Mainstream media, especially in America, has been all over President Donald Trump’s probable nominee for the Supreme Court, the ultra-conservative Catholic Justice Amy Coney Barrett (who I know my alumni pal Charles Kanjama is rooting for, but who may be the woman who tips Roe vs Wade to lose abortion rights for women in the USA).
This is just a week after the death of 87-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (from cancer), but such is the nature of living and dying in the modern world. No sooner gone than generally forgotten, dead than quickly replaced. It’s as if we, the living, pause only to drop the deceased off at the Death Station. Then the Train of Living chugs on to the next platform to pick up the newborn; as the seats the Dead sat on, when living, are rapidly occupied by some hitherto standing passenger.
And so, today, I want us to embrace the legacy of Supreme Lady Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG). Because even here in Kenya, on this period of fights over one/third gender rules, where Hon Madam Waruguru tells us what’s good for the goose is good for the duck, so I guess what’s good for her gender is good for the gander, but who gives a duck? – all was good with RBG.
I like that, in spite of her mother dying of cancer when Ruth was just seventeen (mine passed when I was nineteen, so I do strongly identify with anyone who loses a mom when they’re young, id est, not yet 21), young Ruth took her mom’s last words to her to heart.
‘Be an independent lady!’
All these stories we hear of fares and ‘Dzadsys’ start with non-independent female mentalities.
I like that though Ruth got married early, and even got a baby, while in University (Harvard), she still worked incredibly hard, while being with her hubby and bringing up a child, learning to get by on only four hours sleep per night (a great gift, for less sleep means you get more TIME in life, and if ye manage that time well, most of the time, you get more stuff out of the way/done).
- READ MORE
- 1. Men only: When your women out earn you, watch out
- 2. Men only: 21 pieces of advice I’d give to any 21-year-old
- 3. Men only: Health is a privilege, please try and maintain it
- 4. Men only: Become an independent gentleman, my friend
I like that RBG topped her class in Cornell. And that, in spite of that, she still got to tarmac as no top law firm took her tiny frame in.
It’s a good lesson for young Kenyans of today, to know that papers/degrees will no longer just fling doors open, and that you always need a Plan ‘B’ (C/D), kwanza in our harsh country. RBG’s was to go into academia, and teach Gender Law (you know, coz what’s good to goose is). And it was that path that eventually led her to the Bench.
I like that it was Hillary Rodham Clinton, having admired an old teacher (the way I admire my ole lecturer humble Prof. Kivutha Kibwana, Governor of Makueni) who convinced her husband, in 1993, to appoint Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Women should look out for one another in these mined and glass-ceilinged professional worlds. In the Supreme Court, RBG was mentored by Sandra Day o ’Connor (SDC, first ever woman judge of that hallowed court), and she in turn mentored her two younger colleagues to the end.
I like that that Court now observes an unspoken one third gender rule among its nine justices. I like that unlike a lot of our idle nominated female representatives, RBG actually got into the Supreme Court and got activist on gender related legal issues like right of women in the military to fight and equal pay issues for females.
In Kenya I’ve had the chance to see, from the front row, the meticulousness of judicious magistrates like Madame Addah Obura or the work of witty High Court Judge Jackie Kamau.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg got the moniker ‘The Notorious RBG’ just starting in 2010, became a star. It was a play on the late BIG badass rapper the Notorious B.I.G., and the funnier because RBG was a tiny woman, barely five feet tall, but she was known to be mentally and physically tough.
It took three cancers (colon, lung and finally pancreatic) to finally remove RBG from this Train.