I disappeared last week because I was working on an article for my friend’s Seattle news website about the Dominique Strauss-Kahn debacle — a first-hand report from someone living in the Paris hot zone. It’s not the kind of writing I usually do and I got very wrapped up in it because I wanted to hit the right tone — you know, not too screechy as I screeched about suddenly realizing I’m living in an old-fashioned culture full of misogyny and cavemen.
I can’t begin to get into all the things I’ve heard and read in the French press the past couple weeks. I can tell you it would give many Americans a sense of déjà vu, as I imagine these are the kinds of titillated “tough shit, ladies” attitudes that got tossed around fifty years ago in the States.
I don’t know what the guy did or didn’t do. Maybe he’s guilty, maybe he’s innocent. I am fairly certain he’s an asshole either way — but that doesn’t matter and his innocence or guilt is not even my point. My point is, this case has opened the floodgates and revealed the deep-seated misogyny in French culture. (There are many reasonable voices calling for cultural introspection, too, but from what I can tell they seem to be the minority?) Truth is out. France is way behind the times. Way. Behind.