Respect for Anita Hill Then and Christine Blasey Ford Now

A respect that demands change. Now.

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Her composure, her professionalism, her grace under the fire of a belittling and humiliating farce of a hearing. Hardly anyone could have done what Dr. Hill did then. And hearing Dr. Blasey Ford now has driven it home and made me realize just how phenomenally Dr. Hill behaved then, and how that makes her treatment by the Senate all the more deplorable.

I’m ashamed to admit that one of my first thoughts listening to Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony today was to wish that she were more composed. I wished she could be more articulate and professional, more easy to take seriously, to be someone who commands respect — I guess the way leaders command a board room? I’m not sure where this embarrassing thought of mine came from.

Because soon after these thoughts it hit me: Who on earth could?

I wouldn’t be able to keep my composure if placed in front of dozens of strangers, mostly men, to talk about the most traumatic incident of my life.

I wouldn’t be able to be emotion-free and professional knowing that there was practically no chance that my life’s trauma would be taken seriously, or that justice would be dealt due to my brave actions.

I wouldn’t be able to remain calm knowing that what I was saying in these halls of democracy were certain to increase the threats to my life and family, to completely destroy any chance at safety and comfort for the future, regardless of the outcome of the hearing itself.

I would be hard-pressed to remember that despite all these odds stacked against me, that what I was doing was still worth it. That speaking out was incalculably important. That this is the process of change, of progress, of the long game of our descendents’ futures.

I wouldn’t be able to do it.

So the fact that Dr. Blasey Ford is able to do all those things, and to do them for the sake of countless women and men who have been abused and assaulted before her and since, demands incredible respect.

And the fact that Dr. Hill did it nearly thirty years ago, with laudable grace and composure, and with far less social support demands respect, repentance, and change.

Now.

We the people deserve this change that is coming, that cannot be ignored, that will not be overlooked.

We the people demand it. And the only ones left to hear the call are the out-of-touch and unconcerned members of the legislative body that represents us: We the changed people of these United States.

Their change is coming. This is their chance to hear that call.

They will likely ignore it.

But they have been warned.

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