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As I am sure most of you have heard by now, in what is yet another shining example of the rich and ruling elite getting away with physically assaulting and then emotionally destroying a female, the charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn were dismissed last week.   I wish I could say I was surprised but sadly I was not.   I knew how this would all play out, but that doesn't change the complete disgust I feel over this case.

So many layers of betrayal, perversion of the system, validation of hurtful has been very difficult for me to gather my thoughts enough so I can even explain what this situation means to me, and by extension what it means for all women.


The first click came when the news about this incident broke.  One click for feeling the pain of a woman who has been brutalized, but an even bigger click for me was the circumstances.   I knew right away how this would play out.  I knew why this disgusting little man did what he did in that hotel room.   He did it because he knew he could, he knew that he would get away with it, and he was right.  

When the details first emerged I think it was probably the only time we heard about the situation strictly from the victim's perspective.   Once the legal team of Strauss-Kahn had time to do their magic, you couldn't find an story about this case that didn't include allegations about the victim's credibility.  But the details as they emerged during the first few days were as follows:

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, then head of the IMF, sexually assaulted a maid in his hotel room.

This maid was found by co-workers in a distraught state and they encouraged her to come forward and report the assault.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to get on a plane and leave the country.

Seems pretty straight forward to me.  Ah, but this purity didn't last long.  


I followed the story, waiting for he inevitable victim blaming and reputation smearing that I knew was coming.  One of the world's most powerful men is accused of rape by a mere immigrant way would this be allowed to happen.  

I remember when the story broke that the charges were in question due to "credibility issues".   The allegations against the victim - she had "lied" about a previous sexual assault and she had a drug dealing boyfriend (this is how the story was originally reported).   At the same time that these details came out it was announced that Strauss-Kahn was being released from house arrest and was just free on bond awaiting trial.  I was sitting in an airport at the time and it was hard to follow the news on the TV in the waiting room, but I moved closer to try to hear the details.  I sat next to another woman who was waiting for her flight.  We both had a look of shock on our faces.  A shared click with a random stranger in an airport.  I was just so livid.   The excuses were so flimsy and unrelated to the case!   The victim's lawyer gave a statement, a very forceful one, detailing the fact that there was PHYSICAL evidence of an assault and that these smear tactics were completely egregious.  Yet it was working.  

Details about Strauss-Kahn's reputation had also emerged by now, but somehow these were made to seem unimportant and irrelevant to this case but the character of the victim was guiding this case.  The fact that Strauss-Kahn had a history of sexual aggression and was known for his boorish sexist behavior seemed like a charming footnote in many stories.  "The Great Seducer".  Barf

Tristane Banon--a French journalist; daughter of Anne Mansouret, one of Strauss-Kahn's fellow Socialist Party officials; and goddaughter of Brigitte Guillemette, Strauss-Kahn's second wife--has accused Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her. In February 2007, a French television program aired Banon's recounting of Strauss-Kahn's attempts to take off her jeans and bra when she met with him to conduct an interview for a book she was writing.

According to Britain's Guardian, "Banon allegedly described him as a 'rutting chimpanzee' and described how she was forced to fight him off. 'It finished badly...very violently...I kicked him,' Banon said. 'When we were fighting, I mentioned the word 'rape' to make him afraid, but it didn't have any effect. I managed to get out.'"

Banon, who was 22 years old when the alleged attack occurred, didn't press charges at the time, explaining, "I didn't want to be known to the end of my days as the girl who had a problem with the politician." In the wake of Diallo's accusations against Strauss-Kahn, Banon changed her mind. According to Banon's lawyer, "She is in a fighting mood. She isn't ready to let this drop. But she feels sorry for what has happened to Nafissatou Diallo, because she also believed her."



The dismissal.

Not a surprise at all, but the click was still there.  All the discussion of the alleged credibility issue with victim about a story unrelated to this case.  This appears to be the main factor in the DA's decision not to pursue the charges (in other words, the main bullshit excuse they are using to cover the real reason).  The real reasons:

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is a powerful man.  A member of the ruling class for sure.

Nafissatou Diallo is a maid.

He is white.  She is black.   He is wealthy.  She is not.

