otto's war room banner

otto's war room banner

Sunday, December 24, 2017

"me too" – a global response to sexual harassment

 From A World to Win News Service:
When courageous women brought out their reports of sexual harassment and worse by the powerful Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein in late 2017, women around the world brought forth a tsunami of rage in response to the call to add their stories to the #metoo Twitter hashtag. So far women from more than 85 countries have spoken out about what they were once afraid to tell for fear of the humiliation and further physical violence they would face.

While the largest response came from the U.S., where the #metoo hashtag originated, huge numbers of women in Europe and India and many other places have also joined in. Indian women still seethe over the 2012 brutal gang rape of 23-year-old medical student Jyoti Singh in New Delhi, which ultimately led to her death, and the official culture that they hold responsible. Given the daily sexual harassment and threats Indian women face, #metoo is now part of the national conversation. 

Under the tag #balancetonporc (rat out your pig) French women responded even before #metoo went global and viral. Sexual harassment of women is so institutionalized and normalized in France that even after the 2011 New York arrest on rape charges of Dominique Strauss Kahn, the Socialist Party candidate for the presidential elections that were coming up, he was defended or simply excused by most of the political and intellectual establishment – to the outrage of many French women. Now, encouraged by sisters around the world, French women are becoming a major part of the #metoo moment.

French: #BalanceTonPorc
(rat out your pig) Italian: #QuellaVoltaChe Spanish: #YoTambién 
Canadian: #MoiAussi
Hebrew: גםאנחנו Arabic: أنا_كمان # Chinese: #我也是
South Korean: #
나도 Vietnamese: #TôiCũngVy (Map from October 2017)

In parts of Africa, despite rampant domestic violence and strong cultural and religious taboos, many women broke the silence. "Sexual harassment is so endemic in society that it is almost a right for men in Nigeria," said 39-year-old Faustina Anyanwu, who posted on Twitter about harassment when she worked as a nurse. The treatment received from Indonesian authorities is so horrendous one woman said, "I wish I was murdered instead so nobody had to doubt whether or not I was really raped." Conditions liked these have severely undermined women's freedom to publicly protest, even on the Net.

A study by Thomson Reuters Foundation considered Cairo (after Delhi and Sao Paulo) one of the most dangerous mega-cities in the world for women. Some 43 percent of Egyptian men believe that women appreciate being sexually harassed. Describing what it is like to be on the streets of Cairo, one activist woman tweeted, "Some weeks are better than some, but some days really break you and it takes a lot of mending strength to face the streets again." It is common to hear reactionary voices like those of one Egyptian journalist who argued that in the Arab world, if women insist on talking openly about sexual violence, that will only open the floodgates to further vilifying the victims.

Women all around the world are deeply affected by the rotten cultural relations that promote sexual harassment and violence against women and the institutions that enable it. Those relations are deeply rooted in the patriarchal organization of society over thousands of years and the force of traditional ideas of women as the property of men and child breeders, all of which is institutionalized and perpetuated by the capitalist-imperialist system. This affects women of all ages, starting from before girl babies are even born (with the targeted abortion of female fetuses) to the stifling of intellectual pursuits in girls, pornography and the all-pervasive demeaning images of women that shut down their creative contributions and imprison them. Tenets of all the major religions uphold this oppression of women. It is an open wound that affects half of humanity and cannot be fully uprooted without uprooting the kind of society that breeds this oppression. Women can and must play a major role in this uprooting to gain complete liberation for themselves and all humanity.

We invite our readers to read and contribute to a new feature on this important question at Their aim is to "unleash the fury of women as a mighty force for revolution."
Go to

Root Boy Slim - I'm Not Too Old For You

No comments: