October 1991, a law professor named Anita Hill testified before a Senate panel that then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her. After disturbing testimony and grilling by male senators, she was made the villain while Thomas was appointed to the Supreme Court where he continues to serve. Some are calling for the re-opening of this sexual harassment claim.
STUFF I KNOW – Guest Blogger
Empowerment Revolution (c) Jen Moore
Jen is a Gender Studies instructor and activist, and maintains a blog at http://afeministspeaks.blogspot.com/
Many of us went to bed depressed and dejected on November 8, 2016, as we processed the news on election night. Within weeks protest marches were being planned and on Jan 21, 2017 the world saw the largest demonstration via The Women’s March. Trump’s presidency ignited a social justice movement around the United States.
Like no other time in history we are seeing powerful, wealthy, white men fall from their positions of power and media influence. Louis C.K., Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose and now Matt Lauer have all been fired as a result of sexual harassment or sexual assault charges brought against them. Remember when scores of Bill Cosby accusers spoke out a few years ago and the public was slow to support the women and instead defended Cosby? Those days are gone thanks to the countless women who have come forward with their accounts of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Meghan Kelly, who publicly spoke out about Former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes sexual misconduct towards her said: “We are in the middle of a sea change in this country. An Empowerment Revolution, in which women, who for years felt they had no choice but to simply deal with being harassed at work, are now starting to picture another reality. To feel that change is within their grasp… it is a sign of progress – of women finding their voices, their courage and of the erosion of a shameful power imbalance that has been in place for far too long.”
It seems each day another man learns the hard lesson that power, control and dominance over women in the workplace is not only unacceptable, it’s worthy of a destroyed career. But instead of focusing on the details of each case, I’m more intrigued with the bigger picture, the larger significance of the past few months-women are being heard and believed! Our stories are no longer being brushed aside and their criminal behavior being tolerated as “boys will be boys.” We are seeing a move away from victim blaming-what were you wearing? Why did you go to his hotel room then if you didn’t want to have sex with him?-and moving towards justice for the victims and survivors. This is an incredibly healing time!
For us spiritual seekers it’s also an opportunity to go within and reflect. Where have I blamed myself? How have I silenced my own voice? How can I hear my own truth, embrace it and honor it? By taking action! Act on your own behalf whether it’s literally speaking up when you’d rather be quiet about an issue you feel passionate about. You can also acknowledge that blame doesn’t serve to do anything but make you feel worse about yourself. But instead take on more self-care practices. I love to bundle up and take walks in the rain while listening to music. I sleep in on Saturday mornings. And I make it a regular practice to hang out with people who adore me and lift me up.
Now that we are seeing Hollywood elites topple, I’d like to see the same swift justice take place in all our institutions starting with the Supreme Court (Clarence Thomas don’t think we’ve forgotten what you did to Anita Hill) as well as in the Senate and the House. And yes, I do believe, there will be a day soon when President Trump will have to face his accusers, admit his wrongdoing and accept his punishment. Women’s voices will be heard.
The Presentation Project – Watch this very important short video from 60 Minutes.