“She’s not a superhero; she’s a woman like many others of her generation,” Mimi Leder, director of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biophic ‘On the Basis of Sex’ told the packed audience at New York’s Walter Read Theatre director on Sunday. The audience included Gloria Steinem (wearing an RBG-inspired Lingua Franca sweater that read “all rise”) and former Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Vogue writes that RGB received a hero’s welcome from an audience that gave her a standing ovation at every opportunity.
“She is an exceptional woman who changed the culture with her intelligence and her eloquence, “ Leder continued, emphasizing the reality that themes of her story are universal: “She didn’t go into the law to become a champion for equal rights. She went into the law because she thought she could do that job better than any other.”
“I ask no favor for my sex,” Ginsburg’s voice says at the end of the film. “All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.”
Justice Ginsburg’s nephew Daniel Stiepleman wrote the script for ‘On the Basis of Sex’, and her daughter Jane helped edit the movie script.
Interviewed by NPR’s Nina Totenberg for a Q&A after the screening, RGB praised the film, but did clarify that the ending took artistic license in a court scene in which Jones’s character initially stumbles during her statement only to recover late and win over the judges during her rebuttal? There wasn’t a rebuttal—and to quote Ginsburg, she didn’t need one: “I didn’t stumble.”
Asked if she thinks a future Supreme Court justice would receive the kind of bipartisan support she received during her 1993 confirmation process, Ginsburg referenced her deceased husband Marty: “All it would take was determination from senators on both sides of the aisle to begin functioning the way the Senate should function,” Ginsburg said. “I think there will be a way back. I can’t predict that I’ll see it in my lifetime, but one of the things that Marty often said about our country is that the true symbol of the United States is not the bald eagle—it’s the pendulum—and when it goes too far in one direction, it’s going to swing back.”