Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg got candid about everything from her opinion about Kate McKinnon’s Saturday Night Live impression of her to her own #MeToo experience during a chat with NPR’s Nina Totenberg at the Sundance Film Festival Sunday.
Ginsburg, who was in town to discuss and promote RBG, the upcoming CNN documentary about her life, praised McKinnon’s impression and even joked about using some of McKinnon’s lines in real life.
“I liked the actress who portrayed me [McKinnon] and I would like to say ‘Gins-Burn’ sometimes to my colleagues,” Ginsburg said at one point during the chat, referring to a series of zingers that McKinnon-as-Ginsburg calls “Gins-Burns.”
Ginsburg also opened up about her thoughts on the #MeToo movement, revealing that she, too, had experienced her share of sexism and harassment over the years.
“Every woman of my vintage knows what sexual harassment is, although we didn’t have a name for it,” she said. She recalled in particular one incident wherein her chemistry professor at Cornell gave her a practice exam that ended up being the exact same exam as the real thing.
“I knew exactly what he wanted in return,” she said. “I went to his office and said, ‘How dare you? How dare you do this?’ And that was the end of that.”
Ginsburg also mentioned the pay discrimination she experienced as a law professor at Rutgers Law School. When she found out how much she was making versus a male colleague who had been out of law school for the same amount of time, the dean told her, “Ruth, he has a wife and two children to support. You have a husband with a good paying job in New York.”
In response, Ginsburg and several women at Rutgers got together and filed an Equal Pay Act complaint, which the university eventually settled.
“It’s about time,” she said of the #MeToo movement. “For so long women were silent, thinking there was nothing you could do about it, but now the law is on the side of women, or men, who encounter harassment and that’s a good thing. … So far it’s been great. When I see women appearing every place in numbers, I’m less worried about a backlash than I might have been 20 years ago.”