Twenty seven years ago, the United States had a Supreme Court hearing similar to the one we will have today. Anita Hill had accused nominee Clarence Thomas of rampant sexual harassment and testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Like the current situation, many of the men on the Senate were dismissive of Hill and her claims. It was a dark moment for the country and videos of the hearing are now hard to watch.
Today, 1,600 men took out a New York Times ad in which they voice their support for both Anita Hill and Christine Blasey-Ford.
The ad, paid for by a women’s advocacy group, reads in part, “We are 1,600 men who now stand behind Professor Anita Hill, as well as Christine Blasey-Ford because we believe them.”
The statement continues, “As men who are allies in the fight to end violence against women and girls, we write to express our strong support of Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford for her willingness to speak out publicly and testify before the Senate about the sexual assault that she says was perpetrated against her by Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh.”
The letter features the signatures of a number of prominent men. Among them are Andrew Gillum, candidate for Florida’s governorship, Brian Sirgutz, a former VP at Huff Post and Communications Director for the Leadership Council on Civil and Human rights, Shin Inouye.
The letter is meant to replicate a 1991 ad that was taken out by 1,600 African American women during the Hill hearings.
27 years ago, 1600 black women took out a full page ad in the NYT to show support for Anita Hill. I was 20 years old. I put $25 toward the price of the ad and signed my name. pic.twitter.com/I9AvWsoeGm
— Tayari Jones (@tayari) September 19, 2018
That letter read in part, “We are particularly outraged by the racist and sexist treatment of Professor Anita Hill, an African American woman who was maligned and castigated for daring to speak publicly of her own experience of sexual abuse.”
While the week has seen protests in Washington and beyond, this is an important example of men stepping up to show their support for Dr. Blasey-Ford and the other alleged victims. The Blasey-Ford hearings will take place this afternoon.