Jacques Molitor holds a picture of his female role model, Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Photo: Jacques Molitor
Luxembourg film director Jacques Molitor explains why he is guided by Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life teachings as part of our series on female role models.
My female role model is someone who I’m not related to, who doesn’t live on the same continent as me and who is even from an entirely different generation: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, AKA the “Notorious RBG”.
I chose Mrs. Ginsburg because of her determination, sly humor and endless hard work. She taught me that being a woman should never mean having to define yourself according to other’s prejudiced ideas. She juggled a stellar career as a lawyer and a fulfilling private life, which inspires me. As a filmmaker, I am sometimes struggling to find my place in life and society.
Ruth was one of the very first women to enter Harvard law school in (even more) patriarchal 1950’s America. During her husband’s difficult bout with cancer while they were both still students, she didn’t give up but instead studied night and day and thus secured both their graduations. In this world, you have to find your own voice, stand by it and work to defend it. This is my personal philosophy, guided by Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life teachings.
At the Women’s Rights Projects at the ACLU, which she founded, Ruth went on to argue controversial cases that would redefine equal protection for genders under the law.
Today Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the one of three women, and one of the only liberals, on the US Supreme Court [ed. note: out of nine justices]. As a new wave of conservatism washes away the hard-won rights of minorities, women and LGBTQ people, Ruth seems like the last line of defence--making her the hero of many, including me!
Having been diagnosed with both colon cancer and pancreatic carcinoma in her sixties, she remains alive after two decades of struggle... this time not in the court of law but in the more fragile arena of personal health.
As my own mother fights cancer at the moment, Ruth’s resilience and spirit in the face of this terrible disease is a real inspiration to me: she’s only missed a single day of gym since her diagnosis! I use that strength to help my own family.
Mrs. Ginsburg has repeatedly stated that she won’t retire until she’s six feet under. Here’s hoping that she’ll continue fighting for quite some time!
Jacques Molitor's first short film “En compagnie de la poussière” was selected for the Pardi di domain at Locarno in 2008. In 2014, he released his first feature film “Mammejong”, which was screened at several international venues. He is currently working on the RTL documentary series “routwäissgro. Molitor also coordinates the Cinelunatique screenings at the Cinématique with director Govinda van Maele.
Do you have a woman in your life who has inspired you? In celebration of International Women’s Day, we want to hear from you. Send us a mail to [email protected] with your story and photo, or share your story on social media with the tag #myfemalerolemodel
Correction: A previous version of the article mistakenly stated that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the only woman currently serving on the US Supreme Court; however, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan are also currently supreme court justices. This was updated on 4 March at 1:30pm