Saturday, 2 July 2011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Women with boyfriends in jail can be raped.

Women with multiple cell phones can be raped.

Women who need money can be raped.

Women who can't read or write the language of the country they are in can be raped.

Sex workers can be raped.

Women who lie on their tax forms can be raped.

Women who've lied about rape in the past can be raped.

Women who launder money can be raped.

Women who have told that their actual oppression is not enough to get them asylum, and so have to learn a story that will can be raped.

Women who have many truths they cannot tell to authorities can be raped.


harbourview said...

Thank you for this Maia. I've been reading the mainstream media sites with incredulity today.

Anonymous said...

I'm incredibly angry that you're just handwaving away the fact that she made a story about gang rape up. My partner was a victim of sexual assault and it's people like the maid who make bullshit up that actually make it hard for people like my partner who actually have a genuine case.

There is no excuse for DSK abusing his position of authority on the maid. Period.

But there is no excuse for making up a rape story.

There is no excuse for trying to justify this.

- Mr. F

Cara said...

Mr F.
Where is your proof that she made a story about gang rape up? I have heard this in the news, but have heard no proof of this allegation anywhere except people bandying it around.
People drop rape charges for a number of reasons, and are quite often labelled as having made it up afterwards, even if they did not.

John Price said...

while women in all these categories can certainly be raped, I don't want to sound harsh here but it does dramatically reduce the credibility of the rape complaintant.

The lie on their tax forms and laundering money indicates a pattern of dishonesty that should treat any evidence a person gives with a high degree of sceptism. The fact two of these crimes/dishonesty involved money adds the question as to wether the rape complaint was motivated by a desire to profit from selling books, getting a payout or something else.

Of corse it could be a genuine rape. We should just be careful on relying on the word of one person with a proven history of dishonesty

Anonymous said...

I believe this is a letter from the District Attorney of New York - considering that the case is the People vs DSK - I would imagine that the DA is nominally on the maid's side. With friends like these...

- Mr. F

Acid Queen said...

Just because somebody has lied about rape before doesn't mean they are more likely to lie about rape later.

H Stewart said...

Nicked your blog to comment on a friends blog

I would point out though that Strauss-Kahn would seem to have a history that makes me think that even if all the above is found to be correct charges should be brought. Oh hang on he is a rich white male and she is a black house maid.

Maia said...

Mr F - I've added a line to the post just for you.

I don't want to host inaccurate rumours about her asylum claim this letter has an account. She appears to have lied about gang rape in order to have gained asylum. But, and this is hte point I was making in the post, she had been raped. This country deported a teenager who claimed she would be raped if she was returned home. Often in order to get asylum, no matter how legitimate your actual claims are you have to frame them in a certain way if your actual persecution doesn't tick the boxes.

I absolutely disagree with you that women who make up claims of rape are the reason that rape victims have a hard time. As far as all reasonable research can demonstrate, false rape claims are no different from false claims of other crimes. And yet rape victims are subject to extraordinary standards. That difference is about rape culture.

John Price - And I'm back to grammar - don't leave the actor out of the sentence. Credibility is not an absolute condition, but a value judgement made by an observer. It may make her less credible to you. In setting up conditions by which you won't believe a woman you are in effect saying "rape these women with impunity."

Dave said...

To be fair to DSK; the thought that a "lowley domestic servent" wouldnt want to be fucked by him wouldnt even cross his mind. He needed to fuck (like a rutting dog) and she was there and had a vagina. He probably thought he was doing her a favour. However I am wondering why a younger woman would have what sounds like very hasty & brutish sex whith a fat old man, but DSK and people like him dont see it that way. I'm not saying it doesnt happen, but if a female employee at a 5 star hotel were found to be having sex with a guest they would loose their job. House maids in 5 star hotels are not even alowed to speak to you. Now I'm youngish, white, good looking, smell nice, have money and stay in flash 5 star hotels while Im away for work; not once has any female hotel employee made what I'd call a pass at me. Professionally nice, yes, but a pass, no.

