The Women’s History Month March Madness contest concludes with our Championship match-up between Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Barbara Jordan! You can vote by participating in our daily Twitter or Facebook poll, or by casting a vote at the Circulation Desk. Happy voting!
Ruth Bader Ginsburg-“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the only surviving child of two Jewish immigrants and her mother encouraged Justice Ginsburg’s education from a very young age. After marrying and giving birth to her first child, Justice Ginsburg enrolled at Harvard University, where she was immediately introduced to and discouraged by the male views of her gender in the legal profession. After experiencing many forms of gender discrimination personally, including being told she would be paid less as a law professor because she had a husband with a decent job, Justice Ginsburg became one of the most well-known advocates and legal researchers for women’s rights. She argued several times successfully to the all-male Supreme Court of the United States and her successes as a whole discouraged legislatures from treating women and men differently. After serving as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, President Clinton appointed Justice Ginsburg as the second female justice on the Supreme Court and the first female Jewish Justice. Justice Ginsburg used her position to continue the fight for women’s rights, upholding the Roe v. Wade decision and criticizing any legislation or cases that limited the ability of women to make their own decisions.
Barbara Jordan-“More is required of public officials than slogans and handshakes and press releases. More is required. We must hold ourselves strictly accountable. We must provide the people with a vision of the future.”
Born into a very religious family, Barbara Jordan was inspired in high school by Edith Sampson to become a lawyer. After attending university and law school, Barbara started practicing in Texas. She spent the majority of her career advocating for civil rights and campaigning to enter one public office or another. Barbara’s third attempt to gain a seat in the Texas Senate was successful and she was the first African-American woman to be elected into that position. She was the president pro tem of the Senate for a period and also served a single day as acting state governor. In 1972, she was elected the first female to be a representative for Texas in the House of Representatives. She remained a well-known member of politics until 1979 (prior to which she was mentioned as being a possible running mate with President Carter) when she retired to become an adjunct professor at UT Austin. Barbara might have been elected to the Supreme Court, if her declining health had not been a factor.
Disclaimer: This is a friendly competition that is meant to increase awareness about some amazing women. The match ups were determined by a random outcome generator, and the winner will be determined based solely on the votes submitted by the participants. We are in no way seeking to pit one woman against each other in any inappropriate way, because each woman is inspiring in her own right.