Sexual harassment: Breaking the silence everywhere‭… ‬at work too

Following the‭ ‬revelations about Harvey Weinstein’s case,‭ ‬more and more women have started to talk on social networks,‭ ‬and they took to the streets on October‭ ‬29th to condemn sexual harassment.‭ ‬Media engagement on the topic is reinforced by the avalanche of well-known figures denounced for harassment or rape.

Police everywhere,‭ ‬justice nowhere
‭ ‬Macron promised a new law on sexual harassment for‭ ‬2018.‭ ‬He used this to sneak in the long planned‭ “‬daily safety police‭”‬.‭ ‬But who will believe there will be less harassment in the street simply with more cops in the subway‭? ‬Even if it was possible to catch gender-based abuse in the act‭ – ‬not very likely‭ – ‬what will the police do‭? ‬The police often refuse to file rape complaints.‭ ‬And cops are‭ ‬sometimes the rapists,‭ ‬as we saw‭ ‬in the case of the rapist cops‭ ‬at the Quai des Orfevres.
‭ ‬ And guess what,‭ ‬Macron considers‭ ‬that‭ ‬most of the harassment happens in‭ “‬the roughest neighbourhoods‭” … ‬that’s wrong‭! ‬It happens everywhere,‭ ‬and to our knowledge,‭ ‬Harvey Weinstein did not operate in Los Angeles ghettos‭! ‬Recent news and all studies show that harassment and sexual abuse happens in all social circles.‭ ‬Macron insults women victims by using harassment for security and racist purposes,‭ ‬to‭ ‬reinforce racial profiling and questioning.

‭ ‬25%‭ ‬of sexual‭ ‬violence happen in the workplace.‭ ‬One in five women is a victim of harassment during her professional life.‭ ‬This is‭ ‬also‭ ‬being revealed following the‭ ‬Weinstein story,‭ ‬at least on social media with the Twitter thread‭ ‬#MeToo.‭ ‬Even in France,‭ ‬with‭ ‬#BalanceTonPorc,‭ ‬which translates into‭ ‬#ExposeYourPig.‭ ‬A powerful counter strike,‭ ‬whereby women denounce abuse and sexual harassment at work,‭ ‬usually from a supervisor or a boss.‭ ‬Everyday they have to fight‭ ‬dirty words or behaviours,‭ ‬even aggression‭… ‬facing management,‭ ‬threats,‭ ‬and even job loss.
‭ ‬At the same time,‭ ‬the government just got rid of one of the few weak legal‭ ‬mechanisms that help fight harassment:‭ ‬the‭ ‬health,‭ ‬safety and working conditions committee.‭ ‬All the successive governments have been responsible in large part for women’s wages being‭ ‬24%‭ ‬less than men’s,‭ ‬for abortion rights being threatened by the closing of many family planning centres,‭ ‬and for less than‭ ‬2%‭ ‬of rape cases leading to a conviction.

In‭ ‬21st century‭ ‬France,‭ ‬84,000‭ ‬women are raped each year and sexual‭ ‬violence‭ ‬is part of their daily life.‭
The capitalist society‭ ‬relies on this‭ ‬subjugation of women.‭ ‬It uses it to divide‭ ‬the oppressed,‭ ‬the workers,‭ ‬with support from all religions,‭ ‬which have always seen women as responsible for sins‭…‬ and today see them as responsible for men’s sexuality.

‭ ‬Women are neither preys for‭ ‬the lustful,‭ ‬nor trophies for the powerful to collect.‭ ‬The media interest will probably wane rapidly,‭ ‬but it forced us to realise there is a fundamental problem.‭ ‬For things to change,‭ ‬the balance of power will have to be reversed.‭ ‬It is time to defend ourselves collectively against these men who use the power given to them by this exploitative society.‭ ‬It is time to‭ ‬react collectively against‭ ‬sexual harassment and even rape at the workplace.‭
This fight will‭ ‬help‭ ‬change the balance of power,‭ ‬so that someday these oppressions will be stopped for good.