Skip to comments.French Should Feel Shame, But We're No Puritans
Posted on 05/20/2011 4:47:45 AM PDT by Kaslin
Dominique Strauss-Kahn has resigned as the head of the International Monetary Fund. He would like to spend more time with his family.
But that's not why he resigned. He'd like to spend more time with his family because he's in jail, charged with the sexual assault and attempted rape of an African-immigrant hotel maid.
"DSK," as he's known in France, is socialist royalty and was the presumed shoo-in to beat Nicolas Sarkozy in next year's presidential race.
I had planned on taking the easy route and mocking the debauched and depraved (im)morality of the French, the arrogant and asinine sophistry of DSK's defenders, and the probability of his guilt.
For instance, Bernard-Henri Levy, the open-shirted "philosopher-activist," came out swinging, writing a defense of his friend for Tina Brown's website, The Daily Beast (of course). His case for DSK was the sort of thing a French villain might say in a screwball comedy, it was so incandescently stupid and offensive.
The gist of his brief: Who is this lowly woman to accuse a great man of such base acts? And how dare America's courts take her accusations seriously when it's her word against the great Strauss-Kahn's? According to Levy, the New York judge should be ashamed because he "pretended to take (DSK) for a subject of justice like any other." Translation: Do you Americans know who he is?
I hadn't realized there was an escape clause at the end of the French motto: "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité (for the little people)!"
"If I try transposing the situation in New York on Sunday to France, I just can't do it," A French diversity expert tells Time magazine. "Not only because the woman is black and apparently an immigrant. But also because she's a housekeeper. Perhaps even more than her race, her station in society would probably prevent authorities (in France) from taking her accusations against a rich and powerful man seriously. Racism is on the rise here again, but class discrimination has never gone away."
And while I count myself blessed to live in a country where a poor maid from Guinea can have the head of the IMF dragged off a plane "simply" because she offered credible evidence she was sexually assaulted, I am not sure Americans should be congratulating themselves as much they are.
Yes, the French deserve to be mocked. A clear majority of French citizens believe this is all a conspiracy. Yet every day, it becomes ever more clear that the French -- particularly the French socialists who counted DSK as their leader -- turned a blind eye to the man's ever more risky and appalling behavior. According to mounting accounts, they wrote off assault as playful "seduction" or forgave it out of some kind of solidarity. (In one case an alleged DSK victim was talked out of pressing charges by her socialist-politician mother.)
And yes, the French left's attempt to turn this into a story of "American Puritanism" run amok is beyond absurd. Strauss-Kahn was arrested after fleeing his Times Square hotel, not a mega-church in Alabama. And, last I checked, the NYPD Special Victims Unit was not a hotbed of Amish and Mennonites.
But America is hardly so righteous. As blogger Will Collier notes, if you replaced "socialist" with "Democrat" in many of these stories, and "Dominique Strauss-Kahn" with "Ted Kennedy," the results would be pretty illuminating.
After Chappaquiddick, the liberal establishment did its best to cover up a potential homicide by the "liberal lion." It offered something close to a Gallic shrug when Sens. Kennedy and Chris Dodd made a "waitress sandwich" out of an unsuspecting restaurant server. And as Christopher Hitchens recalls in Slate, Teddy's priapic brother John was such a "seducer" he imported "a Mafia gun-moll into the White House sleeping quarters."
If memory serves, Bill Clinton had to deal with a large number of "bimbo eruptions," as one of his aides put it. He was accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment. And the same feminists who once insisted that women never make such things up suddenly responded by calling the president's accusers liars or by simply abandoning the very standards they had established.
Gloria Steinem, the feminist icon and founder of Ms. Magazine, took to the pages of the New York Times to establish what has become known as the "one free grope" rule. Susan Faludi, author of the feminist bible "Backlash," suddenly took a more laissez-faire attitude toward sexual aggression, requiring "nuanced" responses "in scale to the offense." A reporter for Time magazine insisted she'd be happy to pleasure the president just for keeping abortion legal.
So yes, the French should be ashamed. But they're not the only ones.
Brilliant article..brilliant writing.!!
I am just in awe of how you could write your observations and feelings and put all that into words.Me, I would just be sputtering and raging around and using the f word and never really being able to communicate the many points that needed to be made.
Thank you for writing this!
The truth will out.
I believe Jonah Goldberg wrote this. Kaslin posted it.
Knocked that tater out of the park, Jonah my man. Maintaining the presumption of innocense -— for the maid, presuming she is innocent and not a liar-— all I can say is: well, first, how about revoking the ridiculous $1 million bail, which for DSK is chump change; and then, let justice roll.
The story would have been much more interesting if the maid had a boyfriend who blew the socialist’s brains out.
The French could have declared war on us and then hoisted the surrender flag, while the Americans could have defended the shooter as upholding the maid’s honor and hanged the dead socialist to make sure he was dead enough.
Diplomatic rows with the French are always good for a week of comedy.
Jonah seems to be saying leftists are all the same, no matter what country they come from. We knew that.
Not that all leftists *want* to rape hotel maids or random female aquaintances, but if they do, the others will excuse them.
‘A miss is as good as a mile.’
If the law does not work for EVERYONE then it works for NO ONE!!
Did anyone hear the story yesterday that said Sarkozy warned Kahn to watch it as America takes sex abuse seriously?? WTF is that?? So in other words, rape, sexual abuse is acceptable in France? You know I sort of believe it, because I remember 10 years ago my boss telling me he and his 13 year old daughter took a trip to Paris for her birthday, and he said the whole time these french sleazebags were constantly hitting on her until he couldn’t take it anymore and had to leave as he didn’t want to get arrested for kicking their ass.
and how about Whoopi’s “rape rape” rule?
I don't recall anyone claiming that America was Puritan. Except the French, who meant it as an insult.
Along with a disturbingly large minority of FReepers.
I heard that the maid said she was very afraid for her and her daughter—from the French coming after her..but she said she was NOT afraid of the American justice system!
Of course, we won’t hear that on the MSM.
LOL! Forgot about that one..Yeah Polanski drugging and sodomizing a little girl “It’s not rape rape”. Unbelievable. How about them all signing the petition in support of him? Hey, they feel that confident then maybe they’ll let him babysit their daughters. “Have a good time dear and take the GHB that Mr. Polanski prescribes”
And, no matter what noise was made in the 1980 primaries, Chappaquiddick destroyed Kennedy as a viable presidential candidate.
John Edwards is ruined and probably couldn't get elected dogcatcher anywhere in the US.
Schwarzenegger is finished politically, and maybe even at the box office.
If Strauss-Kahn had done the exact same thing in France that he did in NYC, pretty much every French observer agrees that it would have been ignored or explained away and that he would be the next president of France.
Rape of teenage girls is a HUGE problem in France.
If it is a conspiracy then she must be a pretty damn good actress for a hotel maid being that NYC cops have a lot of experience routinely seeing through fake rape claims.
They detected this one pretty fast and she is a TV personality, one I assume would have more acting ability than a hotel maid...
Conspiracy my ass and like you said pretty bizarre some Freepers think so.
Sarkozy was not excusing the kind of behavior that actually happened, which went beyond even France's already lax standards of predatory behavior.
The maid sounds like an anomaly.
Most immigrants (legal or not) are shamefully coached in the typical Liberal hatred for all things American...despite the logical flaws of this mentality:
Killing yourself to REACH America so you may enjoy the RIGHTS and BENEFITS of life in America (gratis) WHILE BASHING America!!!