You call this a lynching?

I frequently read Kathleen Parker, who is syndicated in the Washington Post.  She’s normally semi-sensible. Here‘s her take on the recent dustup involving Virginia Thomas and Anita Hill.

Ms. Hill testified that:

had sexually harassed her by verbally sharing his enjoyment of porn films and his sexual proficiency.

Ms. Parker comments:

Yes, yawn if you must. This was scandalous, of course, because . . . well, I’m still not certain. You see, to be scandalized, one must be deeply sensitive to the mention of anything sexual. Indeed, in this case, one needed to be scandalized for an indefinite period of time.

Hmmm.  I personally don’t welcome office discussions of pornography and/or sexual proficiency.  I think it’s more than a yawning offense: it’s inappropriate and I don’t know a sensible adult that doesn’t know it’s inappropriate, and that community standard goes back to at least 1991 and probably further.  Appropriate, effective responses on the part of women to this conversational foray have changed over the last 20 years, however.  In the years leading up to the Thomas hearings, women (and men) received inappropriate sexual comments and it was hard to know how to respond effectively, because one could lose one’s job, or a promotion.

Or, at the very least, assuming deep offense, complaining to a higher authority. She did neither, apparently.

Thomas was the higher authority; head of the EEOC.  Where would Ms. Parker have complained?

Of course, Hill said nothing.  She wanted a career, and probably did not want the aggravation.  But Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court and Senator Biden had asked women who had worked with Thomas professionally to testify.  He did not ask women who knew Thomas socially to testify.  One of Thomas’ former girlfriends has confirmed his personal tastes and sense of entitlement, but was not asked to testify.

Parker refers to this latest kerfuffle as a ‘second lynching’.  The man is now in an essentially untouchable position.  I think there is ample evidence that he lied to the senate committee to get there.  He referred to the hearings as a ‘lynching’.  It was an injustice to true lynching victims then and it is more so now.


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