What’s changed

September 28, 2018

Though many see parallels with Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings, the Kavanaugh hearing is taking place in a changed cultural landscape, says Jill Abramson, co-author of “Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas.”

“What’s different now is that in 1991 much of the country did not even know the concept of sexual harassment,” Abramson said in an interview. “The sexual misconduct of men was not openly discussed except in rare situations.”

That’s obviously changed. #MeToo has claimed many powerful men in almost every industry, beginning with former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, movie producer Harvey Weinstein and so many others.

Of Ford, Abramson says: “If the all-male Republican side treats her as a liar and attacks her character, it could discourage other women from coming forward. It could also create a well of anger in the country, as it did in 1991. Anita Hill was asked to tell her story and was disrespected.”

— Marjorie Miller

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