Our topic for today is the Me Too Movement, rape, sexual harassment, and the politics of power. We planned this course a while ago and it happens that I am recording this lecture today on September 18th, 2018, and we are in the middle of the hearings of the Senate Judiciary Committee about whether or not to approve the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. So, this is a Tuesday. Over the weekend, a woman named Christine Blasey Ford came forward after having given a confidential letter to one of the senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee Dianne Feinstein and identified herself and charging Brett Kavanaugh with assault on her when they were both high school students at Georgetown preparatory school in Washington DC. Dr. Ford is a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University here in the Bay Area and is affiliated with Stanford. So, this has caused a huge uproar in the Senate chambers now, and of course I'm recording this and we don't know what will unfold. But it seemed really uncanny that it should be this day in this context and many people are making allusions of course, to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings in 1991 that confirmed Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. What I wanted to do today was to talk about this Me Too Movement, and that's the difference. The difference is that Dr. Ford has come forward after months and months of women coming forward not only in the United States, but all over the world, and this hashtag Me Too Movement which has gained tremendous purchase. That's very interesting, and so, we are also in a moment when we are seeing very powerful white men being fired from positions of great authority. So, just to mention Matt Lauer of NBC today. He was the show host and he was fired a number of months ago after multiple allegations of sexual. They call it sexual misconduct which is such an innocuous term rather than assault and harassment and so on. Charlie Rose, who had a very esteemed program was fired also as was Les Moonves who was the CEO president of CBS that just in terms of our chronology year happened very recently. This is unprecedented in our struggle around sexual violence and sexual harassment. There's never been a time like this when actually women's credibility has risen to such a level that men as I said, in great power are being deposed. I thought today it would be helpful then to talk about a little bit of the history. Not so far back, I will go back a little bit, but mostly I'd like to talk in some detail about the Anita Hill case. Especially for younger people that don't necessarily remember it in detail, and also talk about another case that doesn't have the same notoriety, but involved a Black African immigrant woman whose name was De Fisa Diallo, and that took place in New York in 2011. So, I'd like to use those assort of prototypes of certain kinds of violences against women, and what happened in those cases, and it provides a contrast to what we're seeing now and that makes it very interesting also and powerful. So, I use that as a introduction. If you are currently reading newspapers and following various stories, sexual violence against women is now all over the place in various ways. So, for example July 30th, 2018 the New York Times had a featured story called FEMA officials hired women workers based on their desirability for sex. This was a big story like an exposee in The Times, and so, FEMA is the emergency response while the disasters that are happening because of climate change and you'd go about everything being interconnected here. So, that was the headline in the details of the story were that female employees were being picked from online dating services based on their perceived hookup potential, and that's how they were hiring people in FEMA. So, I could go on with this and if hear incredulity in my voice it's because it is incredulous to me and yet here we have documentation and so on. So, all right, and also very recently, the actress Kelly Marie Tran who's a Vietnamese American. If you saw Star Wars, the most recent film of star was called The Lost Jedi which I saw. I had a lot of fun with it, but anyway. Faced she said "Months of misogynistic and racist images on social media as a consequence of her prominence in that film." This was in The New York Times on Sunday August, 26, and it was a very in-depth story interview with her and so forth, talking me about the kind of racism and misogyny that she faced as a consequence of her prominence in the film. Then again, in the New York Times very recently there was a huge story. This was also August 26th, 2018, women in politics often must run a gauntlet of vile intimidation. One of the features of the midterm elections this year in 2018, is that there are a very large number of women running for office in state legislative elections and also for Congress and so on. So, it's very large number of women running for office unprecedented actually, and what this story was about was the kind of abuse that they experience online and in their attacks on their person in a way that of course male politicians in general don't experience especially a kind of sexual innuendos and vulnerability that these women are facing, and then also within the recent history here, we have the case of Larry Nassar who was the gymnastics Olympic coach at the University of Michigan, who sexually invaded I guess is what you would say during so-called medical exams literally hundreds of young women and girls and everybody covered it up until he got caught. He finally got caught, and he's now serving what amounts to a life sentence after all of these young now women, they were young girls at the time came forward and testified against him. All of this suggests to us the sexual harassment and