At the beginning of the star studded Glamour magazine’s annual Women of the Year awards, 79-year-old Democratic U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters of California amazed the crowd including hundreds of cheering young girls — with a rousing speech that ended on a very political note. “Impeach him,” she exhorted the audience. “Impeach 45! Impeach 45!”
“There’s a feeling in the air,” she told the crowd at the beginning. She didn’t have to explain that she was referring to the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal and the subsequent cascade of allegations in Hollywood and elsewhere, with both women and men coming forward to accuse powerful men of sexual harassment, assault
“This is a singular moment for women,” Leive said. “I am so glad that we get to seize it.”
One of the most powerful moments in the ceremony came when the two New York Times reporters who broke the Weinstein story — Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey — took the stage to introduce a quartet of women who had experienced sexual harassment or assault. The first to speak: Anita Hill, who has been a symbol of the fight against sexual harassment ever since she testified in 1991 against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. She hadn’t gotten the result she wanted back then, she explained — Thomas was confirmed anyway — but in just a few years, official complaints of sexual harassment skyrocketed. “I saw that we had a chance to shift the narrative,” Hill said.
Maxine then told the crowd that not only did she want them to vote but also to become politically active. She added, “I want you to do everything you can to get ready to run for office,” she said.
“I started as a farm girl in Iowa,” an emotional Whitson said. “I dreamed of being an astronaut and an explorer, and I made it.” She told the young women that it had taken 10 years of trying before she finally was accepted in the space program.