Ruth Bader Ginsburg got blunt about sexism's role in the 2016 election.

Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images.

Russia, economic anxiety, James Comey — pundits have dissected a number of factors that could have shaped the 2016 presidential election. If you ask Ruth Bader Ginsburg, though, sexism certainly shouldn't be left off that list.

The Supreme Court justice — the second woman to have ever held that title — sat down with CBS News' Charlie Rose on Sept. 26, to chat about a number of hot-button issues in American culture and politics.

When the conversation turned to the 2016 election, Rose asked if sexism played a role in the outcome. "I have no doubt that it did," Ginsburg answered to cheers.

Clinton — the first woman to represent a major political party on the ballot — won the popular vote but lost the electoral college to Trump — a man who bragged about sexually assaulting women and once suggested those who have abortions should be punished.


Ginsburg said Clinton's gender was a "major, major factor" in helping bolster Trump to victory (and studies suggest she may be right).

Clinton, then Secretary of State, greets (from left) Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor in 2011. Photo by Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images.

To some, Clinton's loss was a devastating setback to women's equality. But Ginsburg wants us to see the bigger picture.

Women have been breaking major barriers in recent decades, Ginsburg reminded Rose — especially in Congress. 

While Trump won the presidential election, history was quietly made in the Senate last year, as a record-breaking 21 women won seats in their respective states. When Ginsburg joined the Supreme Court in 1993, that figure stood at six.

"To see the entrance of women into places where they were not there before is a hopeful sign," the optimistic justice explained to Rose.

Image by Michael Calcagno/Upworthy.

Notably, there are also more women of color in the Senate than ever before. Last year's election saw Kamala Harris, Tammy Duckworth, and Catherine Cortez Masto pull off victories in California, Illinois, and Nevada — wins that quadrupled the number of female senators of color.

"I'm worried," Ginsburg noted of the current direction the country seems to be headed, "but I'm encouraged by the number of people — especially young people — who are expressing themselves in opposition, reminding us of our most basic values: our freedom."

Watch highlights from Rose and Ginsburg's interview below:

More
via Twitter / Soraya

There is a strange right-wing logic that suggests when minorities fight for equal rights it's somehow a threat to the rights already held by those in the majority or who hold power.

Like when the Black Lives Matter movement started, many on the right claimed that fighting for black people to be treated equally somehow meant that other people's lives were not as valuable, leading to the short-lived All Lives Matter movement.

This same "oppressed majority" logic is behind the new Straight Pride movement which made headlines in August after its march through the streets of Boston.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

For most of us, the hypothetical question of whether we would stick with a boyfriend or girlfriend through the trials of cancer and the treatments is just that – a hypothetical question. We would like to think we would do the right thing, but when Max Allegretti got the chance to put his money where mouth is, he didn't hesitate for a second.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

Keep Reading Show less
popular