For those, who’ve never heard of Anita Hill, she was involved in an infamous sexual harassment case against Supreme Court judge Clarence Thomas in 1991. He was just a nominee for that position in 1991. Anita claimed that she was sexually harassed while under the employment of a government agency EEOC. What’s ironic is that EEOC is an agency whose mission is to protect employees with laws implemented that forbids discrimination in the workplace. Did EEOC do that? Nope! According to Anita Hill, her employer tried to fire her and when that didn’t work, they tried to shut down the agency in Washington D.C. That attempt failed as well. It wasn’t long before Hill, moved out of state where she surrounded herself with people in a better work environment.
She is now a Lawyer and a professor of Women Studies, Law and Public Policy at Brandeis University. As an Oklahoma native, Anita Hill helps set a degree of ethics of how not only people should be treated but also with how cases should be handled.
What made this case gain a lot more publicity than other cases you may ask?
Well for one thing, the members of the Senate back then did not stand behind her , having 70% of them stating that Anita fabricated after she was subpoenaed to testify against Clarence in court and talk about her experiences.
To Anita, it felt as if the Senate cared more about protecting Clarence’s job than having justice served as it should’ve. The case shouldn’t have had so much backlash as it did, nor shouldn’t have taken a long time before the case was brought to the Supreme Court. She stated that she received a lot of death threats, which stunned me because to some it seemed as if she was doing something wrong by SPEAKING UP FOR HERSELF. The more that people tried to quiet her voice, the more compelled she was of standing up for herself which set a pathway for similar cases that followed hers down the road.
Did color play a big role in the court’s decision? To Anita, it did. Racism is prevalent now just as it was in 1991. Because Anita Hill is African American, she felt as if the Senate and the House of Representatives were even less willing to back her on her claim.
Other women that worked with Clarence and Anita, were brought to court where all of them stated that Clarence Thomas had never harassed them. So because Anita was the only victim, it made her claim less believable to the court. That frustrated Anita because just because Clarence did not put his hands on the other female co-workers did not mean that he had never put his hands on Anita. You can find out more about Anita Hill and her story through her documentary: Speaking Truth to Power. You might even want to check out her book Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home.