Sexual Harassment And Sexual Violence Essay

Sexual Harassment And Sexual Violence Essay

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Women face myriad forms of violence today and throughout history. Both Anita Hill and Nafissa Diallo were forced to experience this violence in the form of sexual harassment and rape. Their cases did not follow the same pattern any other criminal case would, it turned into a circus of “he said, she said” for both women. Because of their intersectional identities as women of color etc., their evidence did not hold up against the evidence of the powerful men who wronged them. Sexual violence against women has long been an issue dominated by male opinions and decisions, and these examples only prove how ideologies surrounding sexual violence from far in the past are still in place today, disempowering women.
In 1991, Clarence Thomas was Nominated for supreme court. It appeared as if he had a clear path to the supreme court until Anita Hill, a former employee of his, came forward with allegations of sexual harassment against him. When she was working for him she was twenty four and only in her second year of law practice. Thomas asked Hill out multiple times despite her rejections, and harassed her with inappropriate conversation about sexual acts and pornography. She was brought before a panel of fourteen white, male senators and questioned extensively about her allegations. The unfairness of this process can easily be seen when the scene is described, “The stark image of a young African American woman seated alone at a table facing a panel of fourteen male senators remains vivid… Even more striking than the visual image of Professor Anita Hill testifying before the Judiciary Committee is the realization that men entrusted with the task of evaluation the evidence presented during the hearings were limited and, ultimately, blinded by ...


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...clear to see that when men can so obviously commit acts of sexual violence, face the judgement of the courts and public, and walk away unpunished, even go on to hold positions of power. I ask myself “how could anyone justify letting Clarence Thomas, a man who has clearly sexually harassed Anita Hill, sit on the supreme court?” but I ask myself that as a man with multiple rape allegations coming from women who were as young as thirteen, prepares to take office as president of the United States. So as I walk down the street I remind myself not to look up and smile at the men passing me. I’m thankful for the privilege I have as a white person, and try to use it as much as I can for those who do not have that privilege. I speak up because I can, because Anita Hill and Nafissatou Diallo were brave enough to, and I work to change the white male hegemony of rape culture.


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