You've probably heard about it, the DSK issue. The newspapers are full of it. Almost everyone has an opinion about it. Even before a verdict has been made on whether the big IMF man is guilty of rape, some reactions speak volumes..
You've probably heard about it, the DSK issue. The newspapers are full of it. Almost everyone has an opinion about it. Even before a verdict has been given as to whether the great IMF man is guilty of rape, some reactions speak volumes.
I must confess that when I saw the news virtually live here in NY, at first I thought, that can't be possible. It's a conspiracy. I didn't know the details then. Because I listened with half an ear and it sounded like DSK had run after this chambermaid through the corridors of a hotel and "caught her in one of the closets." You really must be out of your mind to do such a thing, I thought. I also heard that he was an opponent of Sarkozy and I know that political conspiracies are devised that no normal person would think possible.
Yet at the same time I thought, why would you rather believe that man? As a woman, I always tend to lean towards the victim, especially when it comes to rape. The numbers speak for themselves, why not in this case? Is it, I thought, because he is a leading man at the IMF? Is it because he is white? Would you have thought the same if it was a black man? I decided to remain neutral until I heard the facts from various media outlets.
The test results were not in yet Brian Lehrer from radio WNYC his guest told me it looked really bad for SDK. The chambermaid, an immigrant from one of the poorest African countries, had worked for the hotel for eight years. She is known for being exemplary, reliable and hardworking.
During the radio show, a woman called with a heavy Jamaican accent. I was also a chambermaid, she said and I believe the maid. "You don't want to know how often it happens that men walk around in their towels or even their nakedness when you come into the room and make advances." Those guys are horrible! you said. "I goof her, I believe her," she repeated a few times. "There is a single chambermaid who takes the offer for money, but that is not the norm."
All in all, a program that gave me deeper details about the case. I was especially pleased to learn that Sofitel's policy is to protect its employees. There is a special procedure for this type of incident. More importantly, the complaints are taken seriously and here a subtle but extremely important cultural difference comes to the fore.
No other country takes women's issues as seriously as in America. Sexual harassment is not brushed aside as was the case, for example, with the French journalist who had already filed a complaint against SDK. The answer of the French police: "We have better things to do". I think this incident shows the difference in how women's rights are treated. How free are you as a woman if you have nowhere to go with a complaint such as sexual harassment?
The sad thing is that there are women who go beyond this and more or less stand up for SDK. Even if he's found not guilty of rape, I don't feel the slightest pity for this old pervert. I don't believe I have a higher morale than the average western mortal when I say that a 62 year old man should not have anal sex with a chambermaid 30 years younger. The relationship just screams: WRONG! Find a woman of your own age if you must or hire a prostitute over the age of 21. Then the relationship is clear but stay away from your subordinates. It's not supposed to. Not in France, not at the IMF, and whoops, certainly not in the US.
I'm not really a hater but I can't get over the fact that one of the most powerful men in the world can suddenly be seen as a victim. SDK must have worked absolutely hard to amass too much wealth and power, because what he has accomplished doesn't just come to you. All due respect for that. He will also have more than enjoyed the benefits that this entails, after all, that's what you do it for and there is nothing wrong with that.
However, the position of a high-ranking millionaire also has some drawbacks, even if they are dwarfed by the benefits. However, you have to take that into account. Especially if you're also running for the presidency. There are bound to be a few out there looking to make you fall, more perhaps than any other mortal with a regular job. If one of the latter pinches a maid in the undesired buttocks, he gets fired just as hard. That's not pathetic, that's how it should be. Why does half the world think SDK should be treated differently?
Just as the press was there when he announced the great successes to the world, the press was there when he made a mistake. He knew he was making a mistake, it was a mistake he had apparently made before and had never been punished for so why not try again? He knew better than anyone what was at stake, he took the risk and now he has to bear the consequences. Is that pathetic, I don't think so at all.