Decent film about the early legal career of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As a film it's pretty decent. As a biopic, it left me wanting more. I'd have liked to see about a bit more of her career than just the big breakthrough case that first brought her to public attention.

That case, though, is interesting. It was a sex-discrimination one1 where the discriminated-against party was a man. He was a carer for his elderly mother, and the fact that he had never been married meant he wasn’t entitled to a tax credit, where a woman would have been.

Ginsburg was able to convince the judges to declare the law unconstitutional, as it discriminated arbitrarily, on the titular basis. And with the ACLU, she was then able to tackle the many laws that discriminated similarly against women. Clever.

  1. Or gender-discrimination, as they renamed it, because ‘sex is all over the brief’, and it would distract the judges — male, of course; at least, according to the film. And I wonder if we can draw a line of causality from that decision to the position of gender in the culture today. ↩︎