Anita Hill at the Nourse

Documentary Screening and Discussion with Anita Hill, Hosted by Roy Eisenhardt
Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 7:30 pm, Venue: Nourse Theater

When Anita Hill appeared before the Supreme Court Justice Confirmation Hearings, I was a temporary
production artist working for Analog Devices in Norwood Mass. At lunch-time I’d go to my car, turn on the radio and listen to what was fast transforming into a trial against the credibility of Anita Hill. Highly distressed by the end of lunch, I would re-enter the vault of Analog Devices, suspecting that no one else in the building was even aware of this unfolding saga. Daily I would return to my desk and resume the“paste-up” and photostat replication of electronic circuitry.

For many marginalized women, Anita Hill’s testimony before the Supreme Court became THE hot topic of the time. Clarence Thomas was to be sworn into the highest position as Supreme Court Justice. Yet as her boss, Thomas had been the sexual predator of several women in the office, making their work lives unbearable. Anita was included in this group whose members were silently, protectively unaware of the each other.

At that time sexual harassment was a norm, complacently woven into the fabric of women’s lives. The concept of “women’s lib” was still joked about by both sexes. There was no support group nor colleague with whom one could trust to speak freely about such a topic. So Anita kept quiet for many years, in order to continue her much beloved law career. Time went by and then she found out that Clarence Thomas was to be sworn into the position that would render him all-powerful and unjust. Anita realized that she had to inform the election community, she had been raised to be true to her heart and to tell the truth

By stepping forward into an uncomfortable spotlight, Anita initiated a profound shift in the lives of millions of women and men. Before an all male panel she publicly exposed the concept of sexual harassment. It was a bold and brave move that inspired other women to step forward, much later, paving the way for organizations like The Kapor Center for Social Impact and Project Include.

For all of you who have not seen her documentary or read her book, please do.