25 years ago Anita Hill courageously testified in front of an all-male Senate Judiciary Committee about the sexual harassment of nominee, Clarence Thomas. This sexual harasser has been a Supreme Court judge for quarter of a century during which time little has changed in the attitudes, understanding and perceptions regarding rape culture, domestic violence and sexual assault against women.
In an interview two months ago with Steve Inskeep on NPR’s Morning Edition, Anita Hill mentioned “We’ve come a long way since then,” in that “It is now part of the public conversation.” Racism and xenophobia are also part of public discourse, in large part, because of extreme views and hostile posturing from the Republican presidential nominee: In turn, it has riled up the base of his base supporters. Just because it is part of national conversation, doesn’t necessarily mean we are making progress. But at least it is out in the open instead of crouching in the shadows like a predator waiting to pounce on the next victim. We can still move this conversation forward and slowly raze the walls of white male privilege and ‘boys will be boys’ behavior. STOP using language and misconceptions that reinforce these harmful attitudes and deplorable stereotypes toward females. Think about how it affects girls and women; it’s not enough to seek justice and to punish sexual predators.
As Anita Hill pointed out in a recent op-ed: “At virtually every dinner table this weekend, people talked about what should happen to Donald Trump’s political ambitions. But little consideration was given to what impact the brutish behavior he claimed to have had on the women he victimized. How many of them talked about Arianne Zucker, the young woman in the leaked video who Bush cajoled into hugging the same two men who had just joked about forcibly kissing her? Did she know she was the butt of a sexual gag?”