Used & abused

  • Sumo

The unfolding scandal involving the French (ex-)head of the International Monetary Fund, and putative candidate for President of the French republic, has one false distinction.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) has been arrested and charged with a violent sexual attack. He has promised to defend himself legally – so there’s no comment here about his legal guilt or innocence.

But note this ‘distinction’:

All agreed that the image in France of DSK as a serial-seducer whose friends claimed he “loved women” was totally different from someone committing violent sex attacks

I’ve seen this imaginary line drawn in a few places. The example is from the UK’s Guardian.

All accounts place DSK in the upper league for seducing women. And also place the use of force in the category of ‘beyond the pale.’ As though he crossed an invisible but clear line.


Both categories are the same – they are categories of men who use women. Perhaps one man is nice, uses roses, fine wine and flattery. He’s still a user. In truth, I think he’s an abuser. He doesn’t care for her, he cares for him.

Such use and abuse simply does what’s required to get sex. If the cost was a can of VB, he’d pay it. If it’s expensive champagne, so be it. Once set in a pattern of viewing women like this, the path to considering violence has already been chosen.