Letter to the Editor: Do it for RBG 

To the Editor: 

A few years ago, when I was still in middle school, I had a reading buddy – a kid who was probably in the first grade at the time. I was supposed to read her a book once a week for a few weeks during my English class. One day, I chose to read to her a picture book about the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I’ll be perfectly honest: I picked the book more for me than for her. But as I relayed the life of one of the greatest feminist icons of all time to this child who I barely knew, I felt her whole demeanor change. She was quiet for the whole time I was readingwhich was a first. The next week, she told me as soon as I sat down that she wanted me to reread that same book. She did the same the next week, and the week after that, right until the last day.  

can’t remember when I first learned about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her massive presence has simply been a fact of life – like Beyoncé. Ginsburg’s time on the Supreme Court began a decade before I was even born. So I am reckoning with the hole that she’s left behind, not only on the court and in our country, but in me.  

A loss this great is so hard to comprehend that it can be helpful to tackle it in small portions. It doesn’t make it easier, but it has helped me some.  

I choose to focus – at least now, at least today – on the ways that Justice Ginsburg changed our country outside of the law. I am choosing to focus on how her very existence was responsible for massive shifts in our national identity. I want to focus on the little girl in thick-rimmed glasses with big dreams and uncooperative hair trying to grow into her own radical dorkiness. The little girl who turned to the second woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States of America so that she might see her own potential and be in awe of it.  

Because the “Notorious RBG changed everything in that way, too.  

It is vitally important to look to the future and figure out how we’re going to get through the next couple of months. And I know that all of you have heard this before and will hear it again, but I beg of you: vote. I am 10 months too young, but a lot of you don’t have that excuse. Vote.  

While it is scary to think about the consequences of her death at this moment in history, I hope that we, as a nation, can take some time to focus on her life. Because what an incredible life. What a privilege to have lived with Ruth watching over us. Protecting us. In all of the 2020 insanity, it is also vital to take a moment to sit with RBG’s legacy, with her words, with her work. To sit in gratitude and pride for her impact on so many young women like me, her impact on all of us. Let’s do that now before getting back up tomorrow and continuing this fight.  

Ruby Mahoney 

Bar Harbor 

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