LOS ANGELES (USA) — Countless allegations of sexual assault committed by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein have helped to expose the exploitative and manipulative natures of other men in power. However, all men aren’t the enemy, just like all women aren’t our allies. The #MeToo movement has led many women in media to come out in protest of sexual misconduct and the devaluing of women in the work place, which has been happening for years.
This year Oprah Winfrey got the Golden Globes lifetime achievement award and gave a media-grabbing speech that urged women to speak up and say “time’s up” to these exploitative practices. Mass media have believed she may eventually run for president, but the critical question that we need to ask is why now? Oprah Winfrey has for years been a capitalist tool for deceiving women and has used her platform to fool the masses into believing that “if you believe you can achieve” in this system, which in turn has helped build her billion-dollar empire.
While emphasizing the importance of the #MeToo Movement, Oprah spoke about Recy Taylor, a black woman who was gang raped by six white men while walking home from church in 1944. Taylor’s story is not new, but it is significant because she spoke out and went to the NAACP where Rosa Parks advocated on her behalf. Although her attackers were never prosecuted, Oprah felt it was important to add her in the speech because of the how sadly still culturally relevant her story is to women around the world. Oprah’s speech may have been effective in getting the masses on board with the #MeToo movement and adding another trendy hashtag like the slogan #TimesUp, but can she really be considered the same as working class women?
Facts are Oprah is friends with Harvey Weinstein, just like Hillary Clinton. Clinton remained silent about him, and actually saved a top advisor from firing due to his sexual misconduct. Massive protest and outrage across the U.S. have commenced since Trump’s election last year.
This year marked the second annual women’s march where here in Los Angeles an estimated 600,000 people took to the streets once again in protest against Trump’s regime, part of a mobilization of over four million over all. ICWP was present as well, distributing over a thousand copies of our newspaper Red Flag. Women are standing up to sexism—but we will only finally defeat sexism in a communist society.
The end of the march at LA City Hall saw famous actresses and elected officials calling the protestors to register to vote. The ruling class, afraid of workers’ anger, is desperate to channel it into electoral politics. We’ve tried this. Our party, having learned from the past, knows that these reform struggles will only end in the status quo. We need communism now, not another politician or another hashtag.
Male communists must give leadership to other men in fighting sexism. Men must see women as comrades and not just objects of sexual pleasure and the caregivers of children. Women play a leading role in our party, and will play an important role in maintaining a society run by the working class. We know that you can’t vote someone into office and expect one woman or man to do what takes the collective struggle of men and women. Only when working-class men and women make this breakthrough to understand that elected officials, whether men or women, don’t have our best interest at heart, can we truly live in a society where both men and women can live and work with each other as equals. That world is a communist one and we all need to fight for nothing less.
Recy Taylor, 1944