rape and sexual violence against women and we can include in that domestic violence because they're often connected to each other is as old as the hills. Sometimes we refer to this as a rape culture. So, the question is why? That is to think a little bit about why we have this history in so many countries all over the world of this kind of violence against women, sexual violence and domestic violence. One of the questions that's sometimes posed by people is, why now the Me Too Movement has gained such purchase? Why is there suddenly this support for the movement? One thing I would say about it is that many of the women that first came forward were famous actresses. People had seen them on screen, and were fans and that sort of thing, and I think that hooked people in a way that, they're fan base that gave them a certain credibility. I would say also the sheer numbers. Just the numbers of women coming forward. It starts to be overwhelming. When the actresses first started to come forward, the United Farm Workers Union issued a statement. It was very, very moving, and they're based in Los Angeles. These are farm workers, and it was from the women of the United Farm Workers Union and their statement affirmed their support and solidarity for the women that were coming forward, and also pointed out that they were subjected to sexual harassment all the time in the fields, as they worked and harvested crops. They didn't have the same publicity and they didn't have the same name recognition and they didn't have money. They just wanted people to know that sexual harassment was a serious problem for women in farm work, at the same time that they were expressing their solidarity. We also know now, and there are multiple stories coming forth that Latino women crossing the border, the southwest border of the United States and Texas California and so forth where they are taken into custody by the border patrol, that many of them had been subjected to sexual abuse as well and their stories are also coming out. So, and sometimes offered, let me say, a deal or something like that that they will be let go for sexual favors. So, it's been quite awful. Quite awful. But this again, you see, shows you how pervasive it is, and how much it's part of the culture. There's this assumption. So, again, I ask the question, why? Let me talk about the origin of rape laws. I'm using a particular book called Rape: The price of coercive sexuality that was written by Lorrene Clark and Debra Lewis. But there are many other articles and books that one could reference in this. They write, then in its original legal meaning, rape was an offense against property. This is what many people don't know the history of rape law. But it influences everything about how women are perceived now. That is continuing their findings parallel to marriage laws in which a woman is literally owned by her husband. So, this is, we're talking about Europe, we're talking about Middle Ages and onward. So, the Anglo-Saxon law, Germanic law is all based on this. We adopted our legal system from mostly Anglo-Saxon law. So, there were marriage laws and then rape law developed as another form of social control designed to regulate the orderly transfer of property. Under Anglo-Saxon law, rape was punished by orders to pay compensation and reparation to the father or husband of a woman who had been assaulted. If a woman was raped, the sum was paid to her father or husband depending on who exercise the rights of ownership over her. So, either she was owned by her father, she was owned by her husband, or in some cases the eldest living male relative. So, maybe the father was deceased and she wasn't married. So, she might have been owned say by an uncle, or a brother or something like that. The exact compensation or amount depended on the woman's economic position and her desirability as an object of exclusive sexual relationship. The sum was not paid to the woman herself. It was paid to her father or husband because he was the person who was regarded as having been wronged. Rape is simply a theft of sexual property under the ownership of someone other than the rapist. That was the legal definition. It's very, like I said, important to understand that our law was based upon this. The fact that rape was originally perceived as an offense against one form of property owned by men, and that it has developed historically legally within this conceptual framework, has really important consequences and really damning consequences for the position of women. For example, compensation, the amount paid to the father or husband depended upon the class position. So, the wealthier you were, and the wealthier status of a woman, then it required a higher fine. You see, right? Enslaved African women in the United States could not legally be raped at all. There was no legal provision for rape because they were owned by the slave owner. They were the property of the slave owner and his rights were inviolable. So, enslaved families had no legal standing. Enslaved marriage was legally impossible. People married. People had ceremonies within the slave community. In slave community, people fell in love. They had marriage but legally it wasn't recognized, which is what enabled slave owners, of course, to sell children from their parents and sell husbands from wives, and wives from husband, so forth because there was no legal status for the marriage. So, by these laws, women enslaved or free were legally tendered as objects of property ownership. Sometimes it's hard for us to wrap our minds around that. Like now as women, we don't think of ourselves as being owned by anybody, we think of ourselves as independent people. Certainly, in the United States, I think there are other countries in the world where that's not so, and women do have a sense of being owned