It is worth noting that there are a few possibilities for bringing this man to justice, although I am not putting too much faith into any of them actually working at this point.  As it stands, he has taken a bit of a hit to his career path but by no means is he suffering in any way.  Today there is hearing on the appeal filed by the defendant's lawyer challenging the decision not to appoint a special prosecutor in this case.  The defendant has also filed a civil lawsuit against Strauss-Kahn, but there has also been talk that he plans to file a civil lawsuit against her for emotional damages and false claims (ugh!).  

Cases like this are just an ugly reminder of two things - one, that as women we are always vulnerable to sexual assault and then a second assault on our character and judgment if we chose to report it.  And two, the ruling class can get away with damn near anything.

Originally posted to This is what a feminist looks like on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 03:10 PM PDT.

Also republished by Anti-Capitalist Chat.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's been appalling watching this play out. (7+ / 0-)

    Physical evidence of an assault and an assailant with a history.

    Women always get fucked. At least twice.

    Please remember to Witness Revolution. It means so much to them that we pay attention.

    by UnaSpenser on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 03:39:47 PM PDT

    •  FOr what it's worth in the doc (8+ / 0-)

      Sex Crimes Unit (I urge all women to watch this), Vance's Sex Crimes  attorneys successfully prosecuted someone for  participating int he multiple rapes of a prostitute. The  woman had agreed to go with the two guys to party--then they pulled out guns and raped her vaginally and orally for several hours. She kept their semen in her mouth, and when they finally left, spit out and called the police.  Matched some guy in the system, and he was put into a line-up where she picked him out with no hesitation.

      The female prosecutor told the jury:" Yes the victim is a prostitute. Yes, she has had sex with many money for money. But she couldn't pick out most of those johns from Adam. But the the face of her rapist?  THAT she remembers very clearly."

      Didn't take the jury long to convict. Didn't hurt that they'd also beaten her.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 03:44:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  didn't hurt? (4+ / 0-)

        I understand what you meant, but I've always found beatings to hurt very much.  Hope she's ok.  Thanks for a story where she wins for a change.

        Do the best you can.

        by home solar on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 04:04:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It made it easier for the jury to believe (5+ / 0-)

          her.  There is, unfortunately a tendency for people to not believe a prostitute can be raped because she has had sex for money. I suspect because of the prejudice,  prostitutes and other sex workers are more likely to be targeted--becaSe rapists doubt they will report.

          And yes, the photos of her bothered body did help win the case.

          And yes, beatings hurt. I was a rape crisis counselor volunteer  at one time, and also saw DV victims. It is unfortunate that there are still people in this world who think that if a rape victim doesn't ahev broken limb and a black and blue face that she is lying.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 04:09:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  belated thanks, irish and geminijen, (0+ / 0-)

            I did understand about those who think only visible bruises and broken bits can confirm rape in a woman - any woman, not just a prostitute.  I just couldn't let it stand uncommented about the "didn't hurt" part lest there were those same blissfully ignorant folks browsing by here, saying, "oh, see, it doesn't hurt!".

            Not that kossacks would ever say that, just my reaction.  

            And thanks for being a rape crisis volunteer too.  That makes you a pretty swell person imho.  cheers, Rene

            Do the best you can.

            by home solar on Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 10:33:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the reminder. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NY brit expat
      •  Still think Vance is a coward and a sleaze in this (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NY brit expat, irishwitch, Toon

        case.  BTW was the prostitute white or black.  Hard to get a protstitue conviction, but race can be a tipping point.
        Just as a comparison, in the Central Park Case a group of black youth were convicted of raping a white professional woman without any physical evidence, numerous trial errors, etc.  They went to jail.  All of them were cleared of the charges only years later when matching DNA turned up that matched an entirely different person (who was by this time in jail for similar crimes). Class and race seem to be
        among the determining factors in many cases.

        •   Black, I believe. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NY brit expat

          I remember the Wolf Pack case. It was mishandled--and DNA testing should have been the first step. It was a rush to judgment because the poor woman was so badly beaten.

          But as I said the prostitute was black. The Sex Crimes Unit seems to ahev a lot of female attorneys.  There was one case they had to drop. They had semen, but they couldn't get any DNA because the semen contained no sperm--and it was the only source of DNA they had. It made it impossible to get a conviction because it then became a he said, she said case  because juries EXPECT DNA. They don't realize that if you've had a vas or streile, there may not be any sperm.  

