Rest in peace. Rest in power. These are the words that may have been immediately called to mind upon hearing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Friday, September 18th.
However, in Jewish tradition – in Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s tradition – the offering of words is more along the lines of “may her memory be a blessing.” Upon hearing of her passing on Friday, to pay homage to her iconic legacy, many Jewish feminists offered up this alternative: “may her memory be a revolution.” In addition, Ginsburg passed on Rosh Hashanah – in Jewish tradition, one that dies on the new year is considered a tzaddik, a “person of great righteousness.”
It is devastating that we cannot mourn this legendary justice, this person of great righteousness, with solely a reminiscence of her incredible life. We must pair our mourning with immediate calls to action, looking forward to the next fight on the horizon. And, somehow, it also makes sense: this woman was dubbed Notorious RBG for a reason – for her fearlessness, for her scathing and brilliant dissents, for her unwillingness to back down from a fight.
We who live at the intersections of multiple identities and lived realities – as women, as trans folks, as non-binary folks, as Black and Indigenous and People of Color, as immigrants, as people with disabilities, as survivors, as LGBTQ+ folks – have become good at alchemizing pain into power, at transforming our grief into a fierce drive toward justice. Ruth Bader Ginsburg did this, as well. For her, this fueled her drive toward justice that began in her insistence on her place as a lawyer, ran through her time as a legal advocate for equal rights at the ACLU, and her 27 years as a Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. Now is the time for the next generation to keep fighting for equity – and to bring an even stronger intersectional approach to the fight. In Ruth’s honor, we must also keep going. Keep fighting. Keep alchemizing our pain into power, together.
We’re just 42 days away from Election Day 2020. We’re 15 days from your mail-in ballot heading to your California mailbox. Your vote matters — and our votes have real consequences for justice and equality.
When asked about a meaningful life, Ruth Bader Ginsburg responded, “One lives not just for oneself but for one’s community.” We are lucky to have an organized and engaged LGBTQIA community here in San Diego. We live for each other. We fight for each other. We live fearlessly. We live notoriously.
May her memory be a revolution.
Together We Rise,
The Womxn of Pride