The American Civil Liberties Union is facing backlash on social media after editing a Ruth Bader Ginsburg quote to remove the word “women” — the gender she dedicated her life to defending.
Many pointed out that the organization had, quite literally, erased women.
The ACLU quoted Ginsburg as saying, “the decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a [person’s] life, to [their] wellbeing and dignity… When the government controls that decision for [people], [they are] being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for [their] own choices.”
You have become the exact type of language-bending Orwellian institution you once opposed.
— Colin Moriarty (@notaxation) September 22, 2021
The quote is from Ginsburg’s written response to senators during her 1993 confirmation hearing.
What the late justice actually said was, “the decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When Government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”
Why are you literally erasing the word ‘women’ from the words of one of the world’s most admired women?
— Geoffrey Miller (@primalpoly) September 22, 2021
They really edited an RBG quote to take out the word “woman” https://t.co/q2AavljlgO
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) September 23, 2021
Greg Scott, senior vice president of communications at the pro-life Christian law firm Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), pointed to the tweet and said, “the ACLU literally erasing women.”
So, misgendering is bad, misquoting and editing out the word woman is fine.
— JinnysO’Joe (@JinnysJoe) September 22, 2021
Even admirers of RBG were outraged by the misquotation.
It’s both offensive and dishonest to quote someone but edit their words in the way you have.
To do it to the wonderful Ruth Bader Ginsburg perhaps even more so
— Lorelei 🌕🧙♀️🕸🍄 (@hatpinwoman) September 23, 2021
Some noted that it felt as though the word “woman” was being turned into a “dirty word.”
if we can’t name ourselves are we truly able to define ourselves?
are we truly the people who can’t be spoken?
Woman. Now simply an essence, a feeling, a naughty dirty word.
— Austen the mighty 💚🤍💜 (@austenofcourse) September 23, 2021
Conservative comedian and political commentator Tim Young wrote, “RBG is one of the most admired WOMEN in the history of American politics… and you erased the word ‘woman’ from her own quote… You guys are literally trash.”
RBG is one of the most admired WOMEN in the history of American politics… and you erased the word “woman” from her own quote…
You guys are literally trash.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) September 23, 2021
The juxtaposition of championing her quote while changing the words is quite something
— MrFortyFive (@MrFortyFive) September 22, 2021
The ACLU has not responded to the criticism.