Ginsburg, in conversation with journalist Charlie Rose, spoke on a wide range of issues during an event at the 92nd Street Y, including her future on the court, her legendary exercise routine, her mentors and advice she had for young women. When asked about Clinton ― the first female presidential nominee for a major political party ― and her loss in last year’s election, however, Ginsburg commented that sexism was a “major, major factor.”
“Do I think so? I have no doubt that it did,” she said.
She continued to say, however, that she was hopeful for gender equality in government after seeing a rise in representation in Congress and on the Supreme Court, saying when she began her tenure as a justice in 1993, there were just half a dozen women in the Senate. Today there are 21.
“The more women that are out there doing things and the more people see that women are not all alike, I mean we come in all sizes and shapes, that to me, to see the entrance of women into places where they were not there before, is a hopeful sign,” she said.
Ginsburg had said earlier that there remains an unconscious bias against women in power but noted that “the more women there are in decision-making places, the more women will enter those fields.”
The more women that are out there doing things and the more people see that women are not all alike, ... is a hopeful sign. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
In her new memoir, Clinton spoke about her own belief that her gender played an outsized role in her presidential campaign.
“It’s difficult for me to see my story as one of revolution. But I was part of the women’s movement that led to a revolution not just in laws, but in attitudes and doors that had been closed to young women opening,” Clinton said in an interview with actress America Ferrera and The New York Times earlier this month. “I’m grateful for that, but I’m also conscious of the continuing double standard: I have to be better than everyone; I have to work harder. There’s no margin for me when others have so much leeway. It’s a pressure cooker all the time.”
Ginsburg, responding to an audience question about the future of American democracy and the role of dissenting voices, had a brief but poignant response:
“If you care about the future of your country, if you care about the future of your children and your grandchildren, you have to be part of the struggle.”