          For me, what made me believe the victim int he DSK case is the vaginal lacerations. Most rapes don't leave much int he way of vaginal  tears (I knwo because I researched this not long ago).   The vgina lubriactes naturally as we all know--and it has a lot of elasticity, so that unless a rape is very brutal, there's not much damage. MOST juries expect  lots of tears.  The ADAs learned to have the ME explain to the jury that tearing is less usul than they'd think. As one ME said "A penis it this big"" (circle with   thumb and  forefinger) "and a baby's head is THIS big"  (circle using both thumbs and foreingers.).  

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 05:37:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Expect certain Kossack males (6+ / 0-)

    to show up and school you on why there was no evidence and how she was a lair. I wonder how long it will take them?

    I think she was raped, based on his past history--because the best predictor of future behavior is someone's past record. He is pond scum when it comes to women, and he faces charges in France over the Banon case.  A number of female journalists have come forward as well to complain about unwanted sexual advances that went well beyond romantic seduction and into  damned close to attempted rape. He  is a rich, famous, powerful man with lots of connections, and he's used to getting what he wants when he wants it.

    The decision not to prosecute was  political. Vance is running for re-election.  Prosecutors run on their records, and that means keeping the percentage of wins high. I am still not entirely sure of all the facts in this case because of the claims and counterclaims, mostly leaked by his defense--the prosecution has a fiduciary duty to hand the defense any and all exculpatory evidence and evidence which discredits the  victim in a timely fashion, but the defense didn't have to leak this.   There should have been a gag order to avoid trying this in the press or at the least, the prosecutor should have said, "This is an on-going investigation, and I cannot compromise it by commenting.

    The defense in this case did what the prosecution did during the Duke case.  I think if they had done even a minimal background check on the complainant there, there would have been no case--she had mental health issues, didn't take her meds, and had previously filed unfounded complaints. Moreover at least one of the men she picked out had  hard evidence he was somewhere else. But this was another pol running for re-election and wanting to win.  SHouydl they have treated the woman with respect and compassion? Certainly? Should they have taken her complaint seriously? Yes. But shoudl they have looked a lot closer before announcing charges against the young men? Damned straight.

    Politics and justice are a bad mix, but I don't know of a way to keep politics out of cases.  Judges and prosecutors are elected.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 03:40:16 PM PDT

    •  well, they shouldn't be elected. -nt (3+ / 0-)

      Please remember to Witness Revolution. It means so much to them that we pay attention.

      by UnaSpenser on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 03:46:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There was plenty of physical evidence -- more than (7+ / 0-)

      they usually have going to trial.  There was DNA, brusing in the genital area, a torn rotator cuff and a witness -- diallo herself.  The prosecutors almost always take a case to trial with this much physical evidence. They do it with drug cases every day, with much less "credible" witnesses -- criminals who've been promised reduced sentences for one.  
      As for her credibility --1) she "lied" on her application to get into the country.  hello! It is the accepted way when you have very limited immigration quotas. 2) She did not report the rape immediately -- she went and cleaned another room first. Actually, she was in the room for 1-1/2 minutes to pick up her stuff.3)The claim that she told a friend in prison that she would get a lot of money.  In fact, said "friend" was a casual acquaintance who called her twice (she never called him) trying to get her to say that she'd make a lot of money.  She never, in the taoped conversations responded directly.  To the media's claim that she said she'd come out alright, she said that in answer to the idea that she couldn't handle the pressure.

       DSK spent tens of thousands on a PR campaign to discredit her and the MSM presented his distortions and lies without even fact checking.  People (both women and men) are always looking for an excuse to dismiss the victim.  Why didn't the media go after DSK since he has a very checkered past.  But no.  We know who to blame.

      •  As I said, it was politics, (3+ / 0-)

        which interferes with justice.  And I am still unclear why the defense got away with leaking stuff tot he press. I prefer the British system which shuts down the press on an investigation once someone is charged until  the trial, so as not to prejudice the jury pool.

        I stand by what I said about the Duke case, however.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 04:05:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  re physical evidence: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        One examiner said the genital redness was consistent w/ rape, a second said it wasn't.  The rotator cuff is discussed in the prosecutor's motion to dismiss: their experts said it was the result of the sort of repetitive action that a cleaner would do, rather than the result of a single traumatic episode.  eg, the physical evidence is, at best, ambiguous and at tells us nothing.

