With the latest somewhat maladroit attempt at publicity on Virginia Thomas' part, we get to be reminded of one of the more uncomfortable public testimonies in recent or past history. An exposure of how the powerful and prurient often inhabit the same body and how some people in the workforce have little in the way of recourse.
So on October 11, 1991, Anita Hill testified before the Supreme Court Confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas and laid out a story all too familiar to too many people working in subordinate positions in the workplace. That it had to do with someone in such a supposedly high moral position was doubly shocking, but it gave credence to the fact that hypocrisy is everywhere and self-willed impunity is not without a price tag.
Anita Hill: “I declined the invitation to go out socially with him, and explained to him
that I thought it would jeopardize what at the time I considered to be a
very good working relationship. I had a normal social life with other men
outside of the office. I believed then, as now, that having a social
relationship with a person who was surviving my work would be ill
advised. I was very uncomfortable with the idea and told him so.
I thought that by saying "no" and explaining my reasons, my employer
would abandon his social suggestions. However, to my regret, in the
following few weeks he continued to ask me out on several occasions. He
pressed me to justify my reasons for saying "no" to him. These incidents
took place in his office or mine. They were in the form of private
conversations which would not have been overheard by anyone else.