For Women, the Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Brings a Particular Grief

“And it wasn’t that she was a feminist icon and she did so much for women and was such a fighter for people to not discriminate based on your sex,” Ms. Jancosek went on, “but she understood that both men and women were being beholden to these restrictions and these ways that society had put on them and she really took it on as her duty to turn that on its head.”

Many were struck not only by her professional accomplishments, but also by her relationship with her husband, Martin D. Ginsburg, who died in 2010 and had no problem letting his wife take first billing.

“However cliché it may be, she was really one of the first people who I saw and said, ‘A woman really can have it all,’” said Jane Bisson, 24, a 2018 graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., who works in public affairs and crisis communications in Boston.

That is not to say Justice Ginsburg drew no criticism or that her legacy was perfect. She offended Black women (and men, for that matter) in 2016 when she said she thought it was “really dumb” for Colin Kaepernick, at the time the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, to kneel during the national anthem. She later apologized to Mr. Kaepernick, saying she had been “inappropriately dismissive and harsh,” but for some the wound is still raw.

Jennifer Allison, who runs a racial justice group in the Washington region, wrote on her Facebook page that lionizing Justice Ginsburg without acknowledging such comments would “perpetuate more harm and uphold white supremacy.” But Jeannette Mobley, 75, a Black Democratic activist in Washington, defended the justice, saying, “She was woman enough to come back and apologize for it.”

In speeches and public appearances, Justice Ginsburg touched the lives of numerous women. Ms. Wunsch is the executive director of Alpha Epsilon Phi, a Jewish sorority that Justice Ginsburg joined while an undergraduate at Cornell University. She heard Justice Ginsburg speak four years ago, in the heat of the 2016 election, after the justice had been criticized for calling Donald J. Trump “a faker” — words she later said were “ill advised.”


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