"On the Basis of Sex"
You know how movies fit into genres and categories so when people ask us what we like to watch, we respond with a few simple words and they understand exactly what we’re talking about? Well, recently a friend of mine introduced me to a genre that I’d never considered but just made sense—he called it, “important movies.”
Important movies are the ones that tell stories people NEED to hear. They are movies that stand the test of time; they educate and inspire. When you watch an important movie, you don’t always recognize it at first, but by the end you feel an overwhelming impression that you just witnessed something that matters.
That’s how I felt walking out of “On the Basis of Sex.” If you haven’t heard of it, the movie tells the story of the beginning of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s career and her fight for equality. For those of you who don’t know who that is, I highly recommend looking her up because she is DOPE.
If I’m being honest, I didn’t know much about her going in other than she’s a Supreme Court justice fighting against gender discrimination and Saturday Night Live has performed sketches about her—yes, I use SNL as a reference for current events. Pathetic, I know.
You don’t have to do any research before going into the movie, but I can guarantee you’ll want to learn more after you’ve seen it. The amount of adversity Ginsburg had to fight through—WOMEN had to fight through—in order to get an ounce of respect was infuriating and even when respect was given, it was conditional.
All that adversity made it that much more inspirational and filled the script with quotable lines that had me going, “daaaaang.” It was simultaneously one of the most frustrating and inspiring movies I’ve ever seen.
Frustrating, in the way people treated each other and just how ridiculous the beliefs were at the time. It’s easy to think, after watching this, that discrimination doesn’t exist anymore simply because of “how far we’ve come.”
Sometimes it’s hard to recognize or accept that, as men, we can never fully understand it and while we’ve definitely made progress, there’s still so much that needs to change.
Yes, there’s discrimination against everyone in some form or another, and this movie does touch on those, but at the same time it’s all so different that we can’t ever hope to understand anyone else’s experiences.
The best we can do is listen and learn how to be better moving forward and that’s what makes this movie important.
-Your Friendly Neighborhood Movie Guy
Nicholas Morrison is a senior studying graphic design.