Rebecca Traister-among my least favorite bourgeois , faux feminists-concludes her recent column by arguing that the ultimate solution to men such as Harvey Weinstein abusing their power in the workplace is “not just them going to rehab.” Rather it’s to “Put women in power.” This quickly, and predictably, morphs into an apologia for what consumed most of Traister’s energies over the past year, namely, her strident advocacy for the Clinton candidacy-as if there is any positive connection.
That said, there is a connection: a negative one. Weinstein was a long time friend and supporter of the Clintons, and given Hillary’s own history of apologizing for her husband’s record of sexual misconduct, it is a safe bet that her administration would have done little to aid Weinstein’s accusers, or those confronting other powerful men, provided, of course, that the latter had been dues paying members of the club, which many were .
With that in mind, it’s worth returning to Traister’s question: what would have done the most to counteract the workplace climate of impunity which made predatory males such as Weinstein inevitable. The answer is, of course, well known albeit one which Traister and others of her neoliberal orientation can never suggest, namely, empowerment of workers through collective bargaining, or, in a word, unions.
Those who read it will recall this was point 5) of my piece A Moral Panic: Cui Bono. I should say that I have had some second thoughts about it, which require me to re-read what I wrote expecting to find something glaringly wrong about it. In fact, I can’t honestly say that there’s anything in it which requires revision or retraction. Further discussion, yes, but there is nothing in it, or the foundation of assumptions on which it is constructed, that I would apologize for.
I can’t imagine that Traister and others sharing her ideological orientation can honestly say the same thing.