Mills President Elizabeth L. Hillman’s Commentary Featured in the San Francisco Chronicle

Oakland, CA—July 11, 2018

In an opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle, Mills College President Elizabeth L. Hillman explains how U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s acceptance speech reveals his sexism.

In accepting the president’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh said, “I am proud that a majority of my law clerks have been women.” “In that instant,” says Hillman, “Kavanaugh joined the ranks of those who appear to be supporting gender equity but in fact are holding it back.”

A report, co-authored by President Hillman, and recently released by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, reveals that the data about gender harassment are overwhelming and conclusive. 

“Gender harassment is the most common, and the most commonly excused, form of sexual harassment. It makes all the better-known forms of sexual harassment more likely,” says Hillman. “Examples abound, some of which reveal the harm of comments like Kavanaugh’s.”

According to Hillman, the academies’ consensus report reveals that, despite decades of reform and increasing representation of women, sexual harassment remains prevalent. Women who choose to study science, engineering and medicine today face a high probability of enduring sexual harassment, especially if they identify with the demographic groups that are most at risk: women of color, sexual and gender minorities, migrants and immigrants, and people with disabilities.

You can read President Hillman’s opinion piece in today’s San Francisco Chronicle.