Anonymous said...

Where is your proof that she made a story about gang rape up? I have heard this in the news, but have heard no proof of this allegation anywhere except people bandying it around.


"Additionally, in two separate interviews with assistant district attorneys assigned to the case, the complainant stated that she had been the victim of a gang rape in the past in her native country and provided details of the attack. During both of these interviews, the victim cried and appeared to be markedly distraught when recounting the incident. In subsequent interviews, she admitted that the gang rape had never occurred. Instead, she stated that she had lied about its occurrence and fabricated the details, and that this false incident was part of the narrative that she had been directed to memorize as part of her asylum application process. Presently, the complainant states that she would testify that she was raped in the past in her native country but in an incident different than the one that she described during initial interviews."

Bette said...

So she was STILL raped Mr F - just not raped the way you wanted her to say she'd been raped?

Ughhh this thread makes me feel ill.

There is no compassion for this woman. It's revolting. And you're quite awful for using your partner's rape as an excuse to beat on a rape victim.

Psycho Milt said...

All the statements in the post are accurate. But they're also not really relevant. What it comes down to is the likelihood of proving a rape charge beyond reasonable doubt, and the odds against that now make a prosecution extremely unlikely.

Muerk said...

I agree with Milt. The primary legal issue is whether DSK is guilty of raping her beyond reasonable doubt. A history of dishonesty and lying about her actions after the alleged rape is just the kind of thing that DSK's defense team will use to create doubt in the mind of jurors.

You can also bet that DSK has the best legal team money can buy. Convicting him of anything was always going to be hard.

Cara said...

"Presently, the complainant states that she would testify that she was raped in the past in her native country but in an incident different than the one that she described during initial interviews."

So she wasn't raped in exactly the way she said she was or in the exact situation she says she was? She was still raped, she didn't invent it just to get sympathy or asylum or whatever else. This thread is sickening me to an extent as well.

Clearly the legal system needs to take a different attitude to rape, and did long before this case ever hit the news.

@John Price
A proven history of dishonesty? In that case why don't we take Mr Strauss-Kahn, he seems to have quite the history of dishonesty, but oh wait it doesn't matter because he has the best defence team money can buy.

And agree with Maia, it's not about the (tiny) amount of people who invent rape claims, it's society's disgusting attitude towards rape victims.

Anonymous said...

Clearly if a rapist or murderer had changed his or her story several times before testifying, it would be held against him or her.

I wonder why there's a different standard when it comes to this woman and her history of false complaints in order to bend the asylum system - in fact, I'm wondering why she repeated a made-up a story about gang rape in order to claim asylum if there was, in the past, an actual offence committed against her?

There's also the matter of a claimant not being judged on her sexual history - and yet here we have people saying that Strauss-Kahn was a known womaniser and using that to infer that he's only one step away from being a rapist. If Strauss-Kahn's history of womanising is relevant, then this woman's history of lies and financial fraud - as well as the taped telephone conversation she had with a prison inmate and former drug dealer about how much she stood to make out of this - are also relevant. Or, to hold you to the standard I assume you maintain, if this woman's history isn't relevant, then neither is Strauss-Kahn's.

Anything less is a double standard and suggests that you don't want a level playing field in rape cases - what you actually want is a bias toward the accuser to the detriment of the accused.

While I agree that rape cases are woefully under-prosecuted, and the rate of conviction miserable compared to other crimes, I wonder if stacking the odds against the accuser is the way to go about remedying the bias or if you've entirely thought through your arguments.


Deep said...

In that case why don't we take Mr Strauss-Kahn, he seems to have quite the history of dishonesty

Does he? I'm not aware of that history. Could you elaborate?

Cat said...

Clearly if a rapist or murderer had changed his or her story several times before testifying, it would be held against him or her.

