April 5, 1992 |
Anita Hill, whose ordeal prompted women around the country to fume, "Men just don't get it," came to the University of Pennsylvania yesterday to talk about an issue she said would affect half of all women in their lifetimes. Sexual harassment. About 1,700 people lined up for blocks to get into Irvine Auditorium to hear the soft-spoken law professor from the University of Oklahoma. Several hundred more filled Meyerson Hall to watch her on closed-circuit TV. Many more were turned away earlier in what Penn officials said was unprecedented interest in a speaker.
April 27, 1992 |
She was introduced as "our Supreme Court justice. " But this speaker was not Sandra Day O'Connor, the only woman ever to sit on the nation's highest court. Rather, feminist leader Gloria Steinem bestowed the honorary title on Anita Hill, the Oklahoma law professor who shook the country last year with allegations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas, who was then a Supreme Court nominee. With Thomas now on the court, Hill has hardly faded into obscurity. More than 2,100 people cheered her Saturday at a conference on sexual harassment in New York.
December 12, 1991 |
Two months after the Clarence Thomas hearings, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter had to defend his grilling of Anita Hill to constituents in West Chester on Tuesday. Taking questions in an auditorium crowded by more than 250 people at West Chester University, the Pennsylvania Republican was asked by one woman if his "brutal questioning of Anita Hill was a reflection of your own feeling. " Her question brought shouts and applause, and some people raised their hands to show they agreed.
May 4, 1992 |
After Clarence Thomas took his place on the Supreme Court, Washington insiders thought they were finally rid of Anita Hill. When she first made her accusations against Thomas as nominee, the all-white, all-male Senate Judiciary Committee ignored her. Women across the country demanded she be heard. So the men in the White House plotted with the Republican senators to assassinate her character. They assailed her motives, her memory, her veracity. The Republican hit man, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, accused her of perjury, while accepting the word of Thomas who, incredibly, swore that he had never, ever discussed anything with anyone about Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision favoring women's right to abortion.
October 26, 1992 |
"Where'd she come from, anyway?" "Who's her mama?" Even now, a year after the hearings and the outcry that made the 1992 calendar practically an astrological sign to women, the name Anita Hill provokes debate about race and sex that is as fresh as today's headlines. Those memories of Hill and Clarence Thomas and the Senate Judiciary Committee can still draw rage from best-selling novelist Toni Morrison, author of Jazz. She was so repulsed that she commissioned and collected 18 essays about the topic and then took the newly published book and many of the essayists on the road.
October 22, 1991 |
Thirty years ago a man came to my house. The man was drunk. He broke china by throwing it against the wall. He hit me. He threatened to keep on beating me. He then raped me. I was six miles out in the country alone. I had no option but to submit. He was stronger than I was in only one way. Physically. This was not a stranger, a thief, a Willy Horton. It was the husband of a friend of mine, a man known for his politeness, his good manners, his "genteel" way of life.
October 17, 1991 |
My gut says Anita Hill told the truth. Upon returning to Oklahoma where she was warmly greeted by friends and supporters, she offered the bottom line: "I had nothing to gain by subjecting myself to the process," she said. "In fact, I had more to gain by remaining silent. " And silent she was - except for confiding in a handful of friends and professional associates - for 10 years. Hill's detractors have demanded to know why she waited, hanging the bloody scalpels with which they savaged her reputation on the hook of her Decade of Silence.
May 16, 1994 |
Where, demand the professional Pecksniffs, are the feminists on the Paula Jones case? Lance Morrow inquires in Time magazine: "Is it fair that American feminists are handling Paula Jones with rubber gloves and tongs at the end of a 10-foot pole, in contrast to their performance when they embraced Anita Hill and demanded justice for her regarding charges against Clarence Thomas that were less serious than the squalid scene retailed by Paula Jones?"...
October 20, 1991 |
Like millions of other Americans I was shocked and appalled (mildly, anyway) when the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Clarence Thomas to be a justice of the Supreme Court. What may have set me somewhat apart from most of the others who shared that reaction is the fact that I had been a supporter of Judge Thomas' nomination up until very recently. And, truth to tell, I found myself rooting for him, just a little, as the Senate roll call began Tuesday night, even as I watched my own personal chances for riches vanish.
October 7, 1992 |
Though he believes he has neutralized much criticism over his questioning of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings last October, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter continues to be besieged. Yesterday, it was NBC's Today show, during which Hill, in a taped interview, said Specter's public comments about the hearings and what he learned from them show he has not learned enough. Hill's television interview aired on a day Specter had just one public event and Yeakel spent time taping television commercials and campaigning in central Pennsylvania.