We’re dedicating today’s Weekend Watch – and the whole weekend! – to Anita Hill, whose courage gave voice to a generation of women
All weekend long, we’re putting the spotlight on Professor Anita Hill, whose 1991 testimony to the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee brought a much-needed (and long overdue!) conversation about sexual harassment to the national stage. Anita Hill, who had worked as a legal advisor to Judge Clarence Thomas, was called to testify during his SCOTUS nomination hearings about the sexually hostile work environment Thomas created when she was his employee.
The spectacle of these hearings – amplified due to the fact that they were broadcast on live television, and contained descriptions that were particularly graphic for the time – garnered Anita Hill and her cause national attention. And the treatment she received by the (white, older, male) Senators who questioned her was viewed by many to be tone-deaf at best, sexist at worst. The media circus that ensued led to a national reckoning, and a first wave of #MeToo by another name, with women around the country speaking up about the sexual harassment they had been enduring, and a record number of women running for (and being elected to!) public office. And it all started because of Anita Hill’s courage.
So, yeah… It was a pretty big deal.
And since Sunday, October 11th is the 29th anniversary of Anita Hill’s historic testimony, we wanted to make a whole weekend out of telling her story and learning more about workplace sexual harassment. So today’s Weekend Watch is one of John Oliver’s famous deep-dives into the topic; an episode that, lucky for us, ends with a 10-minute interview with none other than the iconic Anita Hill herself. So put your feet up, curl up under the comfie blanket on your couch, and get ready for a laugh, a think and a ton of inspiration.