Powerless migrant women vs powerful men | Global News

Powerless migrant women vs powerful men

/ 12:27 AM September 25, 2011

Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s recent admission of moral turpitude brought forth two strains of thought for me.  The first is how the powerful males on this planet can just shrug off their misdemeanors.  The second is how two of our past presidents not only were excused for their moral lapses but ended up being idolized by some of our kabayan.

Strauss-Khan’s widely televised “confession” in France, reported worldwide, made his alleged victim out to be a liar.  He claimed he did not coerce Nafissatou Diallo into having sex with him and that there was no violence involved. If that’s true, let me look at it from a female point of view and “make excuses” for my sex.  Can anyone deny that powerless people will often turn to deception in their struggle to survive?  Here was someone from one of Africa’s poorest nations who used a bit of deception (claiming to have been gang-raped in her country) in her bid for asylum in the richest country on earth.  With pluck and luck, she landed a job in an upscale New York hotel, enabling her to support herself and her daughter.  Maybe she was raped in Guinea (an unhappy circumstance for countless women in Africa whose boyfriends, relatives, even fathers treat them like prostitutes). That was reason enough for her to get away from a society that victimizes its women.

Diallo knew she’d need to embroider her story so as to be granted asylum.  But maybe she was so discombobulated after her sexual encounter with Strauss-Khan that she lied about reporting the incident right afterwards (CCTV cameras showed her leaving the room, then returning to clean it). Speculation is that she gave in to his urgings to service him before doing the room, since she’d unknowingly entered to clean it, chancing upon him naked. Perhaps she should have asked for money down first because the rich man later laughed in her face, dismissing her as he prepared to meet his daughter for lunch. It could be that’s why she concocted the story she told to the authorities.


Perhaps Diallo needed advice from someone, which was why she phoned a compatriot who happened to be in jail, while she told him the real story, describing her oppressor as a rich man.  Maybe the jailbird told her how to act with the New York Police Department, having experience in that area.  But they didn’t realize the NYPD would be able to find a Fulani interpreter to give lawyers the gist of that conversation. (CCTV cameras later showed a woman leaving Strauss-Khan’s room the night before, showing that the IMF boss not only needed a nightcap, he needed a morning pick-me-up in the form of the chambermaid as well.)


Despite the IMF chief’s condemnation of the NYPD’s treatment of him, saying he felt totally humiliated by his arrest and the subsequent “perp walk,” the American justice system which treats suspects, highborn or not, equally is admirable.  (The “Perp Walk” is slang for “perpetrator’s walk” used by American police; it means parading the suspect before witnesses and being charged.)  Obviously the legal principle of calling a suspect “innocent before being proven guilty” was set aside a bit hastily in this instance to show that the lowliest citizen’s report about abuse is entertained and the abuser detained.  That’s true democracy.

Strauss-Khan has obviously gotten away with countless seductions in his own country and the US where he was the powerful head of an institution that ruled on which poor countries would be granted financial aid.  After all, it was Henry Kissinger who famously said “Power is the best aphrodisiac” and Strauss-Khan’s gonads reek of it.  The women in his past were surely seduced by his image and charm—despite his chunkiness, he does look a dashing Frenchman.

The question now is if the New York civil case filed against him will prosper, since he’s safely in his home country which may be averse to sending him back to the US.  But the suit brought against him in Paris by a woman citing his attempted rape of her back in 2003 is going forward.  Meanwhile his main regret, he said in his televised apology to his family and friends, is that he cannot now be a candidate for leader of his country.  Boo-hoo, I say to that, as no doubt countless other women do.

So why do many Filipinas who have been victims of our powerful politicians often end up paid off, silenced, ignored, sometimes dead?  The situation may have improved over the years, with a Mindanao congressman ending up in jail, and some others detained.  But many other cases relegated to oblivion show it’s still a man’s world.

Will Strauss-Khan end up like Clinton, atoning for his sins against his family by engaging in good works around the world?  I strongly doubt it. With his wealthy wife’s fortune and willingness to turn a blind eye to his transgressions, he will probably end up as an elder statesman dispensing financial & political advice from the sidelines.  And Ms. Diallo will go on cleaning rooms in a ritzy Manhattan hotel.  End of story.

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TAGS: IMF, migrant, Woman

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