Questions For Anita Hill
By John Glassie
(New York Times Magazine, September 1997)
Q: Your book Speaking Truth to Power is due out next month. Did Clarence Thomas perjure himself before the Senate Judiciary Committee?
A: I told the truth in my testimony. Now, you can reach your own conclusion about whether he perjured himself or not.
Q: What, if anything, still makes you mad?
A: That all the stereotypes about women who experience harassment were paraded out: from the aggressive oversexed female, to the disgruntled employee who couldn't cut it and so had to invent a story, to the rejected suitor who was being vindictive, to the person who was mentally deranged. They were all offered as explanations for the very difficult, heartfelt experiences of women throughout the world. That angers me. I didn't expect the senators to be experts on sexual harassment, but I did expect them to educate themselves and not perpetuate these myths.
Q: You write that the Thomas hearings were mishandled by just about everybody, from the F.B.I. to the press. What did you do wrong?
A: I wish I had spoken to the Senate staffers sooner and said, ''I have this information about the nominee.'' It might not have done any good, but perhaps there would have been more time for them to handle it right.
Q: You used to get heavy volumes of hate mail and threats of physical violence. Do you still?
A: Those are much fewer. I expect the book will bring out some more.