Probably a Mistake

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Dec. 6 2010 12:05 PM

Probably a Mistake

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Ginni Thomas is now saying it was " probably a mistake " for her to leave a recent phone message on Anita Hill’s office answering machine asking her to apologize to her husband, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. I think Ginni Thomas is onto something. Her early-morning dialing should go on a list of things people have done that were also "probably a mistake." For example, it was probably a mistake for Justice Thomas to mention he thought there was a pubic hair on his Coke can. It was probably a mistake for George W. Bush to pose in front of a "Mission Accomplished" sign just before the Iraq war went bad. Probably a mistake for Bill Clinton to notice Monica Lewinsky’s thong. Also probably a mistake for Barack Obama to use "guns," "cling," and "religion" in the same sentence. I think, however, we can assume Ginni Thomas will not try to right her mistake by apologizing to Hill for making that insulting and intrusive phone call.

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Photograph of Anita Hill by Scott Wintrow for Getty Images.

Emily Yoffe is a regular Slate contributor. She writes the Dear Prudence column.