by male relatives. So, the defense of the accused rapist in law from being owned as property, always rested upon the behavior of the woman. That's the origin of this, that she seduced, or she was the adulterer. Was she promiscuous? Was she a loose woman? All of these things. That's where the law turned. That was the issue upon which it turned. So, as a result, we can see, for example, enslaved women in the United States, the way they've developed truly vicious stereotypes about black women. For example, that they were immoral. They were seductress. They were asylvius, and to quote Ronald Reagan, as recently as the 1980s, they were welfare queens, that was a term he conjured in order to connote that they were promiscuous, all black women were promiscuous, and add all these joke. It's a stereotype that stems all the way back from slavery and being owned. So, rape was not perceived as a violation of the rights of women at all and in the present treatment of rape continues to reflect its historical roots. When I was growing up, which was in the 1950s, nobody talked about rape publicly. There was no public discourse about rape at all. It was never and it's not in the press that I remember, nothing. Of course, women were raped, and they were sexually harassed and so forth. If they talked about it it was in private and usually with a considerable amount of shame, as though they were somehow responsible for this happening because you internalize this idea of what caused it. So, it's to understand that as the anti-rape movement developed, which first started in the '70s, it starts with second-wave feminism in that sense. The first political article about rape was written by Angela Davis in this modern period. It was called The Role of Black Women in the Community of Slaves, and it was published in 1971 in a journal called The Black Scholar. Because she was writing exactly what I was just saying of the ways in which enslaved women had no rights over themselves. She talked about that as a form of social control and power over. She then pointed out the extent to which it decimated of the Black family and how it was used as a weapon of control within the slave community. So she politicized it. Shortly after that, a book was published by a woman named Susan Brownmiller. That's called Against Our Will. That was published in 1976. That's a whole history of rape. It had problems. She was a white woman, and there was the way, I think, I would say there were parts of the book that had quite a bit of racism because she hadn't really thought through all of these issues. Nevertheless, it was a very important book because it politicized and historicized rape. So, because of that and because of this movement, the women's movement, the second-wave feminism began to challenge the way rape cases were conducted in court. Up until the second wave, it had been perfectly alright if the woman testified to have her sexual history put on trial itself, whether she's promiscuous that she do these things and so forth. So, they outlawed that. The judicial process actually outlawed that so that that wouldn't take place anymore. Nevertheless, in rape trials, you will see that a defense attorney will sometimes ask the question so the jury hears it even then when the person prosecuting gets up and objects because of a change in the law, and the judge sustains the objection, nevertheless the jury is and any then he tells jury disregard. Well, yeah, but you heard it. So, you can see how the remnants of this persist today. Okay. So, having said that, let me talk about sexual harassment law first. So now we have laws against sexual harassment in the United States as a consequence of this movement. It's really interesting to consider how it got put into place, how sexual harassment law are now put into place. There are two cases. If you want to look them up, one is Alexander versus Yale. It was 1980 in the US Court of Appeals Second Circuit. The other more significant case was Meritor Savings Bank versus Vinson, which was in 1986 and came before the United States Supreme Court. So, here's the key point. Title nine of the 1972 Civil Rights Act forbids sex discrimination in all university, students services, academic programs, and employment. This includes but is not limited to admissions, financial aid, academic, advising, housing, athletics, and they just list everything imaginable including employment conditions. The most crucial point for our purposes is, that the United States Supreme Court ruled in '86, in the Meritor-Vinson case that sexual assault and harassment are forms of sex discrimination, and therefore prohibited and punishable under both in 1964 and the 1972 civil rights acts. That's how we got there. Now, sexual harassment is part of the definition of discrimination laid down by the courts, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the agency that's charged with the administration of enforcing the Civil Rights Act. The terrible irony here, which we'll get to shortly, is that Clarence Thomas was the head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at the time that Anita Hill charged that he had sexually harassed her. I'm smiling, but it's nothing to smile about but it's just like, hello. So, definition of sexual harassment, the legal definition. It's interesting to get the actual legal definition. Unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature is what constitutes sexual harassment when, one, submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term of condition of employment or participation in any university program, department, unit and so forth. By extension also, two, submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for evaluation in making academical personnel decisions affecting the individual. So like for grades, for example, for undergraduate