Twenty-five years ago, a University of Oklahoma Law School professor told the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee about the time her former boss put pubic hair on a Coke can. She talked about the kind of pornography he told her he watched, how he bragged about his penis size, and the 10 or so times he asked her on dates even though he was her boss. At one point, the nickname “Long Dong Silver” came up. For three days in October 1991, all anyone could talk about was Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, and which one of them was lying.
There was a salacious absurdity to the Anita Hill hearings that, when we look back on them now, makes us cringe. Did we really listen to Senator Howell Heflin, Democrat from Alabama, ask a 35-year-old tenured law professor if she was “a scorned woman?” But sometimes it takes outrageous acts to force us to examine uncomfortable truths. For better or worse, Anita Hill forced America to start thinking about sexual harassment. On March 21, Anita: Speaking Truth to Power, a documentary by Academy Award–winning filmmaker Freida Lee Mock, will make us think about it again.