Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Women in NonTrad Jobs

July 11, 2009
Jessica DuLong profile photo
Jessica DuLong

Asked what it’s like to be the only woman on the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said: “It’s almost like being back in law school in 1956, when there were 9 of us in a class of over 500, so that meant most sections had just 2 women, and you felt that every eye was on you. Every time you went to answer a question, you were answering for your entire sex. It may not have been true, but certainly you felt that way. You were different and the object of curiosity.”

As one of very few female marine engineers, this feeling is all too familiar. I write in the book about the worst sexual harassment I’ve ever encountered: at engineering school while preparing for my Coast Guard license exams. It was ugly.