Thirty-one years ago, a media-anointed secular saint named Anita Hill uncorked some sexual-harassment charges against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas that she could not substantiate. Thomas called it part of a “high-tech lynching.” But Hill, who became a millionaire author and a professor of “social policy, law, and women’s studies” at Brandeis University, has been celebrated ever since.
On Sept. 27, Hill appeared on CBS and MSNBC to promote the paperback edition of her latest book, “Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence.” The publisher singles out a sappy book review from National Public Radio, which first tried to take down Thomas with Hill’s tawdry tales. Danielle Kurtzleben raved that Hill’s book was “(a)n elegant, impassioned demand that America see gender-based violence as a cultural and structural problem that hurts everyone, not just victims and survivors… It’s at times downright virtuosic in the threads it weaves together.”
The San Francisco Chronicle called it “a brave, brazenly intelligent and ultimately hopeful womanifesto.” Womanifesto?
If you weren’t around for the Hill-Thomas hearings, you might have thought mistakenly that Thomas was accused of committing violence against Hill. A Gloria Steinem blurb for the book says, “Anita Hill’s courage on screen awakened a nation to gender violence.”
“CBS Mornings” co-host Tony Dokoupil touted Hill as she smiled on camera: “You know the name. She changed the story about harassment in America.” Co-host Gayle King interrupted with gush: “Another badass! Another badass black woman! (This came after CBS’s Anthony Mason had touted “The Woman King” played by Viola Davis as a “machete-wielding badass.”)
Later, King recalled 1991: “The visuals are unforgettable. She was speaking to an all-white-male Senate panel… Hill has since dedicated her career to fighting gender-based violence.”
It got weird at the end when Hill claimed, “We tell girls if a boy picks on them, teases them, pinches them, pulls their bra strap or pulls down their pants, it’s because they like them, and what we’re doing is setting them up. And it’s boys being boys.”
What? Who is telling boys it’s OK to pull down a girl’s pants? Then Hill added the G-word: “We are grooming them, essentially, for later abuse, and we’re really grooming the boys to say that the only appropriate behavior is abusive and aggressive behavior.” Fact check, please?
On MSNBC, Hill appeared with new host Alex Wagner in a truly weird segment blurring together the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade with the violent “misogyny” of the Jan. 6 rioters. In both interviews, Hill touted a 2013 dissent by late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg about how the conservatives are on an “unrestrained course” to “corral” civil rights.
The sugary NPR book review pointed out that Hill wrote: “It wasn’t that politicians didn’t care about violence against women; it was that ending gender-based violence mattered less than other political ambitions, like enlarging the party base and beating (Hillary) Clinton.”
It would help liberals if you pay no attention to the disagreeable fact that those feminist icons Steinem and Hill came rushing to Bill Clinton’s defense in 1998 when his sexual-harassment and sexual-assault charges boomeranged into the Monica Lewinsky probe. Republicans were talking about Clinton’s abusive behavior toward Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick, but the feminists had “other political ambitions.” Slick Willie had to be saved.
Feminists wonder why many women don’t identify with them. One problem is feminists will put their policy goals (like untrammeled abortion) ahead of whatever sexual abuse that pro-abortion politicians have dished out. Anita Hill is not a saint. She’s just another woke professor making a pretty penny.
Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Tim Graham and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.