Global Feminist Petition: Take Strauss-Kahn charges seriously

Feminists Demand Freedom from Sexual Assault and Harassment

We agree:

Rape is always about power and domination; it is sexualized violence.

Rape and sexual harassment of women are pervasive at all strata of society and in all corners of the globe. Women will never be fully free and able to enjoy equality with men until this ends. As feminists, we see the arrest of former International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn on sexual assault charges as an opportunity to increase public awareness and as a wake-up call to renew action against sexual violence, not only in the US where his arrest occurred and in France, where media and many public figures are portraying him as the victim, but around the world.

We join French feminists in saying that just as Strauss-Kahn is innocent until proven guilty, his accuser must also be respected and believed to be credible unless proven false. We commend her employer, Sofitel, and the action of the NYC Police for taking her complaint seriously. We call for feminists around the world to join with her union (New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council Local 6) in collecting funds for legal and daily expenses, as her work is now curbed and life circumstances vastly altered. Contributions can be sent to Judson Memorial Church (attention Women’s Fund) 55 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012-1018.

We also share French feminist indignation at the deliberate and opportunistic confusion of seduction and sexual violence, from Strauss-Kahn’s declaration that he “loves women,” to the journalists and politicians who rally behind this “Great Seducer.” It is outrageous that the allegation of attempted rape during the course of a housekeeper’s work day raises issues about any woman’s life story and sexual history. And portraying powerful Strauss-Kahn as “too civilized” to commit a violent crime plays upon colonial and racist stereotypes vis-à-vis an African immigrant woman.

We adamantly oppose all harassment, sexual violence and rape, and we know that when there is a large discrepancy between the power, the wealth and racial hierarchy of the parties involved, justice is even harder to come by. All rapists and harassers believe they are entitled, and often when they are part of the power elite they assume that influence will outweigh the legal protection and freedom from coercion all women should enjoy. Feminists around the world demand that justice be done.

Women of all countries, unite!

To sign, go here.

Thanks, S!

3 thoughts on “Global Feminist Petition: Take Strauss-Kahn charges seriously

  1. Isn’t there a tension between believing he’s innocent and believing she’s credible? I suppose maybe it’s possible both of those are true, but they’re surely less plausible than alternatives.

    The alternative I choose is believing he’s guilty. The criminal justice system has an obligation to treat him as innocent until guilt his “proven”, but my beliefs don’t need to meet such a stringent requirement!

  2. Yes, DavidC, were I to edit the petition, I’d insert the word ‘presumed’ between ‘is’ and ‘innocent.’ There’s no tension presuming that opposed persons are both credible, or presuming (with no affective sense of believing) a defendant may be, and for practical purposes is, ‘not guilty,’ not yet judged, at the same time that one credits a plaintiff with standing.

    The alternative I choose is presuming not-guilty, a safe epistemological claim about my own lack of evidence, but I agree that I don’t have to believe he’s innocent in order to presume I don’t know everything!

  3. Looks like French presidential candidate Strauss-Kahn was set up by political rivals. The rape allegation was a fabrication. The “victim” had already used a fabricated rape allegation in the past for personal gain:

    “Prosecutors said the woman admitted lying in her application for asylum in the United States and that she had been a victim of a gang rape, providing details of that attack. She cried when she first told prosecutors about the rape but in a subsequent interview, she admitted the gang rape never occurred. She said the fabricated account on the asylum application was made with the assistance of a man who “provided her with a cassette recording of the facts” so that she could memorize them.”

    The false accuser also had numerous bank deposits into a hidden account, and numerous phone calls using two secret cell phones, just before the false accusation.

    The evidence of a political set-up is mounting.

    Feminists have made rape into such a one-sided issue that a man accuse of rape is ruined for life, even if it is later shown that it was a set up. The false accuser will certainly never be prosecuted, and in all likelihood will continue to make a living off of this false accusation for years to come.

    So, what are the odds that Christine Lagarde will gracefully step down and allow DSK back into the IMF? She has already begun implementing her feminist agenda of tying IMF bank loans to compliance with the feminist agenda of gender dominance. Only in a gelded world can the head of the IMF publicly blame the world financial meltdown on masculinity:

    “Founding fathers … Founding fathers not mothers, notice. Regrettably there was no woman at the table at the time”.

    Can you imagine a man who blames women for the “Great Recession” elected to head the IMF, with a bigoted sentence like this:

    “The world can no longer afford expensive entitlement programs for women … for women, not men, notice: 73% of all Medicare/Medicaid dollars are spent on female beneficiaries, while the majority of contributions are made by men.”

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