For the month of July, Ansuya asked the Damsels to read I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy and to go see the movie RBG. Many in the group did at least one and all came well informed.
After catching up with each other over dinner, Ansuya started a very lively discussion by asking the group how RBG inspired them. Some of the great answers included:
“She inspired me to join Damsels. I read I Dissent a couple of year ago and was confused. I joined this group because she inspired me to learn about women’s rights”.
“Fighting for what she thought was right (women’s rights)”.
“I like that she also focused on a case where men weren’t being treated fairly”.
“How she stands up for herself and doesn’t get pushed down. She kept hope”.
“Girls were limited in the time she was born and she wanted to do so much more. She shows me that women can be powerful”.
“She took care of her work, her children and her sick husband”.
“She stuck up for women who couldn’t stick up for themselves”.
“She had one goal – to always fight for what was important”.
“She showed me how you can change the world through law. I’ve always looked at doctors and scientists as the people who can change things. She showed me that there are other ways I could help”.
Ansuya also asked the group if they ever saw anything they wanted to stop and what they did. Most of their responses had to do with how they personally had seen girls treated differently than boys. Here are some responses:
“Playing tag after school, a boy was singing songs about girls and showing off. I waited and got him out”.
“During school camp, the coach gave the girls different rules and advantages in games to ‘level the playing field’. I didn’t use a single advantage and won every time”.
“Our guy teacher let the girls do “girl push-ups” and gave the girls advantages. I didn’t like how this made me feel and how the boys would feel”.
“One friend was really being teased by boys, but didn’t want to go for help. We went anyway and talked to the counselor and the boys. They changed and stopped teasing her, but she was mad at us. She didn’t want help”.
“One boy was being really mean to a friend (bullying, cursing, talking behind her back). She said she din’t care, but I finally talked her into reporting it to help other girls that he might treat badly”.
“We had a really good play at school about a boy who wanted to sew. It was called the Blue and Pink Academy”.
“I was the only girl in after school soccer. The coach made a rule not to be sexist. Some boys still wouldn’t pass, so they got benched”.
Many of these stories were very personal and led the girls to have a good discussion about how their different schools handle bullying, sportsmanship and clubs.
Next, they started talking about different actions to take as inspired by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Some ideas included: A fundraiser for RBG, making a video sharing stories and goals, putting up Damsels + RBG signs, visiting a courtroom to see how it works, making and sending RBG a collar as a thank you for the inspiration.
They have decided to visit a local judge to learn about how she became involved in law and what she does everyday. The parents are working on scheduling a time and we will post a follow-up after the visit.
As always, the end of the meeting brought some well-earned silliness and time to run around.