Ruth Bader Ginsburg fervently believed that women’s rights are men’s rights, too. Richard Swerdlow knows what she was talking about.
Thirty years ago, I worked as an airline flight attendant, pouring drinks at 25,000 feet. Thank you, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for the opportunity.
Because without judges like RBG, I never could have landed that job.
On the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg’s defining cause was gender equality in employment. And there wasn't much gender equality among airline crews. Until the 1970s, airlines employed only women — young, pretty stewardesses wearing uniforms of mini-skirts and go-go boots. It was legal to fire stewardesses at age 32, or for marriage, pregnancy, even gaining weight.
But this changed with a 1971 decision, courts ruling a man could carry a tray as well as a woman. Stewardesses became “flight attendants,” with men working beside them. And though Ruth Bader Ginsburg wasn't part of this ruling, her legal advocacy for gender equality in employment resulted in doors opening for both women and men.