DSK–an Expat’s View

Greetings from 1950s America! No, not really. But yes, really.

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.

2 Responses to “DSK–an Expat’s View”

  1. Comment by joelle | 05/31/11 at 10:54 pm

    France is not so way behind, America on another hand is more than behind in its paradoxical behaviour puritanism/porno don’t you think? I mean this childish trend that wants political players to be saints is beyond my understanding..Also, between a womanizer and a rapist there is a major difference and yes, the US judiciary system has made an example in severity toward an educated economist, I just wish they were able to act the same with OJ, KOKE, MICHAEL JACKSON …But wait a minute..Riots yes, the judiciary system doesn’t does show the smae severity when you play ball or sing?? Besides, this event validates the false American dream that a servant can put down the president of FMI ..Well you know what they say, in order to dream you have to be sound asleep!


  2. Comment by Susan | 06/04/11 at 3:07 pm

    Joelle – your comment made absolutely no sense whatsoever. No one is asking DSK to be a “Saint”. We are expecting him to obey the law and NOT RAPE a woman. What in the hell is so hard to understand about that? Americans are actually becoming less and less prudish and are tolerating quite a bit of bad behavior on the part of our male leaders and celebrities (i.e. Schwarzenegger). However, we will never tolerate an act of violence against anyone, male or female. That is why sexual harassment laws are in place in the US. They are there to keep workers safe in their working environments (again, male or female). Clearly this criminal, DSK, has never had so much as a slap on the hand when he has harassed, groped, and potentially raped women in the past. Too bad he decided to pull that shit in the US where it simply doesn’t fly. With regard to OJ, Michael Jackson, and Koke (which I can only assume you mean Kobe), these were all men who were actually brought up on charges for murder, child molestation and rape. All three of them were found not guilty. And there were serious issues with each of those trials (not the least of which includes America’s continuing struggle with race & the judicial system). Clearly our system isn’t perfect….but you don’t throw the baby out with the bath water…..harassment and rape laws are in place to protect our citizens, male and female. DSK isn’t just a womanizer, a flirt, a boorish ass….he is a criminal. He raped a woman (allegedly). And thank goodness that the victim, poor woman with such a difficult personal history, is in a country where we respect and protect her rights. I love France, but she needs a serious long look in the mirror.

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