and graduate students, that's the very blatant form but also for people working in various departments, personnel actions, and especially the least powerful on a campus or staff women. Three, that such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's performance or creating what's called an intimidating or hostile environment. The key term here that the court has used is hostile environment. So, hostile environment can also be in the form of jokes, like pervasive jokes in a workplace, or if there was one case in the 1980s, where it was Continental Airlines and the male pilots had a ritual of leaving sexually charged pornographic material for the next pilot coming in. They would leave it in the cockpit. Never mind the term cockpit. Sorry. It's just the term. Anyway, I can't help it, this language is really something. Anyhow, they would leave it there. Well what happened is the next Continental Airlines pilot who was coming in was a woman. And this is just as women are starting to break into the airlines, and she sued, that created a hostile work environment and she won and she wanted a considerable amount of money. So that's the meaning of hostile, that's one example of a hostile work environment. Now, there's one other thing about sexual harassment law that is really profound and really interesting. It is that, unlike other civil rights law, the intent of the perpetrator doesn't matter. See a lot of men will say, I didn't mean anything by it, or I was just kidding around or whatever, but what the law says is a person can claim that the standard for sexual harassment is whether or not, "A reasonable person would feel such behavior to constitute unwanted sexual advances." The terms reasonable person is very very interesting, and in the law I think reasonable person is also ally to when you have a jury trial and the jury is instructed to determine guilt or innocence based on reasonable doubt. So it has to do with the concept of reason. In a jury trial it's 12 people, so then it's a collective idea of what's reasonable and that's similar to this idea of a reasonable person. So, in other civil rights law, for example racial discrimination, universities often claim when they've been accused of racial discrimination and so forth that it wasn't their intent. That's how affirmative action was thrown out, or we didn't intend to discriminate. The law was such that unless you could prove intention, through an accumulation of evidence or whatever, you couldn't get an affirming decision. I hope that's clear. So, now rape which is actual physical assault and what the term legally means is vaginal penetration, that's what the term rape means. Can be considered under sexual harassment law, but it's mostly dealt with in penal codes and every state has, in California's Penal Code 1269 you can look it up and it defines rape and and so on. Then there's specific charges of sexual battery. What's called sexual battery, it's a whole range of violations. That sort of under the rubric of rape law. Sexual harassment law is very particular in the way that I said it and again rape can be part of it but the real essence of rape law is separate. I hope that's clear also. So, I also know and we all know that apart from these specific laws vast majorities of women of all colors, of all races, of all ethnicities, of all classes including especially trans women. So I mean transgender women in the United States, experience and endure sexual harassment, street harassment, sexual innuendos, unwanted sexual comments, unwanted sexual touching and gestures every day. Just every day just walking down the street. It's just every day, and we might call these the new term that we kind of uses microaggressions and people experienced them all the time. Younger women for example tend to experience it more than older women, it's all about the assumption of sexual availability, and the assumption of the woman as somehow property that's available to men, that's where I hack back to the earlier origins of law. So, there's no specific laws around this kind of harassment. We don't have any specific laws around it. Now, let's turn to the Anita Hill case very specifically. For those that may not remember the details. It took place in October 1991. The United States Senate Judiciary Committee which at that time had a Democratic majority, and Joe Biden, we all know Joe Biden now he is Obama's Vice President, was the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991. But we had a Republican President, and it was George H Bush father of W. They were holding hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee on whether or not to recommend to the full Senate the confirmation of Clarence Thomas. So here's just a basic factual rendition of a case. President George H Bush needed to make an appointment to the US Supreme Court to replace the African -American jurists Thurgood Marshall, who had passed away. Marshall was legendary, he was the black Attorney that handled Brown versus the Board of Education that resulted in the Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation. So Bush wanted to name an African-American but he needed and wanted a justice who was conservative. He found such a person in a little-known Federal Judge Clarence Thomas, who had headed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under Reagan. Thomas had opposed affirmative action, though he himself personally had benefited from it greatly. Indeed he had been able to attend Yale University Law School because of its aggressive affirmative action policies. Despite the obvious racing of the proposed appointment, Bush insisted that his nomination was raceless which I've always found absurd in a country that is obsessed with race. During the course of the FBI's very routine investigation, we know this the FBI vets any