Published at 4:00 am ET 1 November 2018
In a 2018 election runoff of Anita Hill's result in 1992 for myself and for many others, Kavanaugh's fight will create activists and push women into Congress.
It's hard to imagine anything more depressing than the media and the Republicans in Congress arguing that Brett Kavanaugh hearings – along with the deceptive treatment of Dr Christine Blasey Ford – somehow constituted a political victory for the GOP. But these people are confused by winning a single battle for the greatest war. Despite the incredible pain caused by Kavanaugh and his defenders, I have no doubt that his opposition to his appointment was a struggle to be held. In fact, our story has already shown the potential reaction that can make its appointment to the GOP.
Back in the autumn of 1991, I started my senior year at UCLA. As a sovereign governor, I have always had an interest in politics. In October, Anita Hill's brave decision to file before the Senate Senate Committee has had a profound effect on me.
To this day, I can honestly remember Professor Hill's composure as she stated her allegations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas. I remember my anger about the shameful behavior of Senator Senators who were exposed to such a trustworthy and sympathetic witness. At one point, Arlen Specter accused Hill of "open-minded ", while Orrin Hatch suggested that her claims be removed from the book" The Exorcist. "
Anita Hill gave women the determination. Ford will also be.
After the trial, I remember the insults launched in Chile by numerous political experts. Most of them were men, including the then conservative (now liberal) David Brock, who described it as "a little walnut and a little vulgar". I also remember that I feel a new and distinct sense of determination. During the Hill hearings, Newsweek rushed an article covering the many protests against Thomas. An accompanying photo showed an angry woman holding a sign that read "We'll remember next November". I cut the photo and put it on my sleeping wall.
Shortly afterwards, I volunteered for local campaigns and after graduating I got a job at the California Democratic Party. Throughout the summer and autumn of 1992, I worked alongside countless other young women who were also encouraged to act as witnesses of how to deal with Hill before an entire nation.
By the time that November came, women were also remembered throughout America. This era of the campaign is now known as "The Year of Women". At the time of Thomas's hearings, Maryland Barbara Michalsky was the only Democrat woman in the Senate. The 1992 elections brought four more to join, including Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein of California, making it the first state in US history to send a female delegation to the Senate. The House that year welcomed an additional 16 Democratic women.
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On the evening of November 3, 1992, we celebrated the election of both Feinstein and Boxer in California, also watching the increase in women's attendance at national level. I can still remember that I see the effects blinking on the TV screen that night. And I keep on the yellowish Newsweek article I once made on my wall as a reminder of the difficult weeks of October 1991 that gave birth to an entire career devoted to political activism and defense.
Twenty-seven years later, the sexual assault charges against Kavanaugh sparked the same sad feelings with Anita Hill's hearings. Fortunately, our culture has taken some steps since then. In 1991, only 24% in a New York Times poll believed Hill's testimony, including only 26% of women. In 2018, on the other hand, more voters believed Ford from Kavanaugh – including 55% of American women.
Ultimately, however, the rise of Canaan to the Supreme Court shows how far we have left to leave. His confirmation does not mark the end of our society's struggle to eradicate sexual assault and harassment. Instead, it just marks the beginning of the next stage.
A woman's new year after Canaan
While some at the GOP base can actually "return home" and prove to be a result of Kavanaugh's fight, a recent US Today poll shows that anti-Cuban voters are the largest active group. And I firmly believe that an overwhelming number of Americans galvanized by his confirmation will be people like me: people who will deal with politics for the first time – as I did again in the autumn of 1991.
These new activists will not just stop voting. They will do whatever they need from volunteering for telephone banks until they hit the doors and give candidates across the country. And they will remain committed after these means.
I am sure that this new wave of activists will enrich the Democratic Party for the next decades. And that will help ensure that the Election Day 2018 falls into history as another woman's year.
Neera Tanden is Managing Director of the American Progress Fund. Follow it on Twitter: @neeratanden
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