The radical left’s #metoo moment – all thirty-plus years of it

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28/04/2020 by socialistfight

Whilst I have many and serious political differences with Simon Pirani’s subsequent political evolution his account here is excellent, as is his overall view of the importance of the issue of women’s oppression and power relations under the patriarchal system that is endemic to capitalism itself. Clare Cowen’s book is now out and reinforces the content of this piece. And tribute too to the initiative of Clare and Liz Leicester in arranging that meeting and producing that article to which Simin refers. I have written much on the misogyny of David North’s WSWS:

What a shocking article by Eric London in the WSWS! [1] The real outrage in this trial was Harvey Weinstein’s misogynistic female defence council Donna Rotunno. The 80 odd women who complained about the actions of this gross sexual predator were all lying, and he alone was telling the truth, is their message. [2] You would have to be some outrageous misogynistic monster yourself to believe that.
And the tens of millions Weinstein spent in settlements with gag clauses over past decades were just false allegations, apparently. [3] As with Roman Polanski and Dominic Straus Kahn WSWS/SEP always displays its contempt for the victims of rich and/or powerful men. The Hollywood casting couch is just a myth against great artistic men and the victims are just little whores, they believe.
WSWS learned nothing from the expulsion of Gerry Healy from the Workers Revolutionary Party in 1985 for a decades’ long history of sexual abuse and rape of party members. This is a truly shameful article in a history of shameful articles on this subject. Some of Healy’s victims were their own supporters whose harrowing testimony I listened to with initial disbelief, then with sympathy and finally understanding.
[1] WSWS, Eric London, 26 February 2020, The New York Times gloats over the destruction of “the Monster” Weinstein,
[2] Brooks Barnes and Jan Ransom, May 23, 2019, New York Times, Harvey Weinstein Is Said to Reach $44 Million Deal to Settle Lawsuits,
[3] Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, Oct. 5, 2017, New Your Times, Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades,

Shiraz Socialist (Second Run)


Above: Caroline Leneghan

By Simon Pirani, April 2018

The #metoo campaign may have started with last year’s revolt in Hollywood – but it has produced an avalanche of action, by women who couldn’t live further from that elite make-believe factory, against sexual violence and abuse. Migrant farmworkers, restaurant and other workers, American trade union activists and socialist feminists organising the “international women’s strike” are among those who have taken up the cudgels.

The #metoo movement seems to be helping to rewrite the rules of powerful men’s behaviour. It has built on decades of feminist militancy, and given some victims, and potential victims, more tools to resist: not only workplace procedures or contract clauses, but also changing perceptions of, and wider understanding of, how to challenge abuse. #Metoo has fed into new battles over the gender pay gap. It helped inspire the US school students’ revolt against gun…

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