nominee charges or sexual misconduct came to light. Anita Hill, an African-American attorney who had served with Thomas on the EEOC, came forward reluctantly and only with assurances that her privacy would be protected to question the propriety of Thomas's nomination. She charged that he had repeatedly pressured her for sex violating their professional relationship. She did all of this and the Senate Judiciary Committee hid it. They just didn't do anything with it, it was just part of the record. Rather than withdraw the nomination, President Bush persistent in it and the Senate Judiciary Committee continued with it's hearings. What happened was there was a leak, I do not know who leaked the information. Someone told the press, that this was in the record. I really have no information about who did it, and it has never come to light who actually leaked it. But what happened was, the press erupted Anita Hill was named as the person who had charged Judge Clarence Thomas with this. We now have an all white all male Senate Judiciary Committee forced to reopen its hearing, because it was such a clammer about it. This woman Anita Hill who had wanted her privacy protective, was forced to come to Washington and testify at the Senate Judiciary Committee before a television audience estimated to be 22 million people. Despite a grueling cross-examination, Hill recounted again and again the details of Thomas's unwanted advances, his assertions of sexual prowess, and his descriptions of pornographic images. I will tell you it was very difficult for her, very difficult. You can see it even though she never lost her composure, sometimes there were moments of hesitation in her speech. It's all videotaped, you can watch it. Anybody can access it online if you want to see it. She made a very powerful opening statement and then there was this grueling cross-examination. So, she was treated, not with respect but as though she was accusing. Also, she was treated as though this was a trial, as though Clarence Thomas was on trial. He wasn't on trial. He was up for nomination to the highest court in the country. A great deal of the public response to these hearings was not to criticize Thomas but to cast aspersion on Hill's character, motivation, and her sexual life. This is just a replication of what happens in court that I was talking about. It went on for days and then Thomas made his appearance, and then he accused the committee of a high-tech lynching. Anyone who knows anything about the history of lynching in this country just went, people went crazy with that because this has nothing to do with lynching. Anyway, he had full authority, he had full power. He was in his seat, he had to testify. So, after days of this and this testimony and so forth and her being really tried in the public media, I will say that large numbers of African-American women they had a public statement defending Anita Hill, very, very prominent African-American women. Some African-American men also came forward, and huge numbers of white women who were part of a feminist anti-violence movement also came forward and really defended Anita Hill. There were other witnesses for Anita Hill that could have been called, and the committee decided not to call them. As a consequence, it was really her word, he said, she said situation, which it never should have been. So, after all of this, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to affirm Thomas's nomination in spite of Hill's testimony and allowed the full Senate to vote on the nomination. The media debated whether or not Anita Hill was telling the truth. A Gallup poll was conducted to see whether Americans most believed Hill or Thomas. Much to its credit, the New York Times published a strong editorial on October 17th 1991 affirming its belief in the credibility of the witness, Anita Hill. Hill also had, as I said, very strong support from African-American women and men, some of them very prominent. Thomas was confirmed by the narrowest majority ever recorded up until that time for a Supreme Court nominee. The vote was 52 to 48 in favor of his appointment. Since his appointment to the court, he has consistently voted with the conservatives on every issue. Sometimes when he has written opinions, he's more to the right than the conservatives on the court. But the thing is that this was a bellwether. This Anita Hill moment was a bellwether even though he was confirmed. Because women launched a major two-pronged defensive following the confirmation hearings and Anita Hill's testimony won, women all over the country wrote about and publicly spoke about sexual harassment to which they had been subjective. Very prominent women started writing about it, op-ed pieces and so on, as well as speaking publicly. They forced state legislatures to hold public hearings where they could testify under oath. Two, in the elections that followed these hearings, women ran for Senate seats to challenge the all-male and all-white character of the Senate. A completely unknown black woman named Carol Moseley, for example, won a seat from Illinois and served in the Senate. So, my point about this at this moment is Anita Hill's enormous courage. She has continued a lifetime of campaigning against sexual harassment and she's organized young women. She teaches law at Brandeis University now and she's continued to organize against sexual harassment. But her case put the question of sexual harassment on the national agenda that's why I say bellwether. The effort was defeated at that moment by a very close foot, but it put it on the national agenda. It put it into people's consciousness. This is part of how to think about historical movements, is in this way. Now, I leave you that case and now go to another case. This is the case involving a housekeeper. So, different class. Anita