Here in France, the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair (former head of the IMF accused by hotel chambermaid of attempted rape) gets more coverage than in the UK. And the longer it goes on, the angrier I get.
According the press, who themselves are parroting the opinion of Mr Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, the case against him is on the point of collapse because the chambermaid lacks credibility as she lied on her asylum claim. Well girls, let that be a lesson to you. God forbid you’ve ever massaged the figures on your tax return, or clocked yourself a speeding ticket. Because should you ever be in the awful situation of accusing a man of rape you apparently won’t have a leg to stand on. It’s not just female criminals who cannot be trusted when it comes to accusations of rape, prostitutes are pretty dodgy too. One of the accusations levelled against the chambermaid was that she was a prostitute. Even if she is, or was, SO WHAT? Oh, right does that mean we shouldn’t believe anything she says then?
And what about Mr Strauss-Kahn’s own murky past? This is not the first time his name has been associated with harassing women. Does that not cast some doubt on his own credibility?
I really hope the case doesn’t collapse. I know the problem with rape accusations is that the crime is committed in private and often comes down to one person’s word against the other. I’m not sure that is the case here, where the forensic evidence has already forced Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers to concede that sexual relations took place. They now maintain that it was consensual. From what I’ve read the chambermaid also suffered physical injuries and torn clothing. Maybe that’s the kind of consensual sex rich New York lawyers have. If I was on the jury, I’m not sure I would agree.
And I will finally add that I am disgusted by many of the comments from members of the public that I have read in the French press. It’s fair enough to point out that Strauss-Kahn shouldn’t be assumed to be guilty just because he has been accused. It’s beyond the pale to say that his accuser shouldn’t be believed because she’s a lying thieving manipulative woman (generalised to any woman who accuses a man of rape). And it totally incensed me to read – from a French woman – the comment that ‘women should expect to be touched up from time to time, it’s normal’.
Song of the Day
Deep breath. I’ll put this on replay a few times and calm down. Today’s tune is You’re the Best Thing, once again, by the fabulous Style Council.