|The Champs Elysee (the presidential palace) in France--and possibly M. Strauss-Kahn's future residence -- was, ironically, built as the residence for Louis XV's royal mistress, Mme. de Pompadour.|
Tyranny of the Press
The stunning news that the case against Mr. Strauss-Kahn is falling apart due to the manifest lies of the accuser, leads one to wonder at the soul-searching engaged in by the French people about their own libertine attitudes toward promiscuity.
Was soul-searching even in order?
It seems that what Mr. Strauss-Kahn had to undergo was the opposite of what the French people rather masochistically engaged in after Mr. Strauss-Kahn was vilified world-wide by the Press. His ordeal was not soul-searching at all; it was soul-seizing.
The Press and the public and an INVASIVE judicial system ( French laws prohibiting the photographing suspects in arraignment hearings ought to make Americans engage in soul-searching from this moment on) seized upon this man's spirit and systematically tore it apart in what may come to be seen retrospectively as a misguided act of culturally subconscious expiation:
Expiation for decades of culturally sanctioned sexist oppression in literature, politics, industry, the church, and academia.
Two items seemed dubious from the start.
- The suggestion that the accuser, a housekeeper/ maid in the hotel which charged Mr. Strauss-Kahn $3000 a night, did "not even know who he was." That may be technically accurate, but one thing is for sure: She KNEW she was about to enter and clean a $3000 a night suite and that if it was occupied, the chances were the occupier was well-heeled.
- The second dubious assertion was that Strauss-Kahn "forced the maid to engage in oral sex". Unless one wanted to risk becoming the next Mr. Bobbitt (remember this reluctant conjugal amputee?), such physical coercion would be extremely hazardous to a man who was unashamed of his interest in the pleasures of carnal knowledge and presumably wanted to continue those pleasures for many years to come, pleasures which require, shall we say, certain unimpaired physiological equipment.
Like the hysteria fifteen years ago across America when a few children falsely accused child-care workers of sexually abusing them, this rush to judgment might have destroyed Strauss-Kahn's reputation as it did the reputations of the falsely accused child care workers.
Instead, it may make him the next President of France
And his loyal wife will well have earned the title "First Lady" if that election comes about.