Hill came from very poor folks who were farmers in Oklahoma but she was a professor. She was a professional. She was a lawyer and so forth. May 14th 2011, a housekeeper at a very expensive hotel in Manhattan called the Sofitel accused a man named Dominique Strauss-Kahn popularly known as DSK, D-S-K, Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her in his hotel room when she came to clean it. DSK or Dominique Strauss-Kahn was the Director of the International Monetary Fund, which is probably the single most important financial institute in the world. The IMF known as the fund was conceived shortly before the end of World War II and firmly established in 1945 to secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment, sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty everywhere in the world. That's its, what do you say? That's what's in its mandate. In fact, it's a form of neocolonialism which has allowed western powers to penetrate into various former colonial countries by holding them hostage to loans that they give under the IMF. Today, 187 countries are affiliated with it, making it up a near-global membership. That's the IMF, very powerful. This man headed it. Thus, you can see that this was one of the most important and powerful figures in the global fiscal world. At the time of the assault or shall we say alleged assault to follow the dictates of the law, he was widely expected to run in the French presidential elections and he had a very good chance of winning. The accuser was Nafissatou Diallo, a legal immigrant from the West African nation of Guinea. She was 32 years old, a single mother of a 15-year-old daughter. She had been working at the Sofitel for approximately three years and reportedly had a spotless work record. She was a member of the hotel workers union, earned an annual salary of $45,000, which is not a lot of money, plus tips. They could be quite generous in the hotel where a one-night charge was $3,000. So, this is a very high class hotel. Imagine paying $3,000. That's like two months rent for people, for one night. The basic facts are that Nafissatou Diallo entered DSK's room loudly calling out, housekeeping, and encountered him naked in the suite. She quickly apologized and moved to leave. She said that he forcibly restrained her, sexually assaulted her. The hotel security cameras later show her running from the room clearly disheveled and distraught and screaming for help. The forensic evidence gathered afterwards also confirmed without any doubt whatsoever that sexual intercourse by the accused, meaning DSK had in fact been accomplished. He claimed that she invited it and that it was consensual, of course, that's what he claimed. Okay, she had sought asylum successfully in this country based on the level of oppression and violence in her home country. After the alleged assault, DSK apparently dressed, left the hotel shortly thereafter and went to JFK International Airport and boarded an Air France flight bound for Paris. He was arrested by New York City police officers aboard the plane before it left the ground, escorted to a police station for booking and charged with rape, denied bail, imprisoned, and bound over for trial. They clearly believed his guilt and so did the other workers in the hotel, and they went after him because you could see it on the CCTV cameras in the corridor of her, condition that she was in. There appeared to be enormous public outrage at the boldness of the assault and the apparent indifference of DSK about the pain and humiliation he may have afflicted. The case, of course, was front-page news. It was sensational, international news really. Some French businessmen and French politicians were very upset that he had been publicly arrested, and publicly in handcuffs and so on. Nevertheless, they were outraged by the public arrest then escort. After hospital treatment Miss Diallo was released and went into seclusion with her daughter at an unknown location in New York. Shortly after his arrest, DSK resigned as Director of the IMF, and of course, his presidential aspirations were gone. Now, what I'm most interested in showing you now for all purposes is what happened, how this case unfolded. Then, you can hark back to the politics of power, and you can hark back to race, and racism, and immigration. You can hark back to women as property. You can see all of the trails of the history here. The media, especially the reputedly reliable and prestigious New York Times, I am ashamed to say, carried stories attacking Ms. Diallo's character. Her status as illegal immigrant. Her alleged conversation with an imprisoned man presumed to be her boyfriend, which he wasn't. The various allegations that she was out for DSK's money. In an out of court suit that she was presumably going to bring. Then the New York Post, another prominent newspaper ran a completely uncorroborated story that Ms. Diallo was in fact, the high-end prostitute and drug dealer. None of these things were true. They just ran the story. Big sensational headlines. Meanwhile of course, DSK had unlimited financial resources. He was supported by his wife, mobilized all the legal counsel he could muster, private detectives, and so on. Dig up whatever dirt real or imagined could be found on Ms. Diallo and mobilized as well the enormous weight of political pressure and threats against the New York District Attorney's Office. The end result of all of this was that, first, DSK was released on bail, under very strict supervision. Then, the supervision was abandoned. Then, the felony charges were dropped and he was free to leave the country. So end. Psychologists, Michelle Fine from New York University, reported in a critical essay on the case "On August 23rd, 2011, the New York City District Attorney, Cyrus Vance decided to drop all attempted rape