Monday, June 08, 2015

"Anita" Hill's testimony to the Senate about sexual harassment changed workplace culture on the problem


Anita”, directed by Freida Lee Mock, is a brief (76 min) biography of Anita Hill, the African-American lawyer from OSU and Yale, who was called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991 after an FBI report a private interview with her about Clarence Thomas was leaked to the press, before Thomas could be confirmed to the Supreme Court.
  
Some of the testimony about sexual harassment was quite graphic, getting down to mentioning public hairs, for example.   
  
Hill would eventually move to Massachusetts, which she says was an adjustment (well, she had gone to Yale).
  
I rather remember that time, when the first George Bush was president, somewhat after the Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991. 
  
Because of her testimony, a lot more attention came to be placed on sexual harassment in federal workplaces and most private corporate workplaces.  There was even an incident in my own workplace that led to a sudden Monday morning firing in early 1998.
  
At the end of the film, there is a teen classroom workshop on bullying and harassment. 
  
Thomas was confirmed, and has remained the usually most socially conservative member of the Supreme Court, as even Justice Scalia seems to be softening a bit now. 
  
  
The official site is here (Samuel Goldwyn Films).  The film is on Netflix Instant Play.
  
“Strange Justice” was a TV film about the Thomas hearings and Hill in 1999. 

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