He actually did, in this case. First he said nothing happened, and then (when forensics actually found evidence), he admitted to 'consensual sex'.

Cara said...

I was referring to his denial of the allegations and then his admitting them when a little thing called DNA turned up.
Either way I'm not in favour of "stacking the odds against the accuser". I don't think that would fix anything. There have, however, been suggestions that the way rape trials operate could change. In New Zealand, there's currently (to my knowledge) being research undertaken at VUW law school to see if there's any way of improving the justice gap in rape cases. This would not mean eroding the rights of the accused, but would mean that there are limits on what a defence lawyer can do. As it stands at the moment, a number of irrelevant factors can be brought up as evidence against victims in rape trials. Jan Jordan's books (The word of a woman and Serial Survivors) both detail this fairly well.
Back to the DSK example though. I think you need to go back and look at this post. Regardless of past tax fraud, criminal acquaintances etc., none of these things say that she is definitely lying. They say she has a past, and a lot of people do. None of this means it didn't happen and the fact that these can be brought up as evidence it didn't happen when they had nothing to do with the event itself is the problem here. I guarantee if she did not have a history of fraud or whatever, they would have dragged up something else to smear her name, whether it be mental health issues, family, illegal [immigration] status etc. It's really not hard to dig up something which will make someone look at best dishonest and at worst a liar. The fundamental problem here is that most women (and men) do not have spotless pasts and that they are held to standards in the courts that deny them justice on this basis.
Granting the victim the right to a fair trial does not equal taking rights away from the offender, unless you're the sensible sentencing trust.
I imagine there would have been no conviction here anyway because of her skin colour, her profession and the fact she doesn't have the money to employ private investigators left, right and centre to delve into his life. I find it funny that people talk about needing a level playing field in reference to what she has done or not done, when the playing field is tipped in his favour to begin with.
I seem to have got into a rant, but I think the gist of my point is there. Apologies if it's a bit all over the place. I should go to bed!

Anonymous said...

Who is the "they" keep in mind - that it was the maid's own prosecution team - the DA's office who bought these to light and not DSK's team.

Don't get me wrong. I think on the balance of probabilities and DSK being a sleazy fuck with a history of treating women as objects that he's guilty of rape in this case.

I was just getting worked up about the need to justify making a rape story up - which is IMHO never justified. I do think that in this case she is telling the truth and that DSK should be jailed.

- Mr. F

Cara said...

This quote from a Guardian article sums up what I was going to say:
"They say that she never told the authorities about suffering female genital mutilation in her asylum claim, but has since spoken of it. Some media are suggesting that she may now face deportation.

We see dozens of asylum-seeking women every month who have been raped in their home countries. Women are accused of lying if they didn't tell the authorities every single detail when they first arrive. But many are deeply traumatised. Which of us would confide in a man in authority when we enter a foreign country of which we know little or nothing? Far from embellishing and exaggerating sexual violence, most women applying for asylum minimise it, avoid it, hide it. That is typically what victims do who have suffered rape and other types of torture – they can hardly bear to revisit the pain and the humiliation; some are actually unable to find words to describe what happened to them."

stargazer said...

a little late, but i'd also like to thank you so much maia for writing this post. it's been awful to see the coverage, and again goes to show what any woman who is raped has to go through if she dares to seek justice. prior history is not allowed to be raised in court for any accused, but for a rape victim, her whole life is very quickly out in the public eye to be scrutinised. even though none of it has any bearing on the fact that she was raped.

Anonymous said...

Great to hear that the French writer is pressing attempted rape charges against DSK. She tried to discuss it on the radio at the time but the radio station bleeped out his name. At the time she told him she would press charges but he didn't seem surprised as if it had happened many times before. Her mother who is in politics persuaded her not to press charges. Fingers crossed this serial rapist ("the great seducer" yeah right!)will finally get what's coming to him. (Source: Al Jazeerah news).