Hill vs. Thomas
To the Editor:
. . . Suzanne Garment’s article, “Why Anita Hill Lost” [January], is one more in an endless stream of commentaries that skirt the real issue underlying the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill controversy. I refer to the unspoken issue of whether what Thomas allegedly did, even if true in each and every detail, reflects anything worthy of scrutiny, whether public or private. A man in his early thirties makes a verbal move toward an attractive female—who rejects, but protests not. . . .
It is over such as this that a nation stood transfixed for several weeks. All the actors on the stage—including the accused, even while denying it—condemned the dastardly conduct as beneath contempt and unbefitting one aspiring to such high office. Never mind that the alleged conduct was entirely verbal. Never mind that the so-called victim neither flinched nor protested, but over the years continued to nurture her relationship with her alleged tormentor. Never mind that in rites of passage, such acts as these are as commonplace as there are birds and bees on a summer day. . . . In spite of all this, the matter continues to be much discussed. But what has not been open to debate so far is the simple but honest street phrase that I am sure has occurred to many of us: so what!
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