Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Leftists and Feminists, French and Foreign, Bemoan the DSK Case Risking to Discredit Future Reports of Rape

Anne Mansouret, the mother of a young woman who has accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her in 2003, said Saturday that she was “revolted” by the gleeful reaction of many men in France to the news that the case against him in New York had been compromised by credibility questions surrounding his accuser, a hotel housekeeper.
That is how write Steve Erlanger and Katrin Bennhold start their article about Frenchwomen weighing the impact and fallout of the Strauss-Kahn case, with leftists and feminists everywhere bemoaning that the inconsistencies that have apparently emerged in the account of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s accuser — her name is Nafissatou Diallo, by the way — risk discrediting future reports of sexual violence. Apparently, it would not be too much of a bad thing to punish an innocent man in order for women to be able to continue portraying themselves as martyrs and victims. The latest development, incidentally, since the International Herald Tribune article was published, is that Mansouret's daughter, Tristane Banon, effectively filed a criminal complaint against Strauss-Kahn, whose lawyers, a few hours later, countersued the young woman for calumny.
“He’s lied a lot in his life,” said Ms. Mansouret, whose daughter, Tristane Banon, has signaled that she would file a criminal complaint in France against Mr. Strauss-Kahn. “I know exactly what he is.”

“We question automatically this young woman’s testimony,” she said. “But we don’t question a man who lied extravagantly.”

Mr. Strauss-Kahn and his male allies, she said, “don’t want a world where you can’t force a woman” to perform sex acts.

For Ms. Mansouret, who for years had urged her daughter not to speak out because it might damage her career, and other women here, Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s arrest in New York in May seemed to be a turning point, a chance to break the code of silence about sexual harassment and aggression by powerful figures. But the question in France after his release without bail on Friday was whether that moment was turning yet again.

… Olivia Cattan [the head of a feminist association called Paroles de Femmes, or “Women’s Words”] said she was surprised by the reaction of many Socialists.

“They give the impression that they will welcome him as a hero,” she said.

She is sure Mr. Strauss-Kahn will lose support among many voters if he runs. But what worries her more is that “victims of rape who take legal action against their perpetrator will now have to prove that they are moral, don’t have a police record and never lied.” She fears the case “will cast more doubt on the testimony of victims in a country where women’s rights are already ridiculed.”

What worries Olivia Cattan is that alleged rape victims "will now have to prove that they are moral, don’t have a police record, and never lied”?! Well, it turns out that maybe that used to be a good thing! Is the head of Paroles de Femmes the mother of a son? Whether yes or no, maybe she should read the post of the feminist veteran of the 1980s (her fight for the rights of a woman to be believed helped bring about a culture of “women don’t lie”) whose perspective changed somewhat when her own son was falsely accused decades later of attempted sexual assault: "If you think that women don’t lie to get back at men, how naive can you be? And who is going to protect our sons?"

Writes Michel Fize in Le Monde:
Hélas, de même qu'il existe aujourd'hui des "anti-sarkozystes primaires", comme il exista naguère des "anti-communistes primaires", il existe aussi à présent des féministes que j'appellerai définitivement "primaires". Pour ces femmes-là, il ne fait pas de doute que tous les hommes sont, par définition, des salauds (au moins sexuels), et les femmes, globalement, des vertueuses nées, qui ne mentent jamais, ne manipulent personne. Par ce raisonnement, la gent masculine représente naturellement, à leurs yeux, le sexe dangereux, la gent féminine incarnant, du coup, le sexe glorieux, celui des amours simples et des désirs toujours honnêtes. Sexe animal et machiste d'un côté, sexe sentimental et "végétal" (de jolies fleurs en tête) de l'autre.

C'est bien mal connaître les hommes et être dans un profond "désamour" à leur égard, c'est bien faire lourdement offense aux femmes elles-mêmes, que de penser pareilles vilaines choses.
As summarized by James Taranto:
Rape is a despicable crime. Falsely accusing a man of rape is despicable as well.