at once. They reminded me of a battle I fought for gender equality when I was not much older than 12, a battle I now realize RBG, though not yet a household name, was fighting right alongside me.
Tonight, I told my sister about the girls with these bittersweet words: “They didn’t ever have to fight to join the Key Club, but God only knows what they’ll have to fight for in the future.”