Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Zugzwang
    Joined
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    28 Oct '16 21:39
    In 1991 Clarence Thomas's confirmation as a US Supreme Court justice was
    delayed (and once apparently in jeopardy) when Anita Hill accused him
    of a long pattern of sexual harassment. When she was working as his
    assistant, Anita Hill claimed that Clarence Thomas pestered her for dates
    and enjoyed explicitly discussing sex (including rape) when it clearly
    made her uncomfortable. Clarence Thomas flatly denied her accusations.
    Anita Hill passed a polygraph; Clarence Thomas refused to take a polygraph.
    The US Senate voted by a narrow margin (52-48) to approve Clarence Thomas
    as a Supreme Court justice.

    Now Moira Smith (a white American lawyer) has claimed that Clarence Thomas
    groped her in 1999 (when she was age 23). Two of her roommates
    (at that time) have confirmed that she complained about it to them
    immediately after it happened. She did not file a formal complaint.

    "He [Clarence Thomas] was 5 or 6 inches down and he got a good
    handful and kept squeezing me and pulling me close to him."
    --Moira Smith (describing how Clarence Thomas groped her)

    Anita Hill has called for an investigation of Clarence Thomas's alleged sexual assault.
    Should there be such an investigation? Or is it simply too late?
  2. Unknown Territories
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    28 Oct '16 22:56
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    In 1991 Clarence Thomas's confirmation as a US Supreme Court justice was
    delayed (and once apparently in jeopardy) when Anita Hill accused him
    of a long pattern of sexual harassment. When she was working as his
    assistant, Anita Hill claimed that Clarence Thomas pestered her for dates
    and enjoyed explicitly discussing sex (including rape) when it clea ...[text shortened]... mas's alleged sexual assault.
    Should there be such an investigation? Or is it simply too late?
    Five or six inches?
    Isn't this just another example of the matriarchal attempt at size shaming men into preconceived proportional "acceptable" norms?
    Where are the concessions for shrinkage?
    What has become of our democratic model?
  3. SubscriberSuzianne
    Misfit Queen
    Isle of Misfit Toys
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    29 Oct '16 07:41
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    In 1991 Clarence Thomas's confirmation as a US Supreme Court justice was
    delayed (and once apparently in jeopardy) when Anita Hill accused him
    of a long pattern of sexual harassment. When she was working as his
    assistant, Anita Hill claimed that Clarence Thomas pestered her for dates
    and enjoyed explicitly discussing sex (including rape) when it clea ...[text shortened]... mas's alleged sexual assault.
    Should there be such an investigation? Or is it simply too late?
    The Senate should have listened to Anita Hill the first time.
  4. Zugzwang
    Joined
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    29 Oct '16 21:061 edit
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    The Senate should have listened to Anita Hill the first time.
    I concur that Anita Hill probably was truthful and Clarence Thomas lied.

    Moira Smith now is a lawyer representing an energy company.
    In addition to accusing Clarence Thomas of groping her, she wrote (on Facebook):
    "This was three years after a date rape. A few years later, I was accosted in a bar and
    groped by an acquaintance. I do not take the decision to share these incredibly personal
    and painful memories lightly. ...I share this because if this can happen to me--a privileged
    white woman--three times in ten years, how bad it must be for those who are not as privileged?
    Enough is enough."
    --Moira Smith (7 October 2006. on Facebook)

    Brava to Moira Smith for acknowledging that she's a 'privileged white woman'.
    Clarence Thomas's defenders seem to have followed one or more of these lines:

    1) Moira Smith is a Democrat, allegedly a 'liberal'. So therefore right-wing commentators
    like to argue that nothing that a 'liberal' Democratic woman says can be trusted.

    2) Moira Smith has accused other men of sexual assault without reporting them to the police.
    She claimed to have been raped on a date. She revealed that she visited bars (to meet men?).
    So Clarence Thomas's defenders could insinuate that Moira Smith was a 'loose' young woman
    who was 'asking for it', provoking and secretly enjoying any sexual advances by him.

    3) Some women have come forward to declare that Clarence Thomas always treated
    them respectfully during the times that they worked for him. I don't dispute what they say.
    But isn't it possible that Clarence Thomas could behave respectfully toward some,
    perhaps most, women and behave disrespectfully toward a few women?
    After all, even a serial rapist does *not* attempt to rape every woman whom he meets.

    I note, however, that Moira Smith has nothing to gain by making these personal disclosures.
    As a lawyer, she must have known that she would become the target of personal and political attacks.
    She would be attacked for allegedly being a racist white woman attempting to bring down a black man.
    How could this possibly help her career?

    I also note that *if* Moira Smith's *only* (political) aim was to hurt Clarence Thomas, then it
    would have been unnecessary to mention that she earlier was raped on a date by another man.
    Admitting to already being a rape victim (before she met Clarence Thomas) would not
    enhance her credibility in accusing him of groping her.

    Moira Smith has said that, as a 'privileged white woman', she experienced three cases
    in ten years of sexual misconduct by men (two gropings and one date rape).
    Many young women have experienced something similar or worse.
  5. SubscriberSuzianne
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    30 Oct '16 11:41
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    I concur that Anita Hill probably was truthful and Clarence Thomas lied.

    Moira Smith now is a lawyer representing an energy company.
    In addition to accusing Clarence Thomas of groping her, she wrote (on Facebook):
    "This was three years after a date rape. A few years later, I was accosted in a bar and
    groped by an acquaintance. I do not take the de ...[text shortened]... (two gropings and one date rape).
    Many young women have experienced something similar or worse.
    Yes, I've found that among young women, it is understood that one seemingly must endure the occasional 'grope' as 'par for the course'. Yes, it happens. A significant percentage have had far worse happen to them. Society is not as far advanced as some would have us think.
  6. Zugzwang
    Joined
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    30 Oct '16 21:54
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Yes, I've found that among young women, it is understood that one seemingly must endure the occasional 'grope' as 'par for the course'. Yes, it happens. A significant percentage have had far worse happen to them. Society is not as far advanced as some would have us think.
    A male friend (a martial arts expert) once turned toward me and remarked in passing,
    "Obviously, you have no experience in wrestling." I replied, "What do you mean?
    Would you like me to describe what happened to me on some of my dates?"

    Unless there's a witness or video evidence, groping seems practically impossible to prove.
    It typically becomes a 'he said / she said' dispute. Personally, I find it hard to understand
    what enjoyment (other than bothering her) a man could get through groping a woman,
    but I know that many men like to Go For It when they expect that they will not get caught.

    Aboard a crowded elevator or bus, I find myself hardly surprised when a man happens
    to make 'accidental' physical contact with me, though sometimes the leer on his face
    when he's pressing himself upon me reveals that he really enjoys that kind of 'accident'.
    And when a woman's alone in a secluded place with a respectable man in authority, she
    may hear his propositions or demands that he would not dare to repeat before a witness.

    The traditional advice that I heard was that to just accept it as a part of a woman's life.
    It was typically a waste of time to report unwanted touching or inappropriate sexual remarks
    unless the advances became more threatening or part of a pattern of harassment.
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