October 19, 2011
SPCH 102 (WID1)
While volunteering at the “Sex, Power, and Speaking truth” Conference I was exposed to a huge women’s movement I had no idea existed. Not only did it open my eyes to something new, but I was able to learn all the rights I have as a women.
Seeing Anita Hill speak about her experience in trail against Clarence Thomas showed me that there was much more to the conference than a women speaking about being sexually harassed. It was about women having to deal with death threats for “turn against black people” and “stopping a brother from moving up”. It was about learning that it is not your fault you if experienced sexual harassed. It was about not justifying sexual harassment because of the way a female dresses.
During the conference volunteers had to wear blue shirts that said “I believe Anita Hill”. I later found out the meaning behind the shirt. During Ms. Hill’s Trail, she wore a blue dress to speak in front of the judges. Although not many people were on Anita’s side, the few people that were going to testify and defend Anita (the people who believed her), weren’t able to speak that day and were sent home on the spot). She admitted she was scared during this time, but she went against Clarence Thomas regardless. After her speech, people were able to ask Anita questions. There was a young lady who stood up, and with tears in her eyes asked Anita “How were you able to get rid of your fears of speaking up? Not over or under it your fears, but through them?” Anita simply told her “you just did so.” She told the young lady that by following your gut feeling and doing what you believe is right, you will lose all fears.
After Anita Hill spoke, I was sent to do general registration and missed the next forum. I was able to sneak back in a few minutes before it ended and see what was going on. I was only able to find out that the person speaking at the time was an 18 year old girl whose first name was Julia. She was speaking about sexual harassment on college campuses and how many young ladies in today’s generation don’t know how to differentiate compliments from sexual harassment. She spoke about how some girls believe rude compliments from men is a great way of getting attention, but it is actually the total opposite. It is a form of sexual harassment, and many girls aren’t aware of that. The young lady also spoke about stories from other colleges and it made me realize that women should speak up regardless the size of the incident. You won’t just defend yourself by doing so, but you will defend any future victims of sexual harassment.