We generally don’t heap praise on positions taken by our sisters at the National Organization for Women in this space, but today I have kudos for them: I was pleasantly surprised to note that NOW called on Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who has been arrested in New York and charged with the assault and attempted rape of a maid who came to clean his $3,000 a night hotel room, to resign or be removed from his position as managing director of the International Monetary Fund. (Strauss-Kahn’s resignation was announced early this morning.)
A socialist in a bespoke suit, Strauss-Kahn is a man of the left. We remember that NOW closed its eyes in perhaps the most egregious case of a man on their side of the aisle sexually abusing a woman (See, Lewinsky, Monica, silence of feminists). But NOW has taken an uncompromising stand on DSK.
Many in France, however, are shocked by the roughness of American justice when applied to a member of the ruling elite:
Another commentator, Max Gallo, said this was the” first time in the history of France that a top-level official is treated like a common criminal whose guilt is already established.” But he also noted that the American system is more egalitarian.
Yep, that’s the way we things in America. But there’s something else to remember about American justice: He is innocent until proven guilty. Strauss-Kahn fits into a stereotype of somebody I don’t necessarily like, the unelected, high-living European bureaucrat whose fancy lifestyle is made possible in part by the largesse of U.S. taxpayers (we help fund the IMF). But this doesn’t mean he is guilty. Only a court of law can make that decision.