27 years ago, on November 17, 1991, 1,600 black women joined together and placed a full-page ad in the New York Times to support Professor Anita Hill when she faced backlash for accusing Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. They called it, “African American Women in Defense of Ourselves.” Today we follow in the footsteps of those courageous women.
We are 1,600 men who now stand behind both Professor Anita Hill, as well as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, because we believe them.
As men who are allies in the fight to end violence and harassment against women and girls, we write to express our strong support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for her willingness to speak out publicly and testify before the Senate about the sexual assault that she says was perpetrated against her by Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh.
We believe survivors, and we call on all men of good will to stand with us to ensure that Dr. Blasey Ford’s story is carefully and fully examined without bias or prejudice. It is imperative that the politics of this moment not discolor the facts. Justice demands that both Dr. Blasey Ford and her story be treated fairly, impartially, and with respect.
Too frequently, survivors of sexual assault are forced to suffer in silence. Those that choose to speak out often face backlash, skepticism, and ridicule. As we've seen once again the last few weeks, that kind of virulent backlash is most acutely on display whenever those accused of misdeeds are powerful men. If appointed to the Supreme Court, few men would be more powerful than Judge Kavanaugh.
We are a group of men with varying political and legal views. But we each believe women should no longer have to carry these burdens alone.
For decades, a culture of misogyny has allowed men to act with impunity and without consequence. We demand an end to that culture, and we pledge to do our part in dismantling it. That’s why we are speaking out today in favor of a just process, and for the rights of women like Dr. Blasey Ford to be heard fully, fairly, and with respect.
In the words of Anita Hill, “There is no way to redo 1991, but there are ways to do better.”