Little by little, we move closer to a new year. (I’ve always been noted for stating the obvious!) I don’t like to rush time, but I’m not sorry to see this year begin to give way to the next one.
2021 is already sprinkled with exciting events, one being the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021, and another event that I learned about a while back, one that will take place on March 15, 2021.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve written several posts about a phenomenon slowly and steadily sweeping our nation and the world. This phenomenon is often referred to as the breaking of the bronze ceiling. This movement is working to increase the number of women depicted in statues and monuments in our public spaces. The bronze ceiling is similar to the glass ceiling in that it is a barrier, a barrier to the representation and advancement of women.
Here are a couple of NWW posts that describe efforts to establish more of a gender balance among statues in our public spaces: Breaking the Bronze Ceiling: One Inspiring Public Sculpture at a Time and Visibility Matters: A Statue for Mary Wollstonecraft.
Last week, with the victory of the Biden/Harris ticket, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris further shattered the glass ceiling in a very significant way, being the first woman AND woman of color (Black and South Asian American) to hold this office in the history of the United States. Many of us can barely contain ourselves with this preposterously overdue development!
The bronze ceiling continues to crack too. One organization doing a lot to make this happen is Statues for Equality, founded by artists and social justice activists Marc and Gillie Schattner.
Statues for Equality is a “movement for gender and racial equality through public art,” working to “reach their aim of 50% representation of women in public statues around the world by 2025.”
Because visibility and representation matter in a myriad of incredibly important ways.
During Women’s History Month, on March 15, 2021, in Brooklyn, New York, a bronze statue of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sculpted by Marc and Gillie will be unveiled.
This is the date of her birthday, she would be 88 years old on this day, and this is where she was born and grew up. ‘Notorious RBG’, a title of admiration she came to embrace, helped to crack the glass ceiling with her long, powerful career as a judge in our nation’s highest court and as a tireless advocate for gender equality and women’s rights.
Now, posthumously, Justice Ginsburg’s legacy continues to contribute to the widening crack in the stubborn bronze ceiling.
The statue of Justice Ginsburg will be located at City Point in downtown Brooklyn. According to ABC News, sculptors Marc and Gillie explain:
“With the two steps on its large base representing the Supreme Court and the climb she made to get there, the work is designed to provide the public with an opportunity to stand at her side, and gain inspiration from her journey fighting for equal rights”(Shapiro).
Justice Ginsburg, in the preface to her book My Own Words wrote:
“As expressed by my brave colleague, the first woman on the Supreme Court of the United States, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor:
For both men and women, the first step in getting power is to become visible to others, and then to put on an impressive show…As women achieve power, the barriers will fall. As society sees what women can do, as women see what women can do, there will be more women out there doing things, and we’ll all be better off for it”(xxi).
A very dear friend of mine was also born on March 15 some fifty-plus years after Justice Ginsburg. She plans to be in attendance at the unveiling in Brooklyn, New York on their birthday and she plans to become a lawyer, a dream deferred for a time but now on track to be realized.
One day there will be no glass, no bronze, no ceiling blockades of any kind designed to hold anyone back.
And yes, “We’ll ALL be better off for it.”
© Maria Dintino 2020
Ginsburg, Ruth Bader. My Own Words. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2016.
Shapiro, Emily. ABC News. 14 Oct 2020. https://abcnews.go.com/US/bronze-statue-ruth-bader-ginsburg-unveiled-brooklyn-womens/story?id=73606366