Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg commended the #MeToo campaign and shared her personal experience of sexual harassment during an interview with National Public Radio (NPR) host Nina Totenberg at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday, Jan. 21.
Ginsburg thinks that it is about time women speak up against their abusers because they have been silent for so long, thinking that there was nothing they could do about their experience. The 84-year-old New York native talked about her support for the #MeToo movement and doing so, brought up some not-so-fond memories of her experience with sexual harassment in the 1950s.
"Every woman of my vintage knows what sexual harassment is though we didn't have a name for it then," she said, adding that her experience happened while she was an undergraduate student at Cornell University.
Ginsburg recalled that it happened with a teacher who offered to give her a practical exam, which turned out to be the real exam. However, the instructor wanted sexual favors in exchange for her acing her exam.
"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," Ginsburg told Totenberg.
However, she did not let the incident pass and confronted the instructor in his office. She also deliberately made a couple of mistakes on her exam. Ginsburg noted that this was just one of many experiences she had of sexual harassment, which she did not divulge or elaborate.
In the same interview, the judge expressed her support for the #MeToo movement, saying that it is a good initiative because now the law is on the side of women or men who experienced the harassment. When asked if she is expecting a backlash against the campaign, she said that time will tell what happens.
"Let's see where it goes. So far, it's been great. When I see women appearing everywhere, I'm less worried about backlash than I was 20 years ago," Ginsburg added.
Ginsburg attended the Sundance Film Festival in support of the new CNN Film's documentary, RBG. The movie chronicles her life from humble beginnings as a poor resident of Brooklyn to her rise to become the Supreme Court Justice, where she intends to remain until 2020. Ginsburg mentioned that she has no plans of leaving the seat anytime soon, noting she is in a very good health to continue her profession.