Finally, a bright light is emerging after decades of sexual harassment.
A group of industry executives came together to start a committee to create a comprehensive strategic plan for dealing with the rape culture and inequality that’s been ingrained in the workplace.
And the head of the committee is none other than Anita Hill.
I honestly couldn’t dream of a more perfect woman to lead this effort if I tried. Nobody knows the effects of sexual harassment in the workplace and the severe fallout that can happen after going public better, than Anita.
And just as importantly, Anita represents an entire group who has consistently been marginalized from the conversation of sexual assault: WOC.
Women of color were consistently drowned out by white voices during the #MeToo movement. And it was certainly no shock when the majority of celebrities willing to come forward with their stories were white women. The stigma for WOC surrounding sexual assault has consistently been more complex than it is for WOC, particularly black women. So to have a black woman who has faced it all head the committee gives me hope that black voices will finally be heard.
Anita recently released a statement, in which she said she’s
“proud to be leading this newly formed Commission on a long overdue journey to adopt best practices and to create institutional change that fosters a culture of respect and human dignity throughout the industry”
Anita has consistently been on the front lines of the cause and has demanded that men take responsibility for the role they play in rape culture. She was even able to squeeze an apology from former VP Joe Biden after all these years. However, his apology was *extremely* inadequate (he said he only wished he could tone down the attacks against Anita and “As much as I tried to intervene, I did not have the power to gavel them out of order.”
But Joe did have the power to do more. Anita was clearly unsatisfied with his apology and told The Washington Post,
“He also doesn’t understand that it wasn’t just that I felt it was not fair, It was that women were looking to the Senate Judiciary Committee and his leadership to really open the way to have these kinds of hearings. They should have been using best practices to show leadership on this issue on behalf of women’s equality. And they did just the opposite.”
Well, Anita is the one with the power now and I, for one, can’t wait to see her use it.
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and The Challenge. When she’s not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her taking an absurd amount of photos of her tuxedo cat Tom.