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Tainted Witness : Why We Doubt What Women Say About Their Lives.

By: Gilmore, Leigh.
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Gender and culture: Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, 2017Description: 1 online resource (236 pages).Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780231543446; 0231543441.Subject(s): Sex discrimination against women -- Law and legislation | Sex discrimination -- Law and legislation | Sex discrimination in criminal justice administration | Witnesses -- Public opinion | Crime -- Sex differencesAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Tainted Witness : Why We Doubt What Women Say About Their Lives.DDC classification: 342.7308/78 LOC classification: K3243Online resources: Click here to view this ebook. Summary: In 1991, Anita Hill brought testimony and scandal into America's living rooms during televised Senate confirmation hearings in which she detailed the sexual harassment she had suffered at the hands of Clarence Thomas. The male Senate Judiciary Committee refused to take Hill seriously, and the veracity of Hill's claims were sullied in the mainstream media. Hill was defamed as #x93;a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty," and Thomas was confirmed. The tainting of Hill and her testimony are part of a larger social history in which women find themselves caught up in a system that refuses to believ.
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K3243 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/gilm17714 Available ocn966491393

Print version record.

In 1991, Anita Hill brought testimony and scandal into America's living rooms during televised Senate confirmation hearings in which she detailed the sexual harassment she had suffered at the hands of Clarence Thomas. The male Senate Judiciary Committee refused to take Hill seriously, and the veracity of Hill's claims were sullied in the mainstream media. Hill was defamed as #x93;a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty," and Thomas was confirmed. The tainting of Hill and her testimony are part of a larger social history in which women find themselves caught up in a system that refuses to believ.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Gilmore (women's & gender studies, Wellesley Coll.; The Limits of Autobiography) has written an incisive exploration of women's testaments, considering why women are routinely disbelieved when they speak about their lives. Across five chapters, bracketed by a substantive introduction and conclusion, the author considers how these late 20th- and early 21st-century accounts were generated, circulated, and received. Gilmore argues that doubt haunts the reception of women's stories-particularly those describing sexual trauma-as they travel networks of popular media, legal proceedings, and literature. As the majority of Gilmore's witnesses are women of color (Anita Hill, Rigoberta Menchú, Nafissatou Diallo, and #BlackLivesMatter activists, among others), perceived unreliability owing to race also plays a central role in the analysis. Gilmore packs this work with densely interwoven examples and investigations; consequently, some examples remain underexplored and several theoretical aspects could have been clearer. For example, the notion of neoliberal storytelling or the concept of the "adequate witness" who successfully receives the circulating testimony. VERDICT This compelling contribution to the scholarly literature on women's narratives will be of interest to those who study female agency in law, literature, and popular opinion.-Anna J. Clutterbuck-Cook, Massachusetts Historical Soc. Lib., Boston © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Gilmore (women's and gender studies, Wellesley) apples an unflinching feminist critique to questions of credibility that seem to be the default position when the testimony of women is considered. The author begins with a reexamination of Anita Hill's testimony in the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She illustrates how the issue began with Hill's experience of a common scenario in the life of a woman of color, fixing her assertions in the foundations of both race and gender. Thomas took away Hill's foundation of race by claiming for himself the role of a racial victim of a "high tech lynching." Hill's testimony was reduced to the common he said-she said equation that so often devalues the testimony of a female victim. Gilmore examines the cases of Rigoberta Menchu and Nafissatou Diallo. In both of those cases, it is clear that the credibility of Menchu and Diallo's testimonies were compromised by their gender. Further, Gilmore examines the phenomenon of a "proxy witness," in which it is beneficial or even necessary in the patriarchy that a man tell the story of the woman victim. A very provocative and well-grounded work that deserves considerable attention. Summing Up: Essential. All public and academic levels/libraries. --Fred E. Knowles, Valdosta State University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Leigh Gilmore, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at Wellesley College, is the author of The Limits of Autobiography: Trauma and Testimony (2001) and Autobiographics: A Feminist Theory of Women's Self-Representation (1994) and coeditor of Autobiography and Postmodernism (1994). She has published articles in Feminist Studies, Signs, Women's Studies Quarterly, and Biography, among others, and in numerous collections. She was Dorothy Cruickshank Backstrand Chair of Gender and Women's Studies at Scripps College, professor of English at the Ohio State University, and has held visiting appointments at Brown University, Harvard Divinity School, Northeastern University, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the University of California, Berkeley.

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