Belabored Podcast #137: Sex, Power, and Labor Rights, with Ariane Hegewisch

Belabored Podcast #137: Sex, Power, and Labor Rights, with Ariane Hegewisch

Sexual harassment is a labor issue.

Beyond Harvey Weinstein, we discuss what women do when they experience harassment in their own workplace (Thomas Hawk / Flickr)
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The Harvey Weinstein affair has sparked public outrage and an outpouring of #MeToo stories on social media. It may also spur collective solidarity among women workers who increasingly see sexual violence as an issue not just of gender but of economic justice as well. Is the labor movement listening? We speak with Ariane Hegewisch of the Institute for Women’s Policy and Research to understand the ramifications of sexual violence in the workplace for labor policy and the labor movement as a whole, and how workers and their unions can go beyond the “whisper network” to mobilize against sexual abuse at work.

We also highlight more positive news about DC’s groundbreaking bill to decriminalize sex work, unionizing graduate workers in Chicago, and UK fast food workers having a very British McStrike. With recommended reading on labor struggles as feminist struggles, and whisper networks as public weapons.

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University of Chicago grad students vote to unionize (Chicago Tribune)

Fast food workers stand up for themselves and #McStrike – we’re loving it! (Red Pepper)

New Bill Would Decriminalize Sex Work In D.C. (DCist)



Ariane Hegewisch, Program Director on Employment & Earnings at Institute for Women’s Policy and Research

Violence and Safety (IWPR)

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace (National Women’s Law Center)

Argh, I Wish Id Written That!

Sarah: Dayna Tortorici, Lean Out: Feminist struggles are labor struggles (Harper’s)

Michelle: Alex Press, It’s time to weaponize the “whisper network” (Vox)