Before several women shared their MeToo stories this year, Anita Hill‘s story had struck a chord. Her 1991 Senate Judiciary Committee testimony laying bare sexual harassment while working for then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas became one of the most powerful women’s history moments of the late 20th century.
Hill galvanized Black women to take action: 1,600 women took out a New York Times ad in support of her in 1991. She had the ears of hundreds of African-American women and the eyes of national TV audiences on her despite the personal character attacks that came during her testimony.
Though Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court, Hill’s story still had a lasting impact on women. Cultural scholars have connected The Year Of The Woman — a reference to the flurry of women elected for the first time to the Senate in 1992 — to Hill’s 1991 hearings.
She has connected her story to other MeToo women and recognized the significance of the movement in changing conversations about sexual harassment.
“There has been a tremendous amount of change in public attitude and there has been a change in the information we have about sexual harassment,” Hill, who is a law professor at Brandeis University and chair of the entertainment industry’s Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, told John Oliver on “Last Week Tonight” in July, Time reported. “Even a few years ago, people were ambivalent about what the consequences should be concerning behaving incredibly badly in the workplace.”
Hill has made history for speaking out for women, and here are a few of her memorable moments.