Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died of complications from metastatic pancreas cancer at the age of 87. In light of this news, we're republishing this story about one of her iconic collars, which she received as a gift from a fan.
Read the original article, published on December 13, 2018, below.
When the Notorious RBG herself, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, sat for the most recent Supreme Court portrait, much was made of her choice of neckpiece. Ginsburg has long admitted that her collars carry distinct meanings—such as her "Majority Opinion" and "Dissent" jabots—so it was only a matter of time until the internet weighed in on the sharp-edged necklace.
Due to the circumstances of the portrait—her first to include Justice Brett Kavanaugh—the necklace was read as a subtle commentary at her new bench-mate. (What with his confirmation process, in which he defended himself against accusations of sexual assault and heavy drinking, not to mention his jurisprudence, which is almost entirely the reverse of RBG's, onlookers have tended to assume the two don't see eye to eye.)
But Town & Country has learned that there is actually another, sweeter meaning behind Ginsburg's choice of the metallic collar: it was a gift from a fan who views the Justice as a mentor and role model.
Lawyer (and fellow ACLU alum) Susan Hyman was inspired to send Justice Ginsberg the piece after seeing the recent documentary, RBG. The Los Angeles-based Hyman had paid homage to Ginsburg's trademark look for the screening of the movie, wearing a piece of jewelry from Stella and Dot, the brand she works for part-time. "I wore the necklace in tribute to RBG because it reminded me of some of the 'dissent collars' she has worn," Hyman explained.
After the credits began to roll, she felt inspired to take her tribute one step further; she decided to send Ginsburg the limited-edition Silver Pegasus necklace "in appreciation for her pioneering life’s work to advance women’s equality. I wrote that I hoped she would wear it with pride and joy."
The necklace, Hyman says, "reminds me of something a warrior princess like Wonder Woman would wear as armor into battle. It projects strength, confidence, and fearlessness."
Hyman didn't expect a response ("I really sent it in a leap of faith," she said), but Ginsburg didn't leave her hanging. Hyman soon received "a lovely hand written note from RBG on her official stationery. She warmly offered 'a thousand thanks' and expressed delight at her 'surprise package.' She described the necklace as 'exquisite' and promised to wear it on or off the bench."
And wear it she did—not only on the bench, but for one of the rare Supreme Court portraits. Hyman shared the news with a Facebook group she's active in, consisting of lawyer moms (11,000 strong!), and they were just as thrilled as you'd think. "We feel that RBG was giving us a secret wink and nod in solidarity with us, and an appeal to keep on fighting for women’s equality," Hyman said. "She is one of us!"
Indeed, Hyman's online community strongly identifies with Ginsburg. "In my community of lawyer moms, RBG is larger than life. She is revered as a patron saint, Wonder Woman, the original and ultimate lawyer mom... We collect RBG action figures, mugs, and 'dissent collar' pins... A favorite mantra is 'WWRBGD'—What Would RBG Do?"
Wear the gift—RBG would wear the gift.
You Might Also Like