What happens now that IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn (as of today, make that former director) has posted $1,000,000 bail while hiring the world’s most expensive defense lawyers for his rape trial?
Now the victim gets pilloried.
Her name has been published in France and on the web, where fantasies of her being a whore are rampant (apparently it’s okay to rape a prostitute). The French gang of good ole boys (and, doubly shamefully, gals) have proclaimed themselves in shock — shock! — that a pillar of society like DSK could be treated by the NYPD like a common criminal. So what if rape is criminal assault? Handcuffs are fine for the lower classes, but for the privileged few? How dare those Americans! Can’t they see she’s just a maid?
Once again, as DSK’s lawyers dig up every detail of the victim’s life and twist it to make it appear slutty, it’ll be clear why rape is so drastically under-reported. This woman has real courage. Most victims simply can’t face the idea of being picked apart and violated again and again in the press and by the defense, who will do everything they can to “prove” that she is a lying, vengeful, publicity-seeking slut. Like the mob that raped CBS reporter Lara Logan in Tahrir Square, they will do their best to pull her apart.
Could you pass the slut test?
Imagine it: every detail of your personal and work life put on public view and twisted into leering ‘significance.’ Every date, every drink, every tittle and every tattle of gossip or innuendo, every misstep you ever made will be paraded as “proof.” Only a hermit could pass this test.
You’ve had sex before — guilty.
You are poor — guilty.
You are black — guilty.
You are a single mother — guilty.
You have breasts and a vagina — guilty.
You are human — guilty.
How did you even dream of daring to bring such a charge against a wealthy, powerful, white man? Who do you think you are? You’re just a cleaning woman. Just a nobody. Just another lying slut.
This sentence really struck me in President Obama’s Middle East speech this morning:
We have a chance to show that the US values a street vendor in Tunisia more than the raw power of a dictator.
And now we have a chance to show that we value the dignity of an immigrant maid more than the assumed privilege and entitlement of wealth and power. How dare they treat him like a common criminal? Because if he is indeed found guilty — and for the NYPD to act with such alacrity in a rape case, you can be sure the evidence is very solid — then that is exactly what he is. A criminal. And all too common.
Let’s wait and see what the courts say…. innocent until proven guilty I say.
And this sentence of yours struck me:
“we have a chance to show that we value the dignity of an immigrant maid more than the assumed privilege and entitlement of wealth and power.”
Thank you Lesley for putting things in perspective.
I’m french and I can tell you that not all french are “shocked” about DSK’s treatment.
Some very few so-called and arrogant “intellectuals” have say so. Instinct of defense of people from the same social class… Majority of our people are not shocked.
It’s just that in our country you can’t publish an image of someone with handcuff until proven guilty. That’s the law. And the justice system is different. The Grand Jury doesn’t exist and accusation and defense have both the same power, from the very beginning of an investigation. And that is the same person, a judge, that lead the investigation and that has the duty to be impartial and investigate for accusation as well as for defense. In the US, the attorney has all the financial and technical support of the public authority, but only if you have money you can afford a good lawyer to be defended. How is that justice ? Poor people are always guilty. This is why most of people in France were surprised. But not shocked. Just because we have a complete other system (i’m not saying it’s better, even though it’s more respectful of the presumption of innocence). And not for the reason you evoke.
But it’s true though that for example Bernard Henry Levy, a self proclaimed “philosopher”, said that DSK deserves a better treatment than a dealer. And to hear that was more shocking for french people than DSK’s treatment. But that’s not “all the french”, thank goodness. Just a few oligarchs who think they’re above the crowd and the laws.
If DSK is proven guilty, we will be the first to think he deserves the maximum sentence.
But you look so sure. How do you know he is guilty ?
I won’t be surprised if he was, but I have no idea if he is. I wasn’t there and haven’t seen anything from he’s file. Did you ?
Me again, sorry. Please read “his file” in last sentence.
Also just to say that the day the US will “value the dignity of an immigrant maid more than the assumed privilege and entitlement of wealth and power” is yet to come. But I don’t see it happening in the next few decades. It’s just a beautiful sentence, but it’s complete nonsens. The US is the country that values the most money and wealth in the whole world. The US is build on business and the power of money. Money IS the state and has the power in your country. All the power. You still consider socialism as evil and think you live in a democracy but it’s an oligarchy. The country is run by banks, weapon industry, health insurance companies, drug companies and oil companies. They make the laws and the system. Would the 2008’s crash have happen if not ? How can you value the dignity of an immigrant maid more than the assumed privilege and entitlement of wealth and power in these conditions?
If only it was true…
Imagine she was accused of something. Could she have the same lawyer than DSK ? No, she would be immediately declared guilty and sentenced. No money ? No justice. Your prisons are full of innocent but poor people. You kill people by injecting them veterinarian products, frying them or hanging them and a good proportion of them are innocent. They were just not rich enough to have a good lawyer. With all due respect, we don’t have lessons to receive from the USA (where money rules everything) in terms of justice or social equity or solidarity.
Moes- Just like in France, not all are shocked at DSK’s treatment, NOT all AMERICANS are ruled by money.
I might be one of those who would end up getting wrongly convicted (a.k.a. – not rich) …I see what is wrong in the US. While I can agree with many of your statements, remember, it is not the whole country and not the majority of the people……
now that parti quebequios is out of the picture we can get straight answers on these topics. men aren’t the only rapists and wome can beat men up the same as the other way around. Also,,it is way past time for us natural born CANADIANS to break free of the mold that UNITED STATES corruption has so earnestly tried to place on us. For the love of God can’t you sexually deviated freaks keep your own root chakras in your own diapers. Personally I am sick and tired of hearing about your disgusting sexual exploits and being forced to re-live my own horrors of sexual abuse. Why can’t you put it back in the closet where it belongs. I hope ALL sexual deviants get chemically sterilized so that the rest of us can live peacefully.
Years ago the New York City Police Department decided that the Sex Crimes Unit needed to change its name. The name itself had a bad connotation and showed its lack of sensitivity towards those who had been victims of sexual assaults. As a result the Sex Crimes Unit transformed itself into the Special Victims Unit. Not only was the name changed but manner in which these crimes were investigated also changed. There was an emphasis on additional training for Detectives especially in regards towards sensitivity for the victims of these crimes. Now it’s time for our Courts to under go the same transformation. Victims need not have to pass the “Slut Test,” as you so eloquently describe in your piece, in order to receive justice. If the recent trial of the two NYPD officers acquitted of raping a young woman is any indication of the status quo in our Courts, let’s hope that this victim passes the test with flying colors. Unless of course there’s DNA evidence.