Added: Jesi Sergent - Date: 21.09.2021 10:49 - Views: 36798 - Clicks: 5341
Anita Hill testifying to sexual harassment from former boss Clarence Thomas during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Thomas to the Supreme Court in In OctoberAmericans were riveted by the spectacle of an all-white, all-male Senate Judiciary Committee questioning Anita Hill, the African-American law professor who had accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment.
TV viewers, both male and female, watched in increasing discomfort as the senators asked Hill about large-breasted women, a porn star named Long Dong Silver and pubic hair on a Coke can, among other ly unthinkable subjects for a Senate committee hearing.
Listen to audio of Anita Hill's testimony here. Both Thomas and Hill had risen from poor rural childhoods in segregated America, graduated from Yale Law School and launched promising legal careers in Washington, D. Their paths converged at the U. Shortly after that, according to Hill, Thomas began harassing her, a pattern that would continue after Thomas left his post to become chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOCand Hill moved with him to continue as his assistant.
Clarence Thomas during his hearing regarding the alleged sexual harassment of Anita Hill.
Hill, who left Washington in and became a law professor in her native Oklahoma, was initially reluctant to come forward with her allegations against Thomas. But in the late summer ofshe was contacted by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who had heard rumors of possible misconduct by Thomas against at least one female employee in his past. On October 11, Hill testified before the committee that Thomas had asked her out repeatedly and that even after she refused, often talked to her in graphic detail about sex.
Throughout the brutally uncomfortable questioning by senators, Hill retained her composure, even when forced to repeat again and again the most disturbing and embarrassing parts of Thomas' alleged harassment. Claims of sexual harassment filed with the EEOC shot up, and Congress passed the Civil Rights Act ofwhich gave victims of workplace sexual harassment more legal recourse. State laws began to change as well, and anti-sexual harassment programs became the norm in offices across the country. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who first won election during that momentous year, would become the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee bywhen the committee confronted another charge of sexual misconduct, made by Dr.
Through the intervening decades, sexual misconduct has figured prominently in U. President Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about his relationship with the young White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Donald Trumpas a presidential candidate, was exposed as making lewd advances on women with the public release of a recorded tape. And Americans have seen the rise of the MeToo movement, alongside the revelations of sexual misconduct and harassment on the part of numerous powerful men in entertainment, politics, business and other fields.
For her part, Hill wrote in the New York Times about the high stakes that accompany the Kavanaugh hearings, and her advice for how the Senate Judiciary Committee could handle them differently than in Inour senators must get it right. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you.
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