Anita Hill Calls Out Kavanaugh's Behavior During Testimony
Anita Hill, professor of social policy, law, and women’s studies at Brandeis University, speaks during the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Dana Point, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. The summit gathers the preeminent women in businessalong with select leaders in government, philanthropy, education and the artsfor wide-ranging conversations and features one-on-one interviews, panel discussions, interactive breakout sessions and high-level networking. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Anita Hill is calling it as she sees it, something that she has always done. And as she witnesses the hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and his Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, one thing stood out to her: Kavanaugh’s blustering and angry testimony compared to the collected testimony of the woman accusing him of sexual assault.
No female Supreme Court candidate, Hill said plainly according to the Associated Press, “would ever have the license to express [herself]in that way.”
Kavanaugh, she noted, “was able to express real anger, an aggression, as well as a lot of emotion.”
And Hill, of all people, should know about the disparities that women face when they show any emotion. She herself gave testimony in 1991 about her allegations of sexual harassment by then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Hill was dragged through the ringer, her name through the mud. And now, she is witnessing what probably seems to her like a lot of déjà vu.
“We still have so far to go in terms of the power that he had and the license that he had … to cry or to be angry,” she said.
Meanwhile, Hill said that she was impressed by Ford’s composure and her careful responses as she gave testimony.
“At the end of the day, I certainly believed her,” Hill said, noting she recognized Ford’s fear, but also Ford’s openness to “share it in a setting where she didn’t want to be.”
Kavanaugh’s confirmation is still to be decided, with the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings ending with Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) a key swing vote, agreeing to move Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the full Senate, but also calling for a delay in the official vote and a week-long investigation into Kavanaugh’s alleged misconduct.
What happens next is ultimately up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump in terms of whether that investigation and delay does happen.
Asked what advice she had for Ford, Hill offered these words of wisdom:
“Don’t do anything that’s going to dehumanize you and cause you great pain and trauma.”