“After Dad died, we worried that Mom would just survive on jello and cottage cheese, since he had done all the cooking.” -Jane Ginsburg
In the New Yorker article, Ruth Ginsburg, 80, Supreme Court Justice of the US, says, “It bothers me when people say to make it to the top of the tree you have to give up a family. They say, ‘Look at Kagan and Sotomayor’.”
Yet, she herself married right out of college to her college sweetheart in 1954. Her husband cooked for them the entire time, and while she took care of the children when they were very young. He provided for her in that first few years by working at his law practice. It certainly looks like she “had it all.”
Why do the most successful women today end up not married and without children? I’d say it’s because they are not getting married in college, when they are less intimidating to prospective suitors and yet can also find an intellectual match. For an intelligent woman these days in the US, to marry at 21 is considered way too soon. None of my female friends at Ivy-level school graduated into marriage. Yet, if you don’t get married at that age, it gets harder and harder as you enter the workforce or build up intimidating postgraduate degrees.
I admire everything Ginsburg has done for women’s equality in the US, but I do think there is a disconnect between her generation and my own about what being a “career woman” looks like. Or maybe it’s that Ginsburg has never contemplated what it might look like to be a female 30-yr-old lawyer trying to find a match through internet dating.