A group of old white men assessing the honesty of two younger black professionals.
A black man accusing a black woman of lynching.
The Exorcist and Othello and pubic hair.
Unflattering portraits of every Senator on the Committee, some truly terrifying.
"We feel shock, discomfort, anger, depression, and shame." (Tom Brokaw)
"They don't care. They only want to win." (Anita Hill)
*****I remember listening to the hearings on my Sony Walkman, standing on the sidelines at that cold field near Irving Park, while Big Cuter played a team sport of some kind. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing, and I was enthralled. Anita Hill was so calm, so disciplined, so obviously wanting to be anywhere but there, talking about anything but that.
I could feel the national conversation shifting. Demeaning, inappropriate remarks were being called what they were - sexual harassment.
Twenty five years later, the issues feel almost quaint. After all, a serious woman is a serious candidate for the Presidency. If you didn't live through it, you owe it to yourself to learn the history. Nina Totenberg's words ring true to me:
But women didn't talk about this for a reason that may seem odd to the millenial generation. We were embarrassed to talk about it.Anyone who has ever been female and in the workplace should spend two hours with Kerry Washington's Anita Hill on HBO. The politics behind it are inscrutable, but the human failings are on full display. Joe Biden, John Danforth, Alan Simpson, Teddy Kennedy ... the Senators come out worst of all.
Watch it and see who you believe. Anita Hill says it's as accurate as television could be.