#MeToo is approaching its flame out. (See David Walsh's "The petition against Matt Damon and the 'erasing' of Kevin Spacey: The fiercely antidemocratic character of the sexual misconduct campaign.") Apparently there is a campaign to erase Matt Damon's brief appearance in the all-female Ocean's 8 because he is alleged to have provided cover for Harvey Weinstein's sexual predations.Walsh argues that
For the [New York] Times and the American ruling elite, the obsessive publicizing of allegations of sexual wrongdoing reflects in part the desire to “change the subject” from the social disaster in America, the cancerous growth of social inequality and the eruption of US militarism around the globe. It also serves to deepen the attack on democratic rights and inure the population to the “disappearing” of heretical or controversial figures, helping to set the stage for outright mass political repression.
The arrogant, self-absorbed and affluent layer, male and female, pursuing the campaign also has its own economic and social agenda. Individuals who are already in many cases privileged and wealthy would have us believe that sexual harassment, which now includes a wide range of behavior, is a martyrdom and its victims are among the most put-upon and oppressed members of society.
Such a claim would have been unthinkable even a few decades ago. It was generally recognized then, and not simply by socialists, that the working class and the poor, and especially working-class and poor women, were the principal sufferers in modern society. There has been a huge economic and ideological shift. A self-absorbed upper middle class, determined to elbow everyone else out of the way, now insists that its experiences are earthshaking and world-historical.
This layer, made wealthy by the stock market boom, various media and entertainment industry activities and other parasitic enterprises, is distant from and hostile to the working class. Like the American ruling elite as a whole, it is utterly contemptuous of democratic principles.I think the Trotskyites at WSWS are wide of the mark here. To NYT's credit, it ran a lengthy, excellent front-pager about entrenched, decades-long sexual harassment at two Ford plants in Chicago -- see "How Tough Is It to Change a Culture of Harassment? Ask Women at Ford," by Susan Chira and Catrin Einhorn -- which is the really real reality that #MeToo is up against, not censoring the content of the arts & leisure page.
#MeToo has come about because more women are becoming managers, executives -- leaders -- in our capitalist world. The preposterous fiction that patriarchy sits its fat sweaty ass upon -- that father knows best -- had to come tumbling down sooner or later. Let's hope that #MeToo doesn't prematurely disappear because of a drift to puritanical censorship. Let's hope it's given enough time to trickle down to the shop floor and the construction site.