        •  This is a decision for the trial. That's why we (4+ / 0-)

          have trials.  The ambiguity doesn't mean he's guilty. Nor does it mean he's innocent. The DNA was conclusive. DSK said they had sex but it was consenual. She said it wasn't and had some evidence to show the sex might have been forced. His history of sexual abuse was much clearer than her pattern of lying (once you get rid of the red herrings that the DSK pr team put into the media).
          This was more than enough evidence in any other case to take it to trial where the evidence could be further explored.  The prosecutor, Vance, refuted the decision of the Grand Jury that it should go to trial. The prosecutor can do that when he doesn't think he can win (with all the press, the typical tendency to belive the rapist over the victim, add in black/poor/immigrant over rich/white/famous and he was probably right.)  It can also happen when the prosecutor has his eye more on his career than justice.

      •  How do they explain away the torn rotator cuff? (0+ / 0-)

        DSK claimed that they had consensual sex.  Diallo claimed he assaulted her.  The fact that she had a torn rotator cuff should have been enough evidence IMO to move the case forward.  

  •  Hey JJ - sorry I'm late. where is everybody? (4+ / 0-)

    Maybe still recovering from the hurricane like me.

  •  When calling several women friends and (5+ / 0-)

    family to see how they were in preparation for the hurricane, the only thing that they wanted to talk about was the DSK case. The rich and powerful are rarely held to account, the man is a known sexual aggressor, but, of course, it is the maid in the hotel that is lying. She is poor, she is black and she has no power. I didn't expect anything ... I am not surprised ... there is a trial in France ... what will come of that?

    Non-prosecution was political, the destruction of the victim's rights and credibility was conducted at the hands of the rich and powerful ... it is as though poor women of colour are fair game ... so disgusting ...

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 03:54:26 PM PDT

    •  what if enough women supported her cause (4+ / 0-)

      to have the case reinstated?

      Money could be raised to help her get the best lawyers to force the state to re-open the case, maybe?

      Please remember to Witness Revolution. It means so much to them that we pay attention.

      by UnaSpenser on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 04:00:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  At this point I think it is important to support (4+ / 0-)

        her civil case.  that's where the action will be. And to shame him out of his counter-case.  This means getting the real facts out in the media. Difficult for any woman, but especially since he is so rich.

      •  I have no idea how to persuade (4+ / 0-)

        the district attorney to reopen a case; given their line on "insufficient evidence" that does leave room open for the possibility of further evidence appearing, but as geminijen pointed out above, there was a lot of evidence (including the history of sexual assaults on other women indicating that the man has a history of being a swine).

        I had heard that she will be testifying at his trial in France. Do you think that she will be treated any better there or one of his other victims that has come forward will be treated with respect or will they do everything that they can to undermine both of their credibility. Plus there is the usual machismo in France where infidelity is seen as a sign of virility; what needs to be seen is whether rape is taken seriously or sexual assault and an history of doing so ... I am not hopeful ...

        "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

        by NY brit expat on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 04:08:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is that admissible? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          there was a lot of evidence (including the history of sexual assaults on other women indicating that the man has a history of being a swine).

          That's about the only clear evidence, but I'm not sure whether that would be admissible.  The general rule is that evidence of other bad acts to show that this bad act was done can't be admitted at court, although I'm sure there are exceptions.
          •  only clear evidence? there was physical evidence (4+ / 0-)

            of an assault.

            Please remember to Witness Revolution. It means so much to them that we pay attention.

            by UnaSpenser on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 04:16:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  it could be admissible to show a pattern (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            johnny wurster

            of historical behaviour if the judge allows it; if this is not a one-off and there is history that is relevant, a judge could allow it. But I am not a lawyer, there are others on site that are lawyers with experience in criminal law and constitutional law.

            "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 04:30:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My fuzzy recollection is that's exactly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              why it's not admissible: "he raped other women, therefore he raped this one."  Again, this is a bit fuzzy (evidence class was 5 years ago by now), but you can bring in prior bad acts to show a pattern if there's something distinctive ("calling cards," and the like), but that wouldn't seem to be the case here.

