On the Basis of Sex- Review

Hannah Bartels
“On the Basis of Sex” is a film that many people are rushing to see, especially women. Everyone loves a good story of self fulfillment and finding happiness in working for justice. This movie is about a very famous and important women’s right activist that gave women nearly all of the rights that they have today: Ruth Ginsburg.

According to biography.com, Ruth was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1933. She earned a bachelor degree in government from Cornell University in 1954 and was first in her class. She married Martin Ginsburg the same year and had a daughter named Jane. Shortly after, Ruth and Martin enrolled into Harvard as a law students where Ruth faced the challenges of raising a child while working for her law degree.

In 1956 Martin was diagnosed with cancer and Ruth attended all of his classes for him, taking notes so he could continue his education from home. He recovered fairly quick and began working in a New York law firm. Ruth later transferred to Columbia Law School where she also graduated first in her class in 1959.

Despite Ruth’s incredible academic records and achievements, she still faced constant discrimination throughout her life as a lawyer. She brought six landmark cases on gender equality to the Supreme Court and was later appointed by Bill Clinton into the Supreme Court. “On the Basis of Sex” does an outstanding job of highlighting Ruth’s many achievements and her journey fighting to give women rights in a world of men.

In the movie, the discrimination Ruth faced as a woman in an almost all male law school is depicted and how she had to earn her name and place into society. She learns an important life lesson from her daughter that listening, is equally important as speaking. She also learns that it’s important to listen to the younger generation (i.e. her daughter) and opinions from other people.

The movie also shows the battle that Martin had to face with cancer and how hard Ruth worked as she filled in classes for her husband, attended her own, and raised a child. Eventually, Ruth picks up a case that upholds the possibility to change the game for all women and must fight harder than she has ever before.

In the end, there is a scene that shows the real Ruth Ginsburg walking up the Supreme Court house stairs and it left many people with joy. This movie is a beautiful story of how hard work pays off and that real happiness comes from the things you do to help others.

Despite all of the great aspects of this movie, it is somewhat challenging to follow due to the amount of political terms used. The movie also movies at a fairly fast pace and requires people to have the ability to catch on quickly. The movie can seem like it drags on for some time because it tries to show how much pressure Ruth had to face and how my barriers he had to break through to earn equality for women.

“On the Basis of Sex” is the kind of movie that leaves you thinking and inspired. It makes you see the world from a different perspective and makes you compare our world today with Ruth’s world then. It really makes you see how powerful and critical the constitutional right to speech is for all American citizens and how big of an impact you can create with it. Freedom of speech is a right that people must hold onto and cherish and “On the Basis of Sex” does an incredible way of showing why.


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