Lucrece in New York

It’s so French to see conspiracies everywhere; it’s almost embedded in French culture. But the appalling charges levelled against Dominique Strauss-Kahn have caused more that a Gallic shrug in the Elysée Palace and amongst les bourgeois, who are normally remarkably tolerant of the sexual peccadilloes of their leaders, for whom seduction, sans violence, is an art form. This has exploded like a landmine, a sex scandal “à l’anglo saxonne” with dirty laundry billowing in a most unseemly fashion on Parisian boulevards. Like most breaking stories, fact and speculation become intertwined. Had he wanted to satisfy his bestial and corrupt desires, he would surely have had no problem, financial or otherwise, in engaging the services of a leggy $3000 a night escort, discretion guaranteed. Instead, he has been portrayed as a potential rapist, sodomite and kidnapper, which individually is bad enough but collectively scarcely credible. And, all before lunch as well. Did he ‘flee the scene’? No, he had lunch then boarded his flight, having phoned the hotel since he’d left his mobile phone behind – the Press suggesting he ‘left in haste’. It seems clear that something went on which wouldn’t look good on his CV – perhaps he made some kind of pass at his accuser, an  African-American maid, but it takes considerable determination and physical intimidation to force a young woman to engage in unwilling fellatio.

So, is there a conspiracy? Three weeks ago, Strauss-Kahn evoked such a possibility in an interview with French newspaper Libération when he said he thought he was under surveillance and named the three principal difficulties he foresaw if he was to stand for the presidential elections.

“Money, women and the fact I am Jewish”

Oh, dear. A rich philanderer with sympathies in Tel Aviv – he might as well paint a target on himself. Meanwhile, he is a guest at Riker’s Island, where he’ll hopefully not get to be best friends with Abdullah, 230 pounds, the Taleban weightlifter from Kabul.

“The mightier man, the mightier is the thing 
That makes him honored or begets him hate; 
For greatest scandal waits on greatest state.” 
The Rape of Lucrece (Shakespeare)

Whatever else DSK turns out to be, he is no Tarquin and the maid is unlikely to suffer the same fate as Lucrece who stabs herself after being raped (image detail Paolo Veronese, 1583)

The presidential elections will have to wait. For quite some time.

4 thoughts on “Lucrece in New York

  1. > The whole planet (i e the destiny of French politics and to less extend a special way for solving the PIGS's abyssal debt) is hanging to Mr DSK private parts.
    > Like 70/100 of the French (even women) I didn't shout “conspiracy theory” but “impossible”.
    > I naively tend to believe that such a bright and powerful man would never commit what he is accused of.
    > Criticized for his luxury habits, our president even said about DSK and his alleged soft spot for swingers club :” compared to him, I am a methodist priest”
    (in the meantime, our first lady's pregnancy went unnoticed)

    > French feminists reacted mildly : “could it be true?”
    > Shrinks hammered gently that sexual predators, like women beatters know no social boundaries.
    > A young journalist said she was abused in 2002 and “might” press charges.
    > My empathy with the cute young blonde telling the story was slightly tarnished when she said ” he was such a womanizer that he was the only member of parliament to have an old and near obese secretary”
    (Today let's have a special thought to all middle aged and chubby women with a healthy sex life).
    Today we hear that DSK's attorneys are searching the chambermaid garbage bags and are probably going to plead consensual sex.
    > Hmmmm, this is gonna be hard to swallow…


  2. As a footnote the French press have had a good deal to say.
    “We are saddened and troubled by the charges against Dominique, and of course do not condone his behaviour,” said Andre Pirlois, a minister in the ruling UMF party. “But we are more troubled by the idea that a younger woman would say no. The French political system is built on marital infidelity. How can we prove our virility if we can’t always cheat?”


  3. I feel a bit like Gipsy – I have trouble believing that a man with the intelligence, charm, wasta, standing, blah, blah, blah is so stupid as to risk everything ever achieved in his life by trying to force an unwilling woman to do something so risky…on all sorts of levels. Maybe I'm revealing my usual PollyAnna perspective, and I'm truly naive, but he just doesn't strike as someone mentally deficient enough not to comprehend the enormity of the consequences of such a brief “happy ending.” *shrug*


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