New documentary examines Oklahoman Anita Hill

Over 20 years ago, a woman from Oklahoma entered the national spotlight during the confirmation hearings of now Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. During this time period, Anita Hill's name was a household word, though many people may not remember it these days. A new documentary called "Anita" is attempting to change that.

Anita Hill was a law professor who was working under Mr. Thomas at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. When the judge was nominated to the United States Supreme Court by President George H.W. Bush, stories surfaced that impacted the character of Thomas.

Anita Hill accused her former boss of having repeatedly sexually harassed her while she was working for the EEOC. She testified in the U.S. Senate about the experience and became a celebrity, applauded by some and reviled by others. According to a newspaper interview given by Ms. Hill, she was hesitant to make the film, in which she reportedly speaks candidly about the alleged harassment she suffered, but realized that the issues involved are still relevant today.

People who have power over other people in the workplace have a duty to wield that power responsibly, and not use it to threaten or intimidate subordinates, especially with inappropriate sexual advances. Unfortunately, sexual harassment in the workplace is not a hallmark of a bygone era.

While progress in educating both employers and employees about the problem has been made, people continue to face such advances and comments on the job. Luckily, there may be legal action that can be taken by such individuals. Anyone who has been sexually harassed or faced sex discrimination in the workplace may wish to consider contacting an Oklahoma employment lawyer. Having the courage to stand up to such behavior, as Anita Hill did, is often the right thing to do.

Source:, "'Anita' examines politics of sex, race and power," Ruth Nerhaugen, Jan. 16, 2014

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