charges against Strauss-Kahn." He called it attempted rape even though we know from the forensic evidence that there was rape. Because Diallo was considered "not credible". That's what the District Attorney said, not credible. The forensic and medical evidence were however uncontested. "The Diallo-Strauss-Kahn case refracts light on the two familiar intimate dynamic of privilege, blame, and violence. A global citizen well-known for sexualized aggression towards women is free, and the woman with no nation of her own is betrayed again by the state." I'm quoting from Michelle Fine. That's the end of the quote. Now, I will say that French and US feminists, I was among them, mobilized to support Ms. Diallo. We had an open letter that we all signed and published in the Times. The Hotel Workers Union also supported her. They packed the courtroom in the initial stages of the case. Many of the hotel workers themselves, the women came forward and said they were sexually harassed all the time. It was routine. It was part of the conditions of their labor. So, that's what happened in the DSK case. It kind of faded from public view after all of this sensation. I think most people don't remember it. But it kind of faded from view because Ms. Diallo did not have any prominence. Who is she? I rehearse these cases because I want you to consider how the world of a woman is almost always disputed, whether she's a law professor, or a hotel housekeeper. This is very deeply rooted in almost all cultures in the world, and it is profoundly symptomatic of an abiding misogyny, virtually everywhere. It's just everywhere. Right. So, to me, this moment of a Me-Too. Now, we're at a different moment in our history, it's 2018. So, what is it? Nine years after the Diallo case, and even more years since Anita Hill. It's born more than 20 years since the Anita Hill case, I think it's 23 years. Here we are again in this next moment. So, the question really is, will the Me-too Movement have the staying power. Will it have the staying power to finally begin to sustain a move, shall we say, more robust movement to counter violence against women? I can't predict. I don't know. But I have one other thing that's important to say in this moment which is, that in our history in the United States, rape and rape violence is complicated by race. Because we have a history of lynching in the United States of thousands, literally thousands of black men beginning in 1866 when the Klan was founded. Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 in Pulaski, Tennessee right at the end of the Civil War. All the way through to very recent lynchings and abominations against black men. Now, with the Black Lives Matter Movement, we can see unarmed black men being killed. Now, in the lynching period, well, that is basically from the end of the civil war well into the 1930s, thousands of black men lynched almost always. The charge was that the black men had either raped a white woman or intended to rape a white woman. There was no trial. There was no nothing. It's just the men were summarily murdered. They weren't only murdered, shot or something. I mean, in some cases they were but they were often tortured in horrible ways and then killed. Thousands of white people in the South participated in these killings, thousands, including women and children. That's what lynching was. A black woman named Ida B. Welles campaigned against lynching. Her dates are 1860 she died in 1931. She was amazing woman. Now, when Ida B. Welles campaigned against lynching, she said, "Rape charge is a fraud. White women know that. Will white women come forward and say that and unite with black women who are also trying to defend themselves against sexual assault." So, she had a very, I say, dialectical powerful analysis of sexual violence that embrace the violence that white women also faced, but called upon them to defend the integrity of black manhood. It didn't happen until after her death. There was actually finally formed a Southern Women's Association against lynching and they did campaign against lynching. For a period of time they were base the Methodist church, and it was after a particularly horrific lynching in Texas. They were led by a woman named Jessie Daniel Ames, A-M-E-S. For a period of time, they actually prevented some lynchings from taking place, and they gave truth to the lie about black men as rapists. So, I raised this because it's very easy for us to think that the way to deal with rape is through the law. Well, that's one avenue that's true. But our judicial system and police system is also very racist. So, we know this now, don't we? Through the Black Lives Matter Movement and through so many other instances. We know that this is true. So, you can't just rely on the law, and trials, and courts, and so forth to deal with this question by itself because the system itself is so compromised by racism. So, I point this out to try to say nothing about the oppression of women and nothing about racial oppression is simple. They are intertwined. They are interconnected, and it requires more than legal strategy more than police policing. It requires a shift in our communities of consciousness around these issues, and communities coming together in ways to defuse the violence, and to oppose, especially in this instance, misogyny that is the hatred of women, and the violence toward women. So, we have a lot of work to do as a social justice movement, but we also have a lot of courage, and a lot of precedent of women that have come forward and the Black Lives Matter Movement. So, it's interesting to me that at this moment, we have two hashtags, #MeToo ,#BlackLivesMatter. Black Lives Matter started by three black women. So, intertwined. Then we find a way to bring to fruition a more constructive approach towards social justice.