From: Susan Estrich
To: Stuart Taylor Jr.
Posted Thursday, Nov. 7, 1996, at 3:30 AM ET
This is going to be fun. Before too long, I hope, we can talk about what really interests me, which is that sex is back at work–and that might just be fine, if we could just learn to respect each other. My students wear unbelievably short skirts to interviews and assert the right to flirt to equalize things with the guys, who talk about sports. I think they might be right. So, first Anita and Paula, and we can fight about who is consistent, and who has bad motives, and then on to what matters.
Let me begin. I don’t really think of either of these as sexual-harassment cases, if you want to know the truth. What troubled me in the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas affair was less what he said to her a decade ago (you know me, I would’ve laughed and told him to get lost, but she’s not me, and he was chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission–which makes him pretty “shabby” in my book, but wouldn’t disqualify him from a seat on the Supreme Court) than what those senators did to her, and how Clarence Thomas–a man I thought unqualified to serve on the Supreme Court–responded by playing the race card and turning himself into the victim of a racially motivated attack. I wouldn’t want Johnnie Cochran to be on the Supreme Court either.