The 90s called. They want second wave feminists back. Not only are Americans remembering with fresh eyes what a sleazebag former President Bill Clinton was in office, but Democrats have reached back even further and resurrected Anita Hill. You may remember Anita Hill. She accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment when he was nominated to be a Supreme Court justice.
I remember watching the Clarence Thomas hearing on television. The Democrats were the majority in the U.S. Senate and ran the hearing. Then Senator Joe Biden chaired the committee hearing. Hill was the only witness to testify against Thomas on harassment and other women spoke up in favor of Thomas. The history between Hill and Thomas was one of working together for many years and Hill even followed Thomas from the Department of Education to the EEOC as Thomas’ career moved along.
Hill was not a particularly sympathetic figure back in the day. As a young woman watching the spectacle, I felt no desire to defend her and fully understood the politicization of the SCOTUS hearing process. Thanks, Democrats. Hill and Thomas have since written autobiographies and both included this hideous time in their books.
So, with the current feeding frenzy of sexual misconduct allegations devouring news cycles, Anita Hill has popped up after many years of relative silence. Recently, she was a guest on Meet the Press. Show host and former Democrat staffer Chuck Todd tried mightily to rehabilitate Hill. During the interview, Todd asked if she has forgiven Biden for the disaster of a hearing he presided over. She actually refused to answer that question. I watched her interview and thought at the time, she’s still an ineffective voice for women. Apparently, she is trying for a comeback to the national spotlight.
Hill is now a professor at Brandeis University and has been named Chair of The Committee on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace. She’s gone Hollywood. Two dozen entertainment industry executives formed and are funding this committee.
We will be focusing on issues ranging from power disparity, equity and fairness, safety, sexual harassment guidelines, education and training, reporting and enforcement, ongoing research and data collection,” Hill said. “It is time to end the culture of silence. I’ve been at this work for 26 years. This moment presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to make real change.
Paraphrasing a quote popular with liberals hoping to impeach President Trump, Hill recently said, “I don’t see 1991 and 2017 as isolated moments. They’re part of the arc of history bending toward justice.” What does she have to show for “26 years” of working on this issue? Maybe a second time around on a national stage will be the charm for Anita Hill. Color me skeptical.