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Bearing Witness: Sexual Harassment and Beyond
by Celia Morris
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When Anita Hill came forward to testify against Clarence Thomas in 1991, she told a story that was too familiar, too devastating - and at last too public - to ignore. Now, in a compelling collage of interviews and commentary, Celia Morris continues the fight the Hill/Thomas hearings began - capturing the outrage of women subjected to sexual harassment and abuse and calling for fundamental change. Bearing Witness is an urgent examination of sexual intimidation in its myriad forms - a book that breaks the silence that generations of women have been forced to keep. From factory lines to Capitol Hill, from inner cities to prestigious universities and the upper echelons of media, law, and medicine, Morris brings to life the personal stories - and solutions - of women who suffer from our complacency toward men's outrageous behavior. Here are the lewd remarks, the unwanted propositions, the wandering hands, and always - always - the specter of sexual violence that threatens women daily. Yet here, too, we discover women's newfound unity and their determination to fight back. Both a collection of stories and a road map of protest, Bearing Witness also explores the ways women have been crippled by ancient fears of female sexuality and examines the cultural heritage that has led to an imbalance of power between men and women. But Morris shows how women are learning to change the questions from "What did she do to deserve it?" and "Why did she stay?" to "Why did he do it?" and "Why did the people around him allow him to do it?" and "What can we do to change all that?" Arguing that to win true equality - both at work and at home - women must learn to use the collective "we," Morris also invites sympathetic men to join in a cause that will benefit them equally. Timely, impassioned, and frank, Bearing Witness spotlights an urgent national problem and issues a call to organize for justice.
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