Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Case Not Dismissed

Let’s use this moment…

With the dismissal of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s criminal charges yesterday, I felt a wave of sadness, then anger, then determination – this must be a moment for renewed dedication to ending sexual harassment, workplace discrimination, and fear of recrimination.  I hope you’ll take a moment to read my post…. Women everywhere need to know they cannot – must not- be silent.  Especially now.

16 comments so far.

  1. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    My first reaction was that he was set-up and that is still my reaction but it is important to note that he is a sleazeball and if he weren’t a sleazeball it wouldn’t have been so easy to set him up. A lesson for the men. One I doubt few will learn. Most will now claim they were set-up.

    The other side of the coin is the “Chicken Little” effect on our attitudes towards sexual harassment and sexual assault – not all maids in hotels are liars. Many in fact are sexually assaulted. As are many other women every day in this country. And many are assumed to be lying. And setting up the man. Which makes this all the more terrible. One woman with her lies has affected millions of other women who are telling the truth. Some of whom may not step forward. Out of fear that no one will believe them.  But truth usually prevails. As we saw here. 

    It is tempting to want to believe her. To believe that power and influence ruled instead of justice in this case. In the end truth ruled. Which served justice.

    There is one maxim in law that is always borne out – once a liar, always a liar. That was borne out in this case.  That said, part of the truth is, well, that Dominque Strauss-Kahn is a sleazeball. And probably hasn’t learned a thing from all of this. And I suspect his wife hasn’t either.

    • avatar Lila says:

      Snooks, exactly.  No woman deserves to be assaulted, but there are those who lie, and those who set men up, and those cases poison the cases of blameless victims.
       
      Seen it.  Example: we had a female soldier who alleged rape against a male in the same company.  But the story didn’t quite make sense, and soon fell apart.  Within a few hours, she came clean:  she had a boyfriend, but one evening she and the accused got drunk and had ill-advised consensual sex.  Later fearing her boyfriend’s reaction, she claimed rape to remove blame from herself.  Not maliciously; she was just that unthinking kind of stupid that comes with youth.  I think the Commander managed to impress upon her just how horrible her false accusation would have been for the male soldier, had it gone forward; and how much accusations like hers damage the cases of real rape victims. I was glad the case never left the Commander’s office.  Learned a thing or two from that guy!
       
      As a Commander myself years later, one of my senior NCOs was accused of lewd conduct with the teen daughter of his friend.  The MPs wanted to come over and arrest him and haul him off in a squad car; I refused and took him to the station in my own car against their advice for my “safety.”  Pffft.  Once news like that gets around, it’s a permanent blot even if unfounded.  If it turns out to be true, there’s plenty of time to blast the guy later.  And it was unfounded, thank God.  Turned out that the girl had propositioned my NCO, and made the accusation out of anger that he didn’t take her up on it.
       
      I must admit, DSK’s history and wealth make him a perfect candidate for a setup, and the thought did cross my mind.  That thought only got louder in my head as the accuser’s history started to emerge with all the lies, questionable associates, and inconsistent behavior.  Does it mean she was not raped?  No.  But it DOES mean there will always be reasonable doubt in a jury’s mind.  It’s a losing prosecution.

  2. avatar Mary says:

    When I was a kid my dad used to tell me, your reputation is based on the people you hang out with and with what you have done in the past, unfortunately one lie told to the wrong person can influence your life.  With that being said this case was made into a tragedy for many women because we have a maid who has lied in the past.  That doesn’t mean that she isn’t telling the truth now.  I believe something happened to her by Strauss-Kahn.  Was it a set up? I don’t know?  I think that is was his defense wants us to believe and probably what Strauss – Kahn has convinced himself that this is the case, but let’s turn the tables.

    Strauss-Kahn has a long reputation for assaulting women sexually and many have come forward esp. in France. He has a bad reputation that is internationally known and it goes back many years.  If we are to judge him the same way we are judging the maid, then we have equal reason to take this to court, but, the fact of the matter is that he is not being judged the same.

    He is after all a man.  Society expects that men will be men and their little sexual problems are no big deal and that women should just be angry then forget it.  Our whole system is set up that way and we haven’t changed with feminism, we just hide it better.  YOu know the little lady is just being hysterical, or she should be happy that someone pursued her, or she led him on, she flirted, she wore clothing that was too tight, too short , too loose. She looked at him in a suggestive manner, what did we expect him to do? 

    Strausss – Kahn however is a ” important ” man of means, he is a embarrasment and we need to just forget this little indescression because here we have a maid, vs, international hierarchy.  No brainer for good attorneys and political leaders.   Unacceptable to the rest of us.

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      I think it is a matter of his having a long history of being a sleazeball in France – there are allegations that he sexually harassed and sexually assaulted women in France. Innocent until proven guilty as they say. Which is one of the things that is wrong with all of this – this “trial by tabloids” that seems to be the justice system in Manhattan for some reason. I had my fill of it when Leona Helmsley had a gag order slapped on her while the tabloids continued slandering her every day of the week. Printing garbage that was fed to them by a prosecutor as far as I’m concerned. A prosecutor whose right hand was the left hand of the Mafia in Manhattan. He needed to go. And finally went. Nowhere, really, although a reputable law firm I would never use added his name to theirs. As for this prosecutor, well, he needs to go.  But probably won’t. True, he asked for the charged to be dismised. But the charges shouldn’t have been filed to begin with. New York is a hell of a town. And at times seems to have gone to hell.

