Dominique Strauss-Kahn Is Trying to Rebrand Himself As a Libertine, Not a Rapist


It must be nice to be Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Sure, his collection of unsavory sexual assault allegations cost him his presidential aspirations and his job at IMF, but now he has a new consulting company (and women who are more than happy to work with him), lecture gigs, and a handy justification for his actions, which the New York Times calls “uniquely French” and we call “manipulative bullshit.” His legal defense? The authorities are unfairly trying to “criminalize lust.”

Apparently, in France, lawyers, judges, police officials, journalists and musicians have very chic-sounding orgies on the regular, which start with fine dining and culminate in public sex with multiple partners. Poor DSK was just trying to live his libertine life and now all these ladies are, like, accusing him of attacking them! Where’s their sense of fun and adventure?

“I long thought that I could lead my life as I wanted,” he said in an interview with the French magazine Le Point. “And that includes free behavior between consenting adults. There are numerous parties that exist like this in Paris, and you would be surprised to encounter certain people. I was naïve.”

“I was too out of step with French society,” he continued. “I was wrong.”

Is DSK actually trying to claim that he’s the victim, here? Strauss-Kahn hasn’t been accused of having questionable tastes. (At least not in court.) He’s not being judged on his fondness for orgies or even for being overly familiar with the Parisian elite. He’s being judged for allegedly sexually assaulting a hotel chambermaid and a sex worker, among others. Sure, some dropped their charges — like the Belgian prostitute who took back her earlier accusation and said the encounter was just rough sex play — but it becomes increasingly clear with every new woman who divulges that Strauss-Kahn “made crude passes” at her or much, much worse that DSK has systematically abused his power and status to take advantage of women, criminally and/or otherwise, for quite some time.

“He’s not the only libertine man in the political world,” Olivia Cattan, who leads an anti-sexism association called Words of Women, told the Times, adding that she believes the case is indicative of a “code of silence” that “is linked to power, and women are often complicit when it can guarantee them a job.”

And now, as DSK still awaits trial in the Bronx for the chambermaid incident, some still think he’s a marketable stud:

…in a tribute to the whole affair, two French entrepreneurs are promoting a saffron-flavored soda to mix for cocktails at fashionable Paris bars. They are branding it as an aphrodisiac with a memorable label: Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s initials, DSK.

Perhaps some GHB would be more appropriate.

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