When the NY Daily News headline writers have to take a break from bashing Muslims to ravage your party’s key political hope as “Le Perv” on its front page, it’s time to reassess. Dominique Strauss-Kahn is accused of, let’s just call it by its proper name, RAPING a Manhattan hotel maid in his $3,000-a-night room, thus traumatizing a woman in the middle of her workday, obliterating his political career and shaking up French politics.
First of all, if I read one more fucking quote about “Anglo-moralism” regarding the Strauss-Kahn assaults, I’m going to smack the nearest smirking asshole to the portals of hell. He was a serial misogynist who raped a maid in a hotel, he’s not in jail for an affair. Assuming that every female subordinate he’s ever come in contact with is not a liar, Strauss-Kahn is an arrogant pig with enormous power who has gotten away with the sort of crimes that can get you 25 to life in most states.
The fact that he’s in jail and has been denied bail is most likely because his political opponents, who currently control the French government, have given the go-ahead to do him in.
Tant pis, as the French say; tough shit, is my rough translation.
Second of all, that one of the most powerful figures in international finance and politics has assaulted a journalist trying to interview him for a book, manipulated an IMF economist who was his subordinate into sleeping with him at a conference and now raped a maid trying to clean his room tells us another thing about him?and the people and institutions that have covered for him all these years. Strauss-Kahn, and by extension, the French Non-Socialist Party and IMF, all appear to have a curious hostility to working women.
None of the incidents we’ve read about so far in the press took place in social settings, but at the women’s place of work, where they were earning a living and being full human beings. Not to psycho-babbleize Strauss-Kahn, but he’s a caveman?no offense to Neanderthals intended.
Third of all, $3,000 a night?! That’s a lot of mints on your pillow. Strauss-Khan calls himself a socialist (exceedingly small “s”) and heads an organization, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which pretends to help the poor, but, pardon the parallel, rapes them. The exposure that he is a career misogynist tells us a fair amount about the two institutions Strauss-Kahn led until his arrest this past weekend. In brief, they suck.
From its birth, the French Socialist Party (FSP) brought to life the political concept that?again, pardon the parallel?you can’t end prostitution by bringing virgins into brothels. In other words, all attempts at changing the French capitalist system from within the framework of a party that accepts the inevitability of class society, imperialism and competition has been a colossal failure.
From its bloody defense of French power in North Africa, particularly throughout the brutal Algerian war from 1954?62 and its extensive privatization of public services to its racist attacks on immigrants for being insufficiently “French,” the FSP has proven that it is to socialism what Donald Trump is to refined discourse.
As for the IMF, ostensibly an institution made up of 182 member countries, even the New York Times admits that it is “the lapdog of the U.S. Treasury.” The Economist explained that the IMF’s purpose in providing loans was “to open doors for American business.”
Its loans to poor and downwardly mobile countries are tied to “structural adjustment programs” that require privatization, deregulation and labor “flexibility,” neocon-speak for smashing unions that exist or preventing any from organizing. As many leftists have noted, it operates as a global loan shark.
We rarely, if ever, see such a powerful man fall, and never for the rape of a Black immigrant woman. I can only assume that he’s pissed off people much higher up who decided to cut the cord.
In coming weeks we’ll see the institutions he represents and his former hangers-on scurry about to cover their asses, but for now we can take a bit of pleasure in the political, social and personal collapse of such a man. Let’s use his fall to shine a light on the organizations that have protected him all these years.
Au revoir, Monsieur Pig! FSP and IMF, j’accuse!
Sherry Wolf is the author of Sexuality and Socialism. She blogs at Sherry Talks Back.