  3. avatar chixnabox says:

    I am always at a loss when all persons involved in a situation behave badly.  My Mother always said “Two wrongs cannot make a right.”  In this case there may be many wrongs and no right.  Or maybe the right is that hotel maids found their voice despite the lies.  Or that other accusers found their voice to report similar behavior on the part of DSK. 

    Bottom line is that we will never know and to draw inferences is risky.  And that is sad and a great reason for everyone to redouble efforts to stop sexual harrassment, sexual battery and all violence against women. 

    Let’s go, Girls!

  4. avatar JCF4612 says:

    It’s difficult to know who’s the bigger sleaze — the raper or the rapee. Certainly the IMF benefitted in getting rid of DSK. If France wants to vote him in to any office, that’s their problem. As for maid who lied all over the place to get into this country, get a work permit, and to secure all too scarce HIV/AIDS housing when she’s not even remotely qualified, she needs to be promptly deported.  

  5. avatar Belinda Joy says:

    Sadly there are people in this world that don’t  believe a prostitute can be raped. Don’t believe a “wife” can be raped by her husband. Don’t believe a woman that lies repeatedly in her life can be raped.

    Yet in all these instances…..they can.

    Marlo, myself, the countless hotel maids across America and the countless everyday, normal, average women across America that believe as we do, saw this court decision as if it was a slap in the face. A spit in the face. A friend (more so associate) of mine that is a hotel maid for one of the larger hotels in my area, told me that she is constantly harassed by male guests. Whether it be them exposing their genitals, touching them inappropriately or bluntly offering money for sex, she says she has seen and heard it all. And what touched me so deeply was when she said “And Bee, they speak to us in ways they never would their wives, female business associates or neighbors. But because they view me as poor and insignificant because after all I clean toilets for a living….how I feel means nothing….”   That really struck me, because she is right.

    Strauss-Kahn got away with it this time because of “who” the accuser was. We all know that. The prosecution has said repeatedly “she wouldn’t have made a credible witness”   And again I say, a prostitute can be raped…..a wife can be raped by her husband…..and indeed a pathological liar can be raped. They too deserve justice.
     

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      There are so many advocates in this country who simply have not come forward in defense of this woman. Advocates who know that prostitutes have the same right to say “No” as everyone else.  Advocates who take on the system which regrettably does “pit” the accuser against the accused in terms of “who” each is. I doubt you will see any of these advocates come forward. Not only did woman lie about quite a few things but there was also no evidence to indicate a “forced encounter” as she claimed. That is per the hospital records and the examination of both parties. That added to her lies. There was, however, evidence, that there was motivation for her lies.  That she made the allegations hoping to make money. That was what was the most damning of what little evidence there was beyond the “he said, she said.” 

    • avatar Lila says:

      Pathological liars deserve justice as much as anyone else, but unfortunately, in practice their lies make it much harder to prove their allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.  If physical evidence or other witnesses will carry the case, they get their justice.  But a liar can never expect justice based only on their own credibility…. because there is none.

    • avatar ann penn says:

      What amazed me was reading the report of a woman in France who reported an event very much like what the maid said happened to her, but was encouraged by her family to keep quiet about it because of who he was.

      As to evidence of force, I believe they had an “oral” encounter, which does not leave the same “evidence” as another type of act.

      Yes, she had a history of lies. However, if the event were not forced, and if she were after money, why not just do it for money? I doubt she really knew who he was in the international sense, but she would know that he could probably pay for services. I do think in this case she was probably telling the truth. Too bad a jury won’t be able to decide.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Usually you have to have a complaint on file in order to file a civil lawsuit in these matters otherwise, well, quite a few cases would be filed in civil court instead of criminal court. Most victims, myself included, are not really looking for money. They are usually merely looking for justice. Which is very hard to find in our society with regard to “interpersonal crime” as it’s called because in most cases it’s dismissed by a prosecutor on the basis of “he said, she said” which is often simply the easiest way for a prosecutor to dsimiss it and not have to deal with another file on the stack on his desk. Unless you’ve been there, done it, you don’t really know what a battlefield the justice system is. Particularly as a victim.

        As for this “victim” she made it clear she was after money. And apparently also lied about the actual event. So it wasn’t just her previous lies. But her current lies about a crime that a prosecutor finally realized didn’t happen. He was careful not to say that. But that is the reality. He was set up.  As for this victrm, myself, I say hang her from a lightpost. She has made it all the more difficult for real victims in this country. Particularly those who are considered “less than” their victimizers. And hang her defenders as well as far as I am concerned.

