In mourning the passing of Ruth Bader-Ginsburg it feels that not only did we lose an icon of the women’s movement, we are losing the efforts of an entire era of progress for women in the US. With her passing and the push to get her replacement installed as quickly as possible, the sense that all of RBG’s hard work, along with other women of her time, is being scuttled. We are losing the ability to keep the forward momentum that has ever so slowly been made and are moving backward. The current administration’s slogan to make America great again is seen as a promise being kept by their believers, and a dire threat for the rest of us.
The America that women lived is not the same one that conservatives believe they fondly recall. Nostalgia for this by-gone era is revered by people who fall within a certain gender, race and sexuality. For the rest of us this great-again-America signals something that we hoped would be behind us and that we would never have to see or experience again. That hope seems to be in jeopardy.
The outpouring on social media from women of all ages indicates women’s inability to still fully experience their lives. From their stories we can see that we still have a long way to go before everyone enjoys the dignity of a life of equality. Young women still have blocks placed on their reproductive choices(1), and older women recall the multitude of other indignities they experienced in previous decades to their finances, careers, and education. The slow progress made in the movement of social, judicial and legislative achievements feels at risk. Older women remind others to never forget what they fought for in the past. We need to tell those stories so that younger women who may not be aware understand what is at stake and what could be lost.