Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said this weekend that she was sexually harassed in college and that “it’s about time” women are empowered to speak out about their experiences.
During an interview with NPR’s Nina Totenberg at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday, Ginsburg said she was sexually harassed when she was a student at Cornell. She said a professor gave her a practice exam that turned out to be the actual exam.
“I knew exactly what he wanted in return,” Ginsburg said. “Every woman of my vintage knows what sexual harassment is, although we didn’t have a name for it.”
Ginsburg, who worked as a women’s rights attorney before being appointed to the nation’s high court, said she later went to the professor’s office and confronted him, telling him: “How dare you do this?”
Ginsburg said the #MeToo movement, in which thousands have spoken out about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault, is long overdue. She added that she’s not particularly concerned about the movement’s critics.
“For so long women were silent, thinking there was nothing you could do about it, but now the law is on the side of women, or men, who encounter harassment and that’s a good thing,” she said. “When I see women appearing every place in numbers, I’m less worried about a backlash than I might have been 20 years ago.”
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