Crime vs. Escapade
02 June, 2011
Crime vs. Escapade

 

‘After the investigation the perpetrators will get strictest punishment’

I once worked for a company in Los Angeles, where one boss in particular, was very touchy feely. Every time he was in a room he liked to put his hands on shoulders of his staff.

No one ever said anything about it, as they were convinced that this was just his way of relating to his employees, his female employees. Unfortunately for my coworkers I did not share in their views. First

I said something to my immediate supervisor, who couldn’t or wouldn’t do anything about it. Then I complained to HR, but I was told that if it wasn’t a case of outright sexual harassment, then there wasn’t much to be done about it.

 

The whole situation was absurd. I knew that his shoulder touching wasn’t a big deal to most, and I didn’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill either. I just wanted him to stop doing it to me. In California most jobs are at will employments, which means the company can terminate your employment at any time for whatever reason. I had to be careful if I didn’t want to loose my job.

One day I walked into the office and my boss put his arm around me and started to walk me into a different direction from where I was heading. In spirit of corporation I too put my arm around him. It worked like magic. The minute my hand touched his shoulder he jerked and dropped his arm. I guess he didn’t like being manhandled. Who knew?

The case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn is not a case of simple manhandling. This isn’t a French scandal, but an alleged crime. I say alleged because the trial hasn’t started, no one has been proven guilty, and so far everything has been a speculation, except for the fact that Strauss –Kahn has been indeed accused of rape. And yet French newspapers and reporters seem to count the accusation of crime, as crime itself. For some reason, there is no distinction for them between consenting sexual act, a.k.a. affair, and a non-consensual one, a.k.a. rape. They are treating the whole situation as a political tragedy, not a human one.

Well, he is a known womanizer, wrote newspapers in France, as if that was a defense for rape. This is nothing new said Le Figaro, he has been womanizing for years. Being a womanizer is looked upon in France as a sign of virility, and apparently Strauss-Kahn has been showing off his virility for some years now. Yet this macho posturing contradicted later reports by Le Figaro reporters that a frail sixty two year old could not have forced himself upon a thirty two year old woman.  Yes, being a womanizer is not a crime. Especially when the womanizer’s wife doesn’t seem to mind. But there is a difference between a guy who has relations with a woman and then tells her he is married, and a rapist who pushes himself upon an unwilling person.

The Los Angeles Times ran an article on how incensed the French were at seeing pictures of one of their own in handcuffs being ‘paraded’ out of Police Department in NY. For those French citizens who are incensed with the laws of a foreign country, my suggestion is, commit crimes in our own country. French justice system is based on 1804 Napoleonic Code. It must be good to be King in France.

Again, I must point out, the trial hasn’t begun yet. All we hear from reporters on both continents are speculations. It doesn’t help Strauss-Kahn’s case when Jean-Francois Kahn, founder of weekly magazine Marianne and a witness at Strauss-Kahn’s third marriage in 1991, says on a radio station France Culture, “there may have been a careless action, how should I put it… the shagging of a servant.” I keep waiting for someone related to Strauss-Kahn to quip  – “Mais, quoi? She was wearing a maid’s uniform. What man can resist a maid’s uniform?”

No matter who you are or where you are from, understand that rape is a physical violence against another human being. The allegations of rape cannot be taken lightly or simply swept under the rug. It cannot be referred to as another sexual escapade, or an affair. It is a crime. It will be discussed in a court of law filled with lawyers, prosecutors and twelve members of a jury. Strauss-Kahn will be either proven guilty, or not. Until then, everything else is gossip for Page Six.

 

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