The world has been in mourning following the Sept. 18 death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion of feminism and gender equality.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Ginsburg’s love was her unique marriage to Marty Ginsburg. Marty, formally known as Martin David Ginsburg, was an American tax lawyer and his wife’s biggest advocate.
Ruth and Marty first met in undergraduate school at Cornell University. They were set up on a blind date by Marty’s roommate. According to People, Marty initially fell for Ruth’s beauty then, and soon after, he fell for her intellect.
They married in June of 1954, following Ruth’s final year at Cornell and Marty’s first year at Harvard Law School. Following their marriage, they lived in Fort Still, Oklahoma for a brief stint, where Marty completed a military assignment.
Following their time spent in Fort Still, the couple returned to their lives in the northeast with Ruth starting school at Harvard and Marty continuing his studies at Harvard.
The couple had their first child while Ruth was in her first year of law school, a daughter named Jane.
The family relocated to New York after Marty graduated and accepted a job in New York City. At this time, Ruth transferred to Columbia University, where she completed her law degree.
Eventually, they both had professorships and other law-based work during their early years in New York.
According to the Washington Post, Marty was Ruth's biggest supporter in getting her seat on the Supreme Court. He lobbied on her behalf to media outlets. Then he even held the bible that she placed her hand on when getting sworn in for the role.
A humorous aspect of their relationship is that Marty was always highly vocal on Ruth’s lack of cooking abilities. He never had issues being the cook in the household.
Their lifelong marriage has left a lasting impact on American culture due to their deeply rooted love for one another and their shared gender roles. In a time where men were primarily the breadwinners and women were housewives, Marty and Ruth had no issue challenging old school ideals.
Marty never seemed to be jealous or angry about his wife’s successful career and her legacy, but instead he was fully willing to step up on the home front to allow for his wife to continue her historical work.
I think their relationship and abnormal roles within their family dynamic are a lesson we can learn from today. We no longer live in the 1950s, and women deserve to attain the same roles as men.
As a society, we could, without question, bring more awareness to shared gender roles or non-stereotypical roles within a household.
I think it’s fair to say that one of the key ingredients to sustaining their marriage was their appreciation and support for one another. Ruth was never forced to forfeit her dreams due to her children or lack of help from her husband.
Men, it is socially acceptable to cook the nightly dinners for your family and clean the house. It is also acceptable for your wife’s salary to be greater than yours.
In order to empower women, especially younger generations, we have to empower the daughters of this world to believe in themselves and their abilities. Also, within your household, it’s vital to show your children that gender roles are non-conformative and that there is not a rule book that says who has to do specific duties.
Marty Ginsburg remained faithfully devoted to his wife up until his death in 2010. He lost his battle to cancer on June 27 of that year. According to a tweet from NPR, he pinned a letter to his wife in that final week that read:
“My dearest Ruth,
You are the only person I have loved in my life, setting aside, a bit, parents and kids and their kids, and I have admired and loved you almost since the day we first met at Cornell some 56 years ago.”
If there was a general standard on how men should support and love their wives, Marty Ginsburg would be the ultimate example.