20 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes That Prove She’s A Supreme Badass


Today, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (or, as we like to affectionately call her, Notorious RBG) turned 84, which is a pretty big deal if you ask us. Even at 84, our favorite Supreme Court Justice is still #goals — she fights for the rights of all different kinds of people, encourages the public to exercise their rights and somehow still does an insane workout routine that would probably kill most of us. She is truly the hero we never deserved, but she’s got our backs anyway. Honestly, we are not worthy.

So in honor of our one true queen’s birthday, we decided to compile a list of some of our favorite quotes from her, from feminism to reading.


“The side that wants to take the choice away from women and give it to the state, they’re fighting a losing battle. Time is on the side of change.”


“If you’re a boy, and you like teaching, you like nursing, you would like to have a doll, that’s okay… We should each be free to develop our own talents, whatever they may be, and not be held back by artificial barriers.”


“Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.”


“People ask me sometimes… ‘When will there be enough women on the court?’ And my answer is: ‘When there are nine.’”


“Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”


“All of the incentives, all of the benefits of marriage affords would still be available. So you’re not taking away anything from heterosexual couples. They would have the very same incentive to marry, all the benefits that come with marriage that they do now.”


“I think unconscious bias is one of the hardest things to get at. My favorite example is the symphony orchestra. When I was growing up, there were no women in orchestras. Auditioners thought they could tell the difference between a woman playing and a man. Some intelligent person devised a simple solution: Drop a curtain between the auditioners and the people trying out. And, lo and behold, women began to get jobs in symphony orchestras.”


“Every now and then it helps to be a little deaf…That advice has stood me in good stead. Not simply in dealing with my marriage, but in dealing with my colleagues.”


“If you have a caring life partner, you help the other person when that person needs it. I had a life partner who thought my work was as important as his, and I think that made all the difference for me.”


“My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.”


“The state controlling a woman would mean denying her full autonomy and full equality.”


“Dissents speak to a future age. It’s not simply to say, ‘my colleagues are wrong and I would do it this way,’ but the greatest dissents do become court opinions.”


“You can’t have it all, all at once. Who—man or woman—has it all, all at once? Over my lifespan I think I have had it all. But in different periods of time things were rough. And if you have a caring life partner, you help the other person when that person needs it.”


“I – try to teach through my opinions, through my speeches, how wrong it is to judge people on the basis of what they look like, color of their skin, whether they’re men or women.”


“I would not look to the U.S. Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in 2012.”


“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”


“In the ’50s, too many women, even though they were very smart, they tried to make the man feel that he was brainier. It was a sad thing.”


“If you want to influence people, you want them to accept your suggestions, you don’t say, ‘You don’t know how to use the English language,’ or ‘How could you make that argument?’ It will be welcomed much more if you have a gentle touch than if you are aggressive.”


“Reading is the key that opens doors to many good things in life. Reading shaped my dreams, and more reading helped me make my dreams come true.”


“If I had any talent in the world … I would be a great diva.”