              From a quick scan of NY stuff, that would appear to be the case.  Here's NY v Ventimiglia:

              The rule excluding evidence of uncharged crimes is based upon the human tendency more readily "to believe in the guilt of an accused person when it is known or suspected that he has previously committed a similar crime" (People v Molineux, 168 NY 264, 313; People v Allweiss, 48 NY2d 40, 47; see People v Zackowitz, 254 NY 192, 198) and is intended to eliminate the danger that a jury may convict to punish the person portrayed by the evidence before them even though not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt of his guilt of the crime of which he is charged.

              fforts to quantify the degree of probativeness necessary for admission establish that the evidence must be of more than "slight value" (People v Allweiss, supra, at 47), but the authorities are not in agreement concerning whether it must be "highly probative" (id.., at pp 47 and 49), simply "directly probative" (People v Vails, supra, at p 368; People v Jackson, supra, at 68), or "substantially relevant" (McCormick, Evidence [2d ed], § 190, p 447), phrases which are themselves not entirely distinguishable. In final analysis the process is one of balancing in which both the degree of probativeness and the potential for [*360] prejudice of the proffered evidence must be weighed against each other (People v Santarelli, supra; People v Allweiss, supra). Factors which play a part in measuring probative value are "the degree to which the evidence persuades the trier of fact that the particular fact exists and the [logical] distance of the particular fact from the ultimate issues of the case" (Dolan, Rule 403: The Prejudice Rule in Evidence, 49 So Cal L Rev 220, 233). Further, as the Supreme Court of California noted in People v Stanley (67 Cal 2d 812, 818-819): "On the issue of probative value, materiality and necessity are important. The court should not permit the admission of other crimes until it has ascertained that the evidence tends logically and by reasonable inference to prove the issue upon which it is offered, that it is offered on an issue material to the prosecution's case, and is not merely cumulative." Important in the weighing process will also be how the evidence comes into the case, that is, whether at the instance of the People initially, or in rebuttal to a defense offered by defendant (People v Tas, 51 NY2d 915; People v Santarelli, supra; see People v Allweiss, supra).

              •  Again, this is the legal ambiguity where it (3+ / 0-)

                often gets decided on the predisposition of the prosecutor, the judge, the jury and the public.  In most rape cases,  unlike other cases, the victim has to prove herself to be believed -- unless she is another woman who has been raped or a friend or spouse of a victim -- then one tends to fight like hell for the victim's right to be heard and, in cases of ambuiguity, to support the victim until the evidence proves otherwise.

          •  One can show a pattern of sexual abuse on the (3+ / 0-)

            rapist's side.  Theoretically they can't use victim's past sexual history as that is irrelevant. course they did manage, through the press to call her a whore, etc.

          •  In AMerica, no. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NY brit expat

            Even his prior convictions for rape can't be admitted.  But all too often her clothing, her sexual history--anything--can and is used by the defense.  Sadly, the fact that the  rapist  has often done it before and even been convicted can't be mentioend--yet the best predictor of future behavior still tends to be apst behavior.

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 05:40:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I don't worry about infidelity if (4+ / 0-)

          both partners are consenting.  It's a problem in the marriage and between the two members of that couple.  I will take an adulterous man like Anthony wiener who votes the right way over a faithful right-wing idiot like Mike Huckabee any day.

          I am not sure how seriously the French regard rape, however. But thsi seems to be galvanizing French women into thinking hard about it.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 04:19:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agree with you about infidelity (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JustJennifer, irishwitch

            it is just such machismo garbage that one sees over in Italy, in France and Greece ... Mitterand, Berlusconi, etc. I personally don't care, but there are times when you swear that they are open about it and proud as though it makes them men's men (rolling her eyes)

