The arrest of the IMF head on assault charges of a maid in a New York hotel brings to light some very interesting issues. First of all, the maid was apparently black, and just yesterday a psychologist from the London School of Economics said that black women were not attractive.
This represents two forms of assault on women, if the Strauss-Kahn allegation is true, especially to women of color, a phenomenon which continually rears its ugly head.
Secondly, the issues of power and status are also raised by this latest event. First, evidently the people of France are indignant because Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the Washington-based International Monetary Fund, was arrested in public in New York on Saturday while about to fly to Paris after a chambermaid at a New York hotel said he had tried to rape her earlier in the day. The French reportedly feel more discretion was required because of his status. This is an interesting concept. The French it seems, feel power and status give you a certain elitism when it comes to criminal prosecution. The U.S. operated on more of our democratic ideals, which is that every man is equal and no special elite status is due to public figures. Hooray to the U.S. for this one!
Then there are the cries that "he couldn't have done," why would he be interested in a maid? Unfortunately, with regard to women and women of color, this has been a pattern of history. We can look at our own history of Thomas Jefferson, and the other thousands of slave owners who assaulted or bedded and attacked black women.
Thirdly, apart from black women, what about the power assault of women in general -- that is, famous men using women either in an assault manner or even allegedly consensual sex. (I posit that a "consensual relationship," is almost impossible in such a situation.) The maid of a hotel does not have power over the famous IMF leader, or any man in a hotel room she is trying to clean.
It will be interesting to see how this case progresses and whether it will have an impact on the assault, especially of women of color.