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        Sadly, Ann, violent, forced oral encounters in which deep penetration is achieved can injure or kill the victim, and do leave physical evidence behind. The difficulty is that the victims of oral assault frequently feel compliant in their own rape, and therefore refuse to come forward until the evidence is gone. Any fellatio that ends in ejaculation leaves traces of semen behind…these can be found with a standard rape kit. However, rapists have become clever monsters, and sometimes force victims to drink bleach, which eradicates whatever is left behind (bleach rarely seriously harms the victim…but it does serve its purpose).

        Sexual assault is a terribly, life-altering experience. It happened to me…and my own parents wouldn’t even listen…much less believe me. I was 16, he was 65, and it went of for three weeks while I was trapped at his house. My mother thought he was sexy, and my parents considered him a friend, purchased land and horses from him, and even had him as a guest for dinner on more than on occasion.

        My mother knew that certain girls had been assaulted, and one woman had left the equestrian facility because her daughter had been raped. But she would have nothing to do with my attempt to talk. I wasn’t a liar at all…I was never in trouble and virtually silent…a straight A, college bound student, an artist and reader, no boyfriends or difficult peer group…who cleaned house, did yard work, and spoke more to horses than I ever did to humans.

        This maid’s story wasn’t dismissed because she was a pathological liar…and yes, absolutely, maids, housekeepers, prostitutes, pathological liars, schizophrenics…anyone, male or female…can be raped. The woman proved herself a liar once again, trying to assure herself of financial gain by spinning a plausible yarn about a know abuser of women, and she was caught. Time will tell how much damage that she, and other women who scream assault and rape to gain fame, or notoriety, fortune and their chance at a spot on the Talk-Show-du-Jour Tour for celebutard losers have done to a system that is already reeling under an ultra-conservative, fundamentalist Christian revisionist attempt to set back the criminal and justice system’s laws on rape a century.

        This woman, maid or not (and I’ve been a maid, cook, laundress, day-nanny and errand girl…for $2.15/hr…less than minimum wage at that time…and driven a farm tractor, and hand raked and baled hay, and worked in a restaurant kitchen…you know, those jobs that Americans are too good to do…) was wrong. It does not matter whether or not Strauss-Khan is a rapist, a degenerate, and something that should be locked away from society forever or a perfect angel…the woman’s story was a fabrication for money…not an attempt to make things better for others in her profession ( and a necessary, decent and honorable profession undeserving of contempt it is)…and it caused more harm than good.

        So sad, so demoralizing, and potentially such a set-back. For those of us who have been blameless victims, and those who assuredly will be…I can only hope that the damage control is swift and certain.

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        Good grief, I sincerely apologize for the plethora of typos. I suppose that the prevailing attitude that the woman is somehow a victim (because she’s a woman? Because she’s a minority? Or a maid?) even though her story was a fabrication, and for monetary gain…and that Strauss-Kahn ought to have been convicted on the strength of what was no more than a fairy tale based on the idea that his notoriety would lead to a substantial pay-off disturbs and depresses me.

        Should he be punished for his actual crimes? Without question. Make him dig from dawn to dusk to create his own gaol, toss him in, cover him up, give him a bucket for both his elimination needs…and to receive his daily ration of water…and let him rot till his feet are black and there’s not a tooth in his mouth…or a sane thought in his head.

        But this wasn’t his crime, regardless of what some may think, it was hers. Some would call it filing a false report, defamation of character (no matter how ironic), slander and libel, bearing false witness, perjury…and extortion. This is America, and justice was served in this case…even if it is many a woman’s wish that DSK was being served au naturale and rare enough to be still pumping blood to a pen full of starving pigs.

        The point is…were he to lie…would you want his lie to stand up in court, and to be accepted, and the judgment rendered based on empirical evidence that clearly showed that everything he had said, every detail he gave were all fabrications? I. Think. Not.

        No double standards accepted. Not in cases like this. That is a slippery slope none of should want to attempt.

  6. avatar LuckyLady n/a says:

    I still cannot look at Clarence Thomas.  Anita Hill had nothing to gain from blowing the whistle.  In my eyes she is a heroine. Anita:  l0  Supreme Court 0. (and to those who think this was a racist trick
    Ms. Hill is African-American also.  She is highly respected.)

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      I think the real disgrace of Clarence Thomas is that some in the Senate knew Anita Hill was telling the truth and simply wanted him because they knew he would serve their agenda. What little principles we had in terms of what we, the people, expect were lost with his confirmation.

      One can lie, cheat, steal. But if you serve an agenda of the party in power, well, that is all that matters. We are a fallen empire.  We once were a nation founded uppn the principle of the rule of law. That the law, and the moral principles upon which law is based, applied equally to all. And yet from the beginning the law simply has not applied to all. Still the ideal is there. We take little steps forward. Here and there. Clarence Thomas was a huge step backward. 

  7. avatar brad berger says:

    This September 5 million women should gather in Washington and demand equality and the ERA for all women. Although many women have “made it” in the past 30 years there are still more poor and middle class women who have not. Not only are these women discriminated against economically but they are abused physically as well. Men and especially those in Congress keep women in their place by not allowing the passage of the ERA. It is time for Congress to pass the ERA and only a showing of force and determination by women will make this happen. Women must wage a non violent war on Washington for their human and Constitutional rights.