The feminists are unwilling to accept the verdict of the American people that they lost the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill battle last fall. They are trying hard (through Anita Hill’s appearances in lectures and on CBS 60 Minutes) to keep the controversy alive and sell a revisionist version of what we all saw on live television.
The feminists complain that men “just don’t get it.” The truth is that the feminists just don’t get it — they don’t understand that the American people, including women, “voted” nearly three-to-one against Anita Hill’s attack because it offended our fundamental feelings of fairness.
The first offense against fairness was that it was an unscrupulous last-minute attack, a political dirty trick in the style of a campaign smear launched the weekend before the election when there is no time to respond. The Hill testimony was an attempt to make “sexual harassment” a tool to be used against any man who stands in the way of the feminist agenda.
The second offense against fairness was that Hill attempted to use victimology r a favorite current tactic designed to make the public feel sorry for the victim and demand a governmental remedy. The American people are tired of hearing demands from victims, and they certainly are not going to accept the notion that a lawyer is a victim and can’t protect herself against words in the workplace.
The third offense against fairness was that Hill tried to fashion a fabric of group guilt. Her supporters constantly peddled the line that, since most men are guilty of sexual harassment, Clarence Thomas must be guilty — and anyway, guilty or not, he should pay the price for the sins of his gender.
The fourth offense against fairness was the feminist assertion of a flexible standard of guilt. over the centuries, English-American Law has developed a standard for guilt and negligence that we call the “reasonable man,” In these days of sex-neutral semantics, this has translated to the “reasonable person” standard.
The American people would even be willing to accept the notion of a “reasonable woman” standard in those circumstances where a reasonable woman would judge behavior somewhat differently from a reasonable man. But that doesn’t satisfy the feminists; Hill and her friends wanted a subjective “flexible woman” standard, that is, whatever the individual woman complains about (even ten years later) makes the man guilty.
This flexible standard explains one of the many jokes that made the rounds. It was the Anita Hill doll, supposedly a best-selling toy at Christmastime: “You pull the string, and ten years later the doll talks.”
The fifth offense against fairness was the demand of the feminists to have it both ways. They say they want to be “one of the boys,” to serve in military combat, and to sleep in the firehouses as firepersons, but at the same time they want Big Brother to protect them against a dirty joke in the office and to punish any man who tells one.
In the 1970s, the feminists said that they wanted to repeal all the protective labor legislation so that women could realize full employment equality with men. Protection in the office or factory against “sexual harassment” is essentially a demand to reinstate labor legislation to protect women workers.
The feminists are still crying because all the Senators on the Committee that conducted the hearing were male. Anita Hill complained to CBS’s Ed Bradley that “there would have been more sensitivity if the Committee had included one woman Senator.”
The problem with this argument is that the feminists supported all those white male Democratic Senators who ran the Committee. Bed Kennedy is one of their all-time favorites, and the feminists even backed two of those white male Committee members against a female opponent in l990, electing Paul Simon over Lynn Martin, and Herb Kohl over Susan Engeleiter.
Feminists want affirmative action quotas to get more women in Congress — but not just any women; they want only feminist women in Congress. Their demands are incompatible with the democratic process as well as with fundamental fairness.
Now that Gloria Steinem has revealed that her personal-problem was a lack of self-esteem, and NOW president Patricia Ireland has told a gay magazine that she divides her time between a husband and a female “companion,” and Sally Quinn has admitted that the women’s lib movement “is more and more perceived as a fringe cause,” feminism is experiencing its “Final Exit.” It was a merciful death that didn’t even need Dr. Kevorkian; the feminists did it to themselves without any assistance.