Ruth Bader Ginsburg Shares Her #MeToo Moments

“I went to his office and I said, ‘How dare you?”

The #MeToo movement can add another powerful name among its supporters: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Speaking from the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday, the 84-year-old justice, who pioneered legal work on women’s rights and gender discrimination, praised the recent wave of women speaking out against workplace sexual harassment, describing it as “about time.”

“For so long women were silent, thinking there was nothing you could do about it,” Ginsburg told NPR’s Nina Totenberg, “but now the law is on the side of women, or men, who encounter harassment and that’s a good thing.” 

Ginsburg, who was attending the festival for the premiere of the biographical documentary “RBG,” also revealed her personal experiences with sexual harassment, which included an anecdote involving a chemistry professor at Cornell University. 

“I’m taking a chemistry course at Cornell and my instructor said—because I was uncertain about my ability in that field—he said, ‘I’ll give you a practice exam,'” Ginsburg said. “So he gave me a practice exam. The next day on the test, the test is the practice exam. I knew exactly what he wanted in return.”

“I went to his office and said, ‘How dare you? How dare you do this?'” she continued, prompting loud applause from the audience. “And that was the end of that.”

For more, including Ginsburg’s thoughts on SNL’s Kate McKinnon’s portrayal of her (“I would like to say ‘Gins-burn’ sometimes to my colleagues), check out the full interview below:

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  • Inae Oh is the associate news editor at Mother Jones. Follow her on Twitter.