            "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 04:34:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  this gets very tricky, i.e., Bill Clinton. I voted (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            for him a second time, because his political positions on women were far better than the Republicans.  But i found his behavior appalling, even illegal.  He let an intern (employee) suck his dick in the office (this is a hostile work environment--it doesn't matter if Ms. Monica obliged willingly -- it sets a precedent that makes other women in the office feel that if they don't do the same kind of behavior, they will lose their job or won't get promoted -- and trust me, in Wash D.C. this often is the standard.
            Moreover, when good ol Clinton fought for the Personal Responsibility Act (get rid of welfare--which has increased  our number of children in poverty), he stood on the steps at Federal Plaza in New York and talked about all the irresponsible 15 year old teenagers (everyone was picturing young black second generation welfare women).  what about pricks like Clinton who set the standard?
            Clinton's sex appeal rating seemed to go up after the Monica thing (remember "Sweet Willie?"). Nobody calculates how many votes were lost in the Gore election due to the rising moral right and disenchantment with Democrats. Was it even one factor that caused us to lose a close election and turn us over to the fascist right?
            This wasn't just boys will be boys.  it was the most amazingly irresponsible attitude given he was the leader of the country.  If he had a sex compulsion problem, he shouldv'e taken a DeProvera shot.

            •  We disagree on this as abvout other issues (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Geminijen, JustJennifer

              on sex. Adultery is a private matter. It seldom influences how someone votes or what legislation they support. The ONLY time I care is when someone claims to be a Traditional Family Values guy who votes against marriage equality  and then gets caught with a Rent Boy or lambasts others for their infidelity (Newtster comes to mid) but is found with a mistress and an illegitimate child. . I worry a lot more about what church they go to because that does influence their votes and legislation.

              Seemed to me that Monica was less of a victim and more of  Cute Young Thing who found an older man attractive. She wasn't 18. She was 23. I'd say she knew what she was doing was harming Clinton's marriage but didn't care. I can't give her a free pass.

              Was Clinton a horn dog? Sure. If I'd been Hillary I'd have dumped his ass--bot necessarily for the adultery, though he'd have slept on the couch for a lot longer than a coupe of months over that one. It was the lying that would have done it, denying it and then letting me as Hillary did, go on TV defending him. For the humiliation--TWICE--I'd have divorced him.

              My first job was in D.C. I worked for a state office. I had to handle passes day in and day out.  Some of them seemed to think it was a game and they scored points for how many under 30 young women they "nailed".  Did I like it? Especially when most of them were married? Not one bit.  What I hated more was having to work as a secretary  when I had two graduate degrees.

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 05:29:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thart's the whole point. if women are only viewed (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JustJennifer, NY brit expat

                as sex objects, they don't need to have a job of value whether or not they have the education.The two issues (sexual harassment and job qualifications for advancement) are flip sides of the same coin. The whole point of putting the sexual harassment part into the Civil Rights Act was to stop women feeling they had to be sexual to get and keep the job.  My analysis of the Monica thing wasn't personal --it is the definition of a hostile work environment under Title 7(?) of the 1964 civil Rights Act.

                P.S. Are you sure about the prior actions not being admissable?  Some of it goes to character and propensity, and view of women.

                •  Damned hard to do so. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  It almost never is allowed. EVEN if he was convicted. On this one johnnywurster is  sadly right.

                  I don't think the Monica Lewinsky mess was sexual harassment. I think you are really stretching the definition to its breaking point.  She consented. There was no "put out or you get  fired or a bad eval" or anything of that sort. She may even have been the aggressor in the relationship, flashing her thong. It was a tacky, consensual affair, not sexual harassment.  And If Linda Tripp hadn't been a Clinton hater, it would never have gone public nor should it have.  And there is no evidence of a hostile work environment.

                  Paula Jones  didn't even claim that--or if she did, the facts prove that she was promoted and got raises after turning Bill down. Even Ken Starr after years of sifting through the sleazy details couldn't prove that, and how oh he tried.

                  Clinton was a Southern horn dog ( every time I watch True Blood and look at Jason, whose butt is way over-exposed, I think "There but for a high I.Q. goes Bill."

                  A friend of mine was actually the recipient of TRUE sexual harassment and a hostile work environment. SHe was a one of two female welders at a plant.  The guys   were pissed because they were the two most productive workers and finished their assigned jobs early way too often. They guys first tried leaving   nude photos pinned to their lockers. My friend  got Playgirl and added a couple of her own--of naked men. The guys complained that SHE had  made THEM uncomfortable.  Then they tried to talk them into working less hard.  That failed. Then they tried to spread rumors about them being lesbians. That failed. THEN they suggested one of them  sleep with the boss and keep him busy  instead of working too hard.  THAT is a hostile work environment.

