by R. Asmerom
The case that put sexual harassment under intense media glare has been resurrected 20 years later thanks to a bizarre phone call by Ginny Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas, to Anita Hill, the woman who accused her husband of sexual harassment during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Mrs. Thomas called Hill to ask her to apologize for the accusations she made against her husband. It’s not only a bold move but also completely and utterly peculiar. Ginny’s husband managed to proceed professionally unscathed by Hill to receive one of the most coveted positions in the world but yet, decades later, his wife is choosing to remind America that her husband was accused of being unethical at one point. What are Ginny’s reasons for pushing this issue back into the spotlight? She’s certainly no stranger to politics and can’t be naive enough to not understand the repercussions of her actions. We decided to contemplate 3 possible reasons for Ginny’s ludicrous action:
1. She’s subscribing to the conservative party formula for generating publicity.
Ginny’s caught what Jon Stewart calls the insanity bug that’s been plaguing politics these days. Mrs. Thomas has recently launched a nonprofit lobbying group called Liberty Central that has conservative Tea Party-like aspirations of rescuing America from the “leftist tyranny.” Doing something stupid to keep your name in the press has worked for political players since Sarah Palin became an overnight superstar for her antics and idiotic rants on political topics. Is this a call for attention, Ginny?
2. She never believed her husband.
Could Ginny have been nagged all these years by doubt? Did she ever believe that her husband was not guilty of these accusations? Have those feelings resurfaced due to current troubles in the relationship? Many psychotherapists tout the value of achieving a sense of closure when it comes to painful episodes of betrayal or pain. But, for Ginny, that closure should come from her husband and her own convictions of his character, not a relative stranger she supposedly believes to have lied about her husband.
Adds Debbie Mandel, author and stress management expert, “It is hard for many people to forgive and forget. Each time they remember a painful situation or a person who hurt them, they virtually relive it. They need closure or so they think from the person who injured them. However, the hurt that they project to another is actually their self-esteem from within. Mostly, Mrs. Thomas might have to forgive herself.”
3. She’s just plain inappropriate.
We could say that she’s bored but considering that Ginny is actively involved in this new, questionable, political group, it seems that she’d have enough of on her plate to keep her busy. Psychologist Marcia Reynolds contends that Ginny could have acted on a whim and did not think her actions through. “Unfortunately, there is no way for the brain to “predict” how we will feel in a certain situation in the future. We only have access to what we feel about it in the moment and what we hope will happen.,” she said. “Therefore, it’s likely that Ginny Thomas had now idea that she would reach a level of intolerance to the questions and judgments that would cause her to act so boldly. But obviously she has reached the point of, “I’m mad as hell and can’t take it any longer.” The only way to stop the spiral is to go to the source–asking Anita Hill to apologize. When we are hijacked by our emotions, we don’t make logical choices. And since Mrs. Thomas didn’t predict she would be so affected by the questions and judgments, she has become a victim of her emotional reactions. We can all attest to doing crazy things when we are mad.”