I wake up to a text from my Denver based family. Justice RBG, which I initially read as RGB while rubbing the sleep from my eyes, has passed. Then I confirm the notifications from Business Insider. What all the memes have worried over and bandied about has come to fruition before this November. The joke was that Justice RBG was holding out for the U.S.
She is my Anna Wintour of U.S. Supreme Court Justices. (The documentaries, The September Issue and RBG are quite different.)
I think about the documentary poster. The movie discusses her first landmark gender equality case, Moritz vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue which created a new dialogue around work and traditional roles.
The case was filed by a bachelor who could not receive a tax benefit allotted to women in his similar position as the caretaker of an elderly mother. As stated by Lila Thulin in the Smithsonian Magazine,
She [RBG] would try to bring the judges along to see the injustice of men not being able to get a benefit that women in comparable situations could get.
What I admire about RBG in comparing her to Anna Wintour is their unbending will to do their job well. You might argue that they exist in opposite spectrums; RBG refers to the legal framework regardless of societal norms while Wintour has the challenge of listening to the audience and incorporating shifting societal values.
That’s a large statement, “societal values”. The prior evening after a string of practice copywriting headlines I jotted, “Exile: The US Hates Women; Doctors Hate Slutty Women; Police Hate Women; I Nearly Died Hating Myself OR Exodus”.
Many people have reached out to each other, throughout Covid-19, shared resources, and/or started organizations in response to what the US administration has shown us in terms of how healthcare, education, and vulnerable populations are prioritized. We are now doing the work of rebuilding as internationally, US approval rates have fallen.
I attended my first of the weekly speaker series, Let’s Work, hearing from people who had lost employment, relocated, found remote administrative gigs, and/or planned to undertake passion projects. I discovered Women Who Create, an NYC based mentorship program for Women Of Color by WOC. Their call-to-action, “90% of creative directors are male; Let’s change that” struck me.
Let’s return to doing the job well. I like to question:
- Where does this statistic come from, agencies at which size/stage?
- Are “creative women” crafty, kitsch, homely caretakers, creating art that is non-conceptual? (Admittedly I love looking at home design.)
- Is this number due to the amount spent on liquor and car advertising and targeted at major sporting events?
- Why are specific for Women of Color by WOC groups so necessary?
Even the tax structure RBG challenged seemed to reward traditional male-female roles. But the US doesn’t hate women, nor is the current administration a reflection of larger “societal values”.
Art is subjective; Law is subjective. It’s not really. It’s numbers.
RGB reads words and advertising reads the response. Creative businesspeople align the demographic that is making the purchasing decision with a “creative XYZ” that matches the profile.
It can be a bit reductive.
In solidarity with RBG and all those battling natural forces stateside,
(Don’t fill the seat.)
Originally published at https://www.rueyyah.com on September 19, 2020.