                  Having some Senator's LA  make a pass/request for a date is what passes for a social scene in D.C.  They never pushed it beyond the verbal. Had they, I'd have told my boss. Really, being underemployed --and Id idn't get my job because I was sexually appealing nor was I expected to put out--was a much more serious problem, and still is.

                  The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                  by irishwitch on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 08:20:48 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  actually, that is the one election that I (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Geminijen, JustJennifer

              sat out, but not for his being a horn dog, that is between him and his wife; his economic policies were harming the poor and quite honestly I could not see how the repugs would have been much worse ... between the workfare crap, the legitimation of part-timism as not being unemployed despite the atrocious pay and no benefits (and which invariably affects women far more than men as they are who are employed in crappy part-time retail jobs), NAFTA, etc ... I had enough ...

              "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

              by NY brit expat on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 05:55:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I wanted to, but was scared of the fascists. So (0+ / 0-)

                what are you going to do this time?

                •  I am voting Obama ... (0+ / 0-)

                  there is a real organised group of fascists in the republican party and a supportive media and financial support for them; we are in a very dangerous situation far too reminiscent of previous historic nightmares. Back then, they did not have a coherent base and weren't as strongly organised; there is now a true fascist grouping inside the republican party.

                  "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

                  by NY brit expat on Wed Aug 31, 2011 at 05:15:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Boy are you right about French machismo (and (3+ / 0-)

          chauvanism, possibly racism) I spoke with some French tourists at the courthouse and they were very dismissive of her -- believed all the hype about her credibility and totally ignored the physical evidence.  Anyone who can't see that it should at least have gone to trial is...well.  Guess they had to defend their own.

          •  extremely macho, extremely chauvanistic (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            UnaSpenser, JustJennifer, irishwitch

            and very racist; wrt the latter, I swear that when the French national team went out early in the World Cup, there were newspapers saying that the largely black team were not french enough (as opposed to blaming the completely ass of a white French coach that was responsible).

            "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 04:38:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I've been looking for updates (4+ / 0-)

        on the ruling that was supposed to happen today regarding the appeal of the decision not to appoint a special prosecutor.   I haven't seen anything yet.

        I'd rather die than give you control ~ Trent Reznor

        by JustJennifer on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 04:10:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Anumber of black groups and women were very (6+ / 0-)

      active in her case.  I was down at the court the day that the dismissal came down.  There were two very articulate women from the New Black Panther Party.  There was also a strong spokesmen from 100 black law officials who care.
      Both emphasized that Vance played the good ol white boys game by taking the case out of the hands of the grand jury (that's the group of regular citizens who vote whether a case should go forward to trial) and deciding that the evidence (which hadn't changed) was "insufficient."  See my comment above about the distortion of the evidence by the DSK PR firm and the MSM.
      What was most interesting to me at the courthouse was that there were people from all kinds of groups there - black community, immigrant community, women's groups, left groups.  while there was some intermingling, each group stressed their support for Diallo according to their interests --her vulnerability as an immigrant, as a black person, as a lower class person, as a woman.  It would have been a great opportunity to bring them all together.  The one spokesperson from the New Black Panthers was the best in integrating the issues.

  •  Oh gawd. The Daily Best entitled the birth (0+ / 0-)

    of Aisha Gaddafi's child "good tidings".

    Now, I know the child is an innocent baby. But we don't need to be celebrating Aisha Gaddafi bringing more Gaddafis into the world. It really should have gone without comment. Or at least a critical review of Aisha's role in Libya.

    Instead it refers to her as the "Claudia Schiffer of Libya". gack.

    Please remember to Witness Revolution. It means so much to them that we pay attention.

    by UnaSpenser on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 04:39:47 PM PDT

  •  The classic description of a woman who has a shot (7+ / 0-)

    at winning a rape case.

    "A nun with multiple knife wounds."

    Because if she's ever had sex outside of marriage, she's a slut and therefore available to any man who wants her.

    Because if she's uninjured, she obviously didn't resist, and therefore the sex was consensual.

    Oh, and bite marks, bruises and vaginal tearing are only evidence of "rough" sex....and we know how much sluts enjoy that.

