Monday with Ms. Marvel: honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Morgan Kong

In her weekly column, Monday with Ms. Marvel, Wingspan’s Trisha Dasgupta reviews different political issues and relatable topics in everyday life.

I have a few stickers on my laptop. There’s a Taylor Swift lyric, a cartoon drawing of Kamala Khan aka the real Ms. Marvel, an Elle Woods quote, and a picture of Ruth Bader Ginsburg with the words, “Be the lawyer your parents always wanted you to marry.”

I decided in the eighth grade that I wanted to be a lawyer. Somewhere between the results of the 2016 Texas Senate election and the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting I got tired of the constant political disillusionment and I decided that one day I was going to help fix the issues I cared so deeply about. I decided then that I wanted to become a human rights lawyer and help make the world a better place, like all of my heroes. 

I’ve been working towards that goal ever since. I’ve participated in Model United Nations since the eighth grade, making my way up from delegate, to chair, to working on the State Secretariat. I’ve debated hundreds of high schoolers over mock legislation in Youth and Government, I’ve spent hours writing essays for strategically chosen AP classes, and even though I know what I’m working towards, it gets hard sometimes.

Like when I didn’t have a ride to MUN practice my freshman year and had to walk 35 minutes to the YMCA every Wednesday just to be able to attend. Or like when I was the only underclassmen and only girl on an officer team and had to constantly fight to make my voice heard. Or when a male classmate asked me if it was “that time of the month” when I was passionate about a topic we were discussing in class. 

Despite all of those instances, whenever it gets hard, I look to my heroes and I keep going. I look to Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Elizabeth Warren, Michelle Obama, and yes, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

On Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, the country lost more than a supreme court justice. We lost an American hero. 

We lost a patriot who fought injustice with every ounce of her being for more than thirty years. A hero who paved the way for millions of women who came after her, and undoubtedly made the country a better place for minorities everywhere. 

Almost every girl I’ve met who plans to have a career in law or politics has a special place in their heart reserved for RBG. For me, and for many young women, RBG has always been a symbol of hope and strength, a glimpse of what we could become, and a reminder of the movements that came before us. 

Reading about the struggles and hardships she overcame to get to where she did gives me the courage to continue my journey to becoming a lawyer, nearly every day. Her courage, poise, and dignity has inspired me in more ways than I can count, and for that, and for everything else she did for women and minorities, I am forever indebted to RBG.  

When I read the news about her passing late Friday evening, overwhelming sadness and anxiety fell over me. Greif for the passing of one of my heroes, and terrifying dread over the now uncertainty of our future. 

Justice Ginsburg’s passing brings even more weight to an already tumultuous presidential election. One of her last wishes, as dictated to her granddaughter, was that her replacement on the bench not be chosen until the next president is inaugurated. Until her very last moments, RBG continued fighting the war against injustice, a war she’d been fighting for four decades. 

If you are one of those whose life has been touched by RBG, I urge you to do the same. Donate. Support your senate campaigns. Protest. And vote. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said that she dissents not because it’s the popular move to do, but because it speaks to a future age. She said that “the dissenter’s hope [is not] that they are writing for today, but for tomorrow.” Well, tomorrow is here. 

So as someone who owes more than I can possibly articulate to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I’ve decided that the best way to honor her memory and her impact on this country is to not only continue my journey to becoming a lawyer, but to continue to fight against oppression and injustice with the same fervor and passion that Justice Ginsburg did.