Sunday, September 25, 2016

North Country

Following up on this post, I re-watched the movie North Country last night. I re-watched the movie North Country last night. It's based on the true story of Lois Jenson, who worked in a northern Minnesota iron mine. Sexual harassment, including rape and assault, was accepted, rampant and yes, deplorable not only in the mine but in the time period of the movie, the mid-70s. So the main character played by Charlize Theron fights back with complaints to management that were not only not addressed but received only further harassment. When that fails she quits and hires a lawyer. She tried to get her female co-workers to join in the lawsuit but they were afraid to lose the only good-paying job* in town. After Jenson is further harassed, belittled and brow beaten by the company lawyer during trial, her co-workers too have finally had enough and join the suit, which becomes the first class-action sexual harassment in our history.

So in reference to the last linked post, we the people can fight back and defeat the onerous company overlords if we but stick together and organize.
Yes, it is a very long, hard road that makes our lives even more miserable for a time than the one that the company deals us. But victories like these not only make our lives better in the end but make the lives of everyone else after us better too, since now it is a commonplace that companies have sexual harassment policies and severe punishments for infractions. Without that first woman taking a stand and deciding to fight, no matter the cost, it is doubtful progress would have ever been made. That the likes of Trump and his merry band of deplorables want to actually regress to that time period where men where the boss of their spouses, with full right to abuse them is they so desired, is testament that the fight is still long from over. We must remain vigilant and prepared to fight these same battles again and again until we finally defeat the forces of regression and win our permanent civil rights.

Provided, or course, if we have the courage and will to fight back. The oligarchy has made sure to take the fight out of us with the constant struggle to make ends meet, and pacify us with the latest technological toys like the new I-phone. Plus, just like in the movie, they re-direct our anger and frustration unto women (or immigrants and minorities), as if they were the cause of our problems, not the dirty invisible hand that abuses us while chained to our dungeons.

* Note that such good-paying, blue-collar jobs are now a rarity in the US. The owners have long ago decided to move such jobs overseas, where they pay workers pennies on the dollar compared to the US and there aren't any of those troublesome sexual harassment laws, let alone health and safety regulations.

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