the politically pathological penis

Will a Senegalese*-New Yorker hotel maid take down the future president of France?

It appears power is the ultimate aphrodisiac for pathological politicians, but alas, not for the women around them.

The carefully crafted lives of two powerful men imploded over the weekend.

First Dominique Strauss-Kahn, one of the world’s top bankers, and rather lazily nicknamed DSK by the French, had a busy day on Sunday. DSK allegedly sexually assaulted and attempted to rape a hotel worker, dashed off to meet his daughter for lunch, then left for JFK, where he was yanked off an Air France flight to Paris by the NYPD just minutes before take-off.

the man who could have been France's next President (Reuters)

Then this morning we wake up to find out Arnold Schwarzenegger has a 10-year old love child. With the family’s housekeeper. In fact, Gawker thinks Arnie may even have another love child—yes, do the math: make that TWO love children.

Who the hell has the time for these kinds of dalliances? Especially men with big, important jobs—like trying to save the world’s economy and run a dysfunctional state with the 7th highest GDP in the world?

What is up with these men? Has power gone to their (other) heads?

When Arnie confessed his transgression to his wife Maria Shriver (he waited until right after his second term as governor ended), she asked him to leave, but he refused. So she went to a hotel.

Nice, right?

The Schwarzenegger-Shrivers, in not-so happier days (ETonline, Getty Images)

Euronews reported that the French have been shocked at the US media’s handling of the case. While it’s culturally acceptable in France to bang your mistress indefinitely behind your wife’s back, let’s hope the French are a lot less blasé about rape. DSK should resign as head of the IMF, which is a waste, because he’s brilliant when it comes to finance, and things are a mess in Europe right now (not to mention here).

Illustrating the cultural disconnect between French and American attitudes towards DSK’s treatment by the media and in court, The Daily Beast’s Christopher Dickey writes that one French law enforcement source, in one of my favorite quotes thus far:

Although not a friend of Strauss-Kahn…[he] knows [DSK’s] background and private life well, and suggests that while Strauss-Kahn may “have an issue with his penis, he never forces anybody. He is much more romantic than that. So this whole aspect needs to be given a lot of attention.”

A lot of attention, indeed! In France it is illegal for the media to show defendants in handcuffs or in court. In the US, pretty much anything goes when it comes to recording celebrity perp walks for posterity. We Americans are equal-opportunity shamers, a vestige of our Puritanical, Scarlet Letter-and-stocks days. And compared to the rest of the world, the message here is that in America we don’t care how powerful you are: we’ll arrest and prosecute you just like anyone else (but maybe not punish you as severely).

Here is the hotel maid’s 43-year old brother, interviewed yesterday by the New York Daily News:

“What would you feel if it was your sister? We are in pain,” he said.

But he said the powerful French politician will be punished. “This is America — he won’t get away with it,” he said. “Justice will be served. That’s why we love America.”

If the allegations are true, let’s hope he’s right.

get the rotten tomatoes ready, girls (wikipedia)

*Dear Readers: when I wrote this post, the media had reported the hotel maid was Senegalese, but she is from Guinea. (JB on 5/19/11)