After Stephen Wiesenfeld’s wife Paula died giving birth to their son, he was denied benefits available to sole surviving mothers with modest incomes. Had Stephen and Paula’s places been reversed, Paula would have received those benefits. Ruth Bader Ginsburg represented Stephen in challenging the social security law. She used the case to show how a law purporting to benefit mothers by providing them special benefits actually perpetuated and reinforced the stereotype that men belong at work, and women at home.
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