University venue packed for Anita Hill speech

Sep 27, 2018, 9:10 AM | Updated: 9:11 am
Anita Hill drew an overflow crowd in SLC...
Anita Hill speaks to a capacity crowd at the Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.

SALT LAKE CITY — Hundreds of people packed into a crowded room at the University of Utah to hear from Anita Hill, whose accusations of sexual harassment rocked the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991.

Hill spoke about the history of sexual harassment law at the Eccles Alumni House, pointing out in 1976, Redbook reported 9 out of 10 women had experienced unwanted advances from a superior.

Anita Hill in 1991 (AP File)

FILE – In this Oct. 11, 1991 file photo University of Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington. Hill testified that she was “embarrassed and humiliated” by unwanted, sexually explicit comments made by Thomas when she worked for him a decade ago. The Thomas-Hill hearings riveted Americans, and the same is expected for the Kavanaugh-Ford hearing on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. (AP Photo, File)

She did not want to compare her own story to that of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s choice for Supreme Court.

“Any of us who come forward would like to have our stories heard and listened to and evaluated on the basis of our situation,” Hill says.

Arielle Blair, who attended Hill’s speech, agrees.

“It’s not about one particular person or one particular situation, but the fact that this is ongoing, for so many years in our society, tells us that we’ve got an institutional problem,” Blair says.

Hill spoke about the importance of people who have been the victims of sexual harassment coming forward, saying that it helps others understand just how broad the problem is. She also says federal laws designed to prevent harassment don’t always cover contractors who are not regular employees.

Stephanie Bush was in the audience, saying she knows firsthand what it’s like to be harassed at work.

“I’ve had bosses before that – male and female – that are very touchy,” Bush says. “They feel like it’s appropriate to hug… I am not someone that likes that.”

Flo Weir remembers a time when bosses commonly “hit” on secretaries.

“We dared not say that somebody else had been inappropriate with us, because that was our fault. We brought it on by our own behavior,” Weir says.

Hill addressed today’s hearing, saying she believes it won’t be fair, in part because she believes Dr. Ford was not given enough time to prepare her statement.

“No judge would allow it, but here we have a ‘judge’ demanding it. Not only is that ‘judge,’ Mr. Grassley, demanding it as a judge, but he is also the jury,” Hill said, referring to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

Hill says access to equal justice under the law was what was at stake in 1991 when she came forward to accuse Clarence Thomas of sexually harassing her on the job. She believes it’s also what is at stake now. That statement resonated with Larry Weir.

“Be yourself and do what you feel is necessary to solve the problem,” he advised.


Today’s Top Stories


Ogden police car...
Mark Jones

Ogden-Weber Technical College evacuated due to bomb threat; no bomb found

Weber County emergency personnel responded to the Ogden-Weber Technical College Wednesday afternoon for a report of bomb threat. After a search of the campus, no device was found.
1 day ago
Black Rifle Coffee...
Lindsay Aerts

Black Rifle Coffee, Dallas Cowboys take heat for timing of business partnership

The timing of a business partnership between Utah-based Black Rifle Coffee and the Dallas Cowboys has generated a lot of emotions on social media.
1 day ago
south jordan police...
Mark Jones

Two children hurt in auto-pedestrian collision in South Jordan

South Jordan police say two children are in critical condition after a auto-pedestrian collision Wednesday. Both children were taken to Primary Children's Hospital.
1 day ago
Local environmental groups are taking a victory lap now that a medical waste incinerator in North S...
Lindsay Aerts

Stericycle can no longer burn medical waste in SLC, but the fight to stop toxic pollutants may not be over

Local environmental groups are taking a victory lap now that a medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake belonging to Stericycle, has been shut down.
1 day ago
Utah Fire Info says the Deuel Creek Fire is now 100% contained. Photo Credit: Utah Fire Info....
Devin Oldroyd

Deuel Creek Fire is now 100% contained, Utah Fire Info says

Utah Fire Info says the Deuel Creek Fire is now 100% contained after days of firefighters combating the blaze.
1 day ago
air conditioner...
Carlos Artiles

What if your air conditioner breaks down during the summer months?

If your air conditioner breaks down during the summer, you could be on a wait list of a few weeks before it could be fixed or replaced.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
University venue packed for Anita Hill speech