Saturday, November 25, 2017

Job Rights and Sexual Harassment

Job Rights and Sexual Harassment

The recent spate of sexual harassment charges against a growing number of men by a growing number of women derives directly from the U.S. history of labor relations. Notice the majority of charges occur as part of employment and while on the job. The harassers tend to be past middle aged white men accustomed to giving authoritarian orders to people who have no job rights.

As I recall from my high school history, it was all white men who wrote our constitution. In spite of the “all men are created equal” stuff in the Declaration of Independence, their constitution left women out entirely and then created a whole under class of people with no rights at all; slaves they were called. We did have a great civil war to end slavery, but authoritarian white male privilege and notions derived in part from dictatorial authority over slave women, who I have read, were subjected to some grimy and disgusting sexual abuse. Unlike slaves you can quit your job, but in the United States employees work at will; anyone can be dismissed at any time and without cause or explanation. If you dare to study closely your job rights under U.S. state and federal law be sure to compare them with slavery.

Privileged white men of authority hate any communitarian self help efforts like labor unions and they have successfully neutralized those efforts since 1789. Remember Trump bragged about groping married women before the election. Sexual harassment will continue unabated in the current environment of labor law. Well defined job rights remain as an essential precursor to ending, or even reducing, sexual harassment.

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