[Marxism] MeToo solidarity must extend to working class women

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Fri Dec 8 01:58:25 MST 2017

Sexual harassment is both a labor and gender justice issue. After all, the
workplace is the epicenter of women’s recent outrage about sexual
harassment and assault. Hollywood titans, respected reporters, and
celebrity chefs all used their power over women’s paychecks in order to
gain power over their bodies. Women (and some men) have responded by
speaking out individually, yet their inspiration is decidedly collective;
strength in numbers is what’s fueling the revelatory headlines. Women’s
#MeToo tsunami, in fact, is perhaps the largest collective labor action of
the early twenty-first century.  In order for this riveting social movement
to have a lasting impact, #MeToo solidarity must impact more than the
elite. Workplace culture and expectations must shift for average,
working-class women, too.

While Hollywood actresses and elite journalists dominate the headlines
about sexual harassment, research reveals that working-class women are the
most likely victims of workplace sexual intimidation and assault. The Center
for American Progress
at a decade’s worth of EEOC claims and found that waitresses and retail
clerks are the most likely to face sexual harassment on the job, followed
closely by manufacturing workers and those in health care.  A full 80
percent of restaurant workers
with harassment on the job, including two-thirds who have to fend off
management predators. Women are the most likely to work low-wage jobs
power imbalances are sharpest, and that’s especially true for women of

Effective solutions to workplace sexual abuse must empower women on the
job, especially young, working-class women who are the most vulnerable. The
Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United is playing a leading role,
demanding an end to the sub-minimum wage that leave so many tipped workers
vulnerable to intimidation.  Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin have even joined
the group’s crusade, speaking out
 and posting viral videos
the topic.


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