WATCH: The Trailer for “On the Basis of Sex” Reminds Us How RBG Got So Notorious

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s groundbreaking work on the landmark sex discrimination case Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld when she was a young attorney will soon be fodder for the big screen—and the trailer for On the Basis of Sex, released this week, reminded us all why one feature-length film about the notorious Supreme Court Justice isn’t enough.

The film, which will come to theaters December, chronicles Ginsburg’s challenges as a woman coming up in the male-dominated legal field—and then dives into the case she brought to the U.S. Court of Appeals that dealt with discrimination between tax benefits for widows and widowers which would become the starting point for her long and impactful feminist career.

Ginsburg’s inspiring and powerful personal story serves as inspiration for feminists facing down the currently hostile political climate in the U.S.—and the importance of perseverance. Parallels to contemporary challenges still facing women in and outside of the courtroom are hard to miss in On the Basis of Sex, including young people taking to the streets to protest a corrupt president and women fighting for seats at the table and respect in the workplace.

At one point during the trailer, Ginsburg tells a doubter: “You don’t get to tell me when to quit.” As the fight for full equality under the law goes on, On the Basis of Sex is sure to be a reminder not only of her decades-long pursuit of gender justice, but also of the good that comes with refusing to give up.


Hope Lenamon is a former editorial intern at Ms. and a journalism major with a double minor in electronic media and communications and women's and gender studies at Texas Tech University. She enjoys writing, taking mediocre photos and the company of her dog, Miley.