The Socialist

The Socialist 31 January 2018

Save our NHS - kick out the privatisers

The Socialist issue 980

NHS: use the 3 February protests as a launch pad for a mass movement

NHS we're ready to fight

Northern health campaigns conference discusses the fightback

8,000 strong petition opposes closure of Sheffield health services

Labour NHS rally reveals horrors but offers no way forward

Leicester NHS protest


Trump as Nixon: urgent questions about press freedom and the state

Capitalism v cricket


For workplace trade union organisation against sexual harassment

Presidents Club sexism scandal: what you thought

100 years since women won the vote


Victory for Hackney school cleaners!

Local government workers' reps reject 2% pay offer

University workers' walkout for decent pensions

Merseyrail protest

Supermarket's slash jobs - union fightback needed

Cammell Lairds strikers demand improved pay and conditions


Labour civil war re-erupts over Haringey regeneration project

Tory infighting escalates - workers' action can oust them

Failing academy chain strips school assets - end academisation!

Capitalists fear for their system at Davos

Majority of kids poor in some areas


Fat cat vice chancellors schooled by Brum students

Confident London Socialist Party conference discusses key issues

Your newspaper fights with you: help fund it with May Day greetings

Bristol anti-cuts campaigners debate alternatives to the cuts


Stop the war on the Kurds

Sudan: Free Mohamed Satti

Vienna: 50,000 march against racism and austerity

 
 
 
 
 

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For workplace trade union organisation against sexual harassment

photo Quinn Dombrowski/Creative Commons, photo Quinn Dombrowski/Creative Commons

photo Quinn Dombrowski/Creative Commons, photo Quinn Dombrowski/Creative Commons   (Click to enlarge)

Tessa Warrington, East Midlands Socialist Party

Despite the ongoing slew of allegations revealing the endemic nature of sexual harassment in Hollywood and Westminster and despite the formal denunciation of this culture by the establishment, the scandal over the Presidents Club charity dinner shows that behind closed doors the rich and powerful feel as entitled to women's bodies as ever.

Undercover journalists for the Financial Times described the groping, propositioning and harassment experienced by hostesses, the only women at the men-only charity auction.

The women were required to wear revealing outfits with matching underwear and to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which they were not provided with a copy of, or given a chance to read.

The attendees of the event were from the select elite of British business, politics, finance and entertainment.

Being auctioned were the chance to have dinner with Boris Johnson and Bank of England governor Mark Carney as well as plastic surgery to "add spice to your wife".

The revelations have led to charities returning donations, the closure of the Presidents Club itself and the resignation of event organiser David Meller from the Department for Education board.

Even the Tory Minister for Women, MP Anne Milton, was forced to admit in parliament: "There is an association between rich, wealthy people and this sort of behaviour".

While it is clear that the imbalance of power which can lead to a sense of entitlement and objectification is pervasive among the super-rich, it is also endemic in workplaces across the whole of society.

Women workers in bars, restaurants and hotels especially face daily sexual harassment but don't speak out for fear of losing their jobs.

Many of the hostesses at the Presidents Club were students or part time actors, struggling to advance their careers and make ends meet.

If not for the exposé, it is possible the women would never have come forward, not wanting to risk future employment, or due to feeling reliant on their harassers for job opportunities.

It cannot be left up to brave individuals to speak out, possibly putting their livelihoods at risk. The scale of the #MeToo phenomenon demonstrates the potential for a united women's movement, but this unity must be built in the workplace and community not just on social media.

Organised in trade unions, these women, together with their male worker colleagues, can have the power to fight against the threat of both their own harassment and assault as well as against the power imbalance between workers and the bosses created by the exploitative capitalist system.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 25 January 2018 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.


In this issue


Save our NHS

NHS: use the 3 February protests as a launch pad for a mass movement

NHS we're ready to fight

Northern health campaigns conference discusses the fightback

8,000 strong petition opposes closure of Sheffield health services

Labour NHS rally reveals horrors but offers no way forward

Leicester NHS protest


Opinion

Trump as Nixon: urgent questions about press freedom and the state

Capitalism v cricket


Women's liberation

For workplace trade union organisation against sexual harassment

Presidents Club sexism scandal: what you thought

100 years since women won the vote


Socialist Party workplace news

Victory for Hackney school cleaners!

Local government workers' reps reject 2% pay offer

University workers' walkout for decent pensions

Merseyrail protest

Supermarket's slash jobs - union fightback needed

Cammell Lairds strikers demand improved pay and conditions


Socialist Party news and analysis

Labour civil war re-erupts over Haringey regeneration project

Tory infighting escalates - workers' action can oust them

Failing academy chain strips school assets - end academisation!

Capitalists fear for their system at Davos

Majority of kids poor in some areas


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Fat cat vice chancellors schooled by Brum students

Confident London Socialist Party conference discusses key issues

Your newspaper fights with you: help fund it with May Day greetings

Bristol anti-cuts campaigners debate alternatives to the cuts


International socialist news and analysis

Stop the war on the Kurds

Sudan: Free Mohamed Satti

Vienna: 50,000 march against racism and austerity


 

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