Anita Hill: 'Me Too' could have started long ago if Biden-led panel had 'done its job'

Anita Hill: 'Me Too' could have started long ago if Biden-led panel had 'done its job'
© Getty Images

Anita HillAnita Faye HillClarence Thomas blasts his Biden-led confirmation hearings: 'The idea was to get rid of me' Five landmark moments of testimony to Congress Christine Blasey Ford makes rare public appearance to accept empowerment award MORE on Thursday went after former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Trump trade deal likely to sow division in Democratic presidential field Trump supporters at Pa. rally 'upset' after Democrats introduce impeachment articles MORE's handling of her claims of sexual harassment against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991, tying it to the "Me Too" movement.

Hill argued in a New York Times op-ed that the movement seeking to hold high-profile men accountable for sexual misconduct could have started much earlier had the Senate panel led by Biden in the 1990s taken her claims against Thomas more seriously.

"If the government had shown that it would treat survivors with dignity and listen to women, it could have had a ripple effect," Hill, now a professor at Brandeis University, argued in the op-ed.


"If the Senate Judiciary Committee, led then by Mr. Biden, had done its job and held a hearing that showed that its members understood the seriousness of sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence, the cultural shift we saw in 2017 after #MeToo might have began in 1991 — with the support of the government," she added.

Biden, who launched his 2020 Democratic presidential bid last month, has received criticism from the left for his treatment of Hill. The professor said last month that Biden had reached out to apologize for his and other lawmakers' treatment of her during her Senate Judiciary Committee hearings decades earlier.

Biden's treatment of Hill has been targeted due to his past unwillingness to apologize to Hill, as well as accusations from fellow Democrats who were in Congress at the time who said that the former vice president was not even planning to allow Hill's testimony before a group of furious Democratic congresswoman marched to his office and demanded he reconsider.

"We were so upset that they weren't even going to let her testify. And remember, [Biden] was the chairman," former Rep. Pat Schroeder (D-Colo.) said last month on CNN.

Hill said last month that she was unsatisfied with Biden's apology, which she had likened to a late acknowledgement that insufficiently addressed his own actions.

“I cannot be satisfied by simply saying I’m sorry for what happened to you. I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose,” she told the Times last month.