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 04:44:19 PM PDT

  •  There has been clearly more than 5 people on the (4+ / 0-)

    site tonite.  Guess some jsut forgot to rec in the tip jar.

  •  I really don't know what happened. (0+ / 0-)

    But if she lied they should sue her ass to kingdom come and give her some pretty good jail time to boot.

    I didn't care for math, but when I first understood the concept of finding the slope of a curve at a point, I wanted to grab the first girl I saw and kiss her with wild abandon, just like in that WW II photo.

    by dov12348 on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 06:13:54 PM PDT

  •  A Bitch of a Case To Try (6+ / 0-)

    Despite my belief, based on what came out in the news, that DSK raped her, as a former criminal defense attorney I pity the prosecutor who had to bring this case to trial.

    The victim here had lied under oath in her asylum application, which is a federal crime.  Adding to that she admitted she had lied, in the immigration action, about the facts of a former rape allegation.

    Along with giving two different stories about what she did immediately after the rape, her veracity as a witness was highly suspect.  Since DSK could afford a team of highly experienced defense attorneys, she would have been gang-raped at trial.

    Ultimately, the N.Y. District Attorney probably made the decision to dismiss based on his political career, but the facts about the witness made this an awfully difficult case.

    One hopes the French case will go more smoothly or, minimally, this raping bastard won't be elected as the next president of France.

    Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support single-payer health care,unions, and WikiLeaks.

    by Justina on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 06:21:20 PM PDT

    •  People who work in immigration know that they (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justina, JustJennifer, NY brit expat

      easiest "lie" that women are supposed to tell is that they were gang raped.  A friend of mine did it to get in.  Interstingly in her initial interview, she simply said, when asked, that she had been raped one time in her home country. They discussed it further with her and she changed it, after consultation, to gang rape (which it had to be to get her papers).  People say and do a lot of things to get to a place where they can find work, not starve, make a life.
      As far as the two stories, it turns out that she did reprot it almost immediately -- when questioned, she did later say that she went to another room to get her things for about a minute and a half when her co-workers saw her.  The time line that the police have does not allow for her to have cleaned another room which is what the press, with the help of DSK's pr, said happened.
      I agree it would be very hard to try. Harder than a nonrape case we know.  It would also be much easier, however, if she were white and he were black, she were rich and he were poor.  See my comparison above to an actual rape case: The Central Park Rape case where several young black men were convicted with no, nada, physical evidence of the rape of a white well-to-do business woman and spent time in jail (same city, same court system).  And, oh yes, years later all of the young men were cleared by DNA testing when they found the real rapist.

      •  No Question, Race and Class Matter. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NY brit expat

        I agree completely, jury verdicts may be decided on extraneous race or class issues, but I have found that most juries work very hard to decide cases on the evidence.  A New York City jury would likely have been very racially/ethnically  mixed and I doubt they would have been easily swayed by such factors.

        But evidence that a witness has previously lied on major issues, for no matter how good or understandable a reason, still might present a reasonable doubt in the minds of some jurors.

        Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support single-payer health care,unions, and WikiLeaks.

        by Justina on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 09:43:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I feel like this is such a textbook case of the (5+ / 0-)

    centuries of abuse women have had to live with that we've been through this so many times and there is nothing new to say.

    What is the lynchpin to changing this dynamic in society? When do women get a fair shake and a modicum of protection from brutal men?

    When do we transcend the whore/madonna complex?

    Please remember to Witness Revolution. It means so much to them that we pay attention.

    by UnaSpenser on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 06:56:58 PM PDT

  •  Another in a long list of cautionary tales. (3+ / 0-)

    If you're a woman who intends to report a sexual crime, you better be Mother (fucking) Theresa.

    I don't know why...but I remain disgustedly surprised every time.  Every damn time.

    •  Or get all of the interest groups together on the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marjmar, JustJennifer, NY brit expat

      same page for once -- the women's community seeing this as a black case (rape of black women historically is never prosecuted since slave owners took slave women as their property) the black community seeing this as a women's case (men have always seen women as their property), and the left seeing it not only as rich against poor, but men against women and black against white.  
      Maybe then there would be enough of us to fight it right.

  •  I hate to say it but (0+ / 0-)

    Can "A Space of Our Own" be its own group?  I really don't see what most of them have to do with Anti-Capitalism.

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