Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg took to the stage at the Sundance Film Festival Sunday, speaking about the #MeToo movement and her own experiences with sexual harassment.
“For so long women were silent, thinking there was nothing you could do about it,” Ginsburg said, referring to the stigma around sexual harassment. “But now the law is on the side of women or men who encounter harassment, and that’s a big thing.”
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Ginsburg said that “it’s about time” that these changes come about and expressed her satisfaction with the movement thus far. “So far it’s been great. When I see women appearing everywhere in numbers, I am less worried than I might have been 20 years ago,” she said.
Nevertheless, the picture has not always been so bright. Ginsburg noted that every woman of her “vintage” knew what sexual harassment is, but “didn’t have a name for it then.” The Supreme Court Justice then proceeded to share an encounter she had as a student at Cornell.
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Before a chemistry test, her professor offered to give her a practice exam. But she then discovered that the practice was in fact the real exam, and Ginsburg “knew exactly what he wanted in return.”
While this is just one of “many examples,” Ginsburg told the audience that women had no recourse in that time. The attitude was “get past it, boys will boys.” Of course, Ginsburg was not one to cower and instead went to her professor’s office and said, “How dare you?” And that, she said, was the end of the matter.