Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Pam Cytrynbaum

Pamela Cytrynbaum

Forgiveness

Mrs. Clarence Thomas wants Anita Hill to apologize?

Yes, Virginia, we believe Anita Hill. You and your husband owe US an apology.

"Good morning Anita Hill, it's Ginni Thomas," said the message left this month, according to a transcript provided by ABC News. "I just want to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometimes and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband."
"I certainly thought the call was inappropriate," Hill, who worked for Clarence Thomas at the Department of Education and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions, said in a statement released by Brandeis, where she is a professor.
"I have no intention of apologizing because I testified truthfully about my experience and I stand by that testimony," she added.

Here's more on Prof. Hill's declining to apologize.

In case you've forgotten those hours so many lost to watching Hill's testimony, here's a reminder.

I know I promised civilized, but honestly, what delusionally-grandiose-infused corn flakes is she eating? She's still mad? Well so are we!

In 1991, when Prof. Hill stood up , swore her oath and told her story, those of us now in our 40s had just entered the workforce, gliding on promises of having it all. We genuinely believed the women before us hacked the path clear for us, that we didn't even need swords because theirs had been big enough for all of us. Our lives lay ahead like the yellow brick road: fab careers, supreme independence, married to evolved hotties in our late 30s, perfect 2.5 Baby Einsteins at 40....Well, you remember, right?

Within those first few years in workplaces nationwide, many of us got hit hard with the reality of how much work had yet to be done, just how big the swords of The Men in our offices, newsrooms, classrooms, boardrooms really were. To be sure, there were many, many excellent men in power. And there were many, many dogs.

But in 1991, when Anita Hill stood up, most of my peers and I were too shellshocked and too scared to do any standing up of our own. Even saying "I believe Anita Hill" out loud, with a one of those buttons or T-shirts, or just at lunch, felt way too risky.

When I first met Prof. Hill, as a colleague at Brandeis University a few years ago, I was embarrassingly unprofessional. She moderated a panel I was on and before we met to discuss it I walked in, made a beeline for her. I said, "I'm sorry. And thank you for speaking for us. And I'm sorry I was too scared but I'm so glad you weren't."

And she hugged me, hard, and thanked me. Thanked me .

From my brief encounters with her at Brandeis and from what everybody said then and since, she is just as graceful, truthful, humble, smart and rational as she was before she became the ‘Anita Hill of 'a little bit nutty , a little bit slutty' who found, what did our Supreme Court Justice say..pubic hair in her Coke?

Even if we didn't now know, alas, about the skeevy video porn proclivities of Clarence Thomas, about the other women who came forward to tell the same story. Even if we knew none of that, she still told the truth.

And more importantly, she stood up and swore an oath to protect me and you and your sisters and your daughters by shining light on this obscene, damaging, absurd abuse of power. Her courage gave it a name and a cost -at great, great cost to her.

So when I read that the highly political, hyper-conservative wife of Clarence Thomas, out of nowhere, called Prof. Hill at home at 7:30 a.m. to demand an apology, apparently still angry after all these years , I felt like throwing something. But I'm an adult woman and what adult women do when they're fuming mad and out of their minds, is leave sweetly enraged, passive-aggressive voicemail messages at the crack of dawn.

Good morning, Ginni Thomas. It's a random American woman. I just want to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider admitting you married and enabled a sick man who has profited mightily despite profound limitations. I'd also like you to consider some full explanation of why he did what he did to Prof. Hill and the others, and why you continue to do the damage you do to our country.

 

advertisement