A couple of months ago I was discussing the future presidential election in France with a friend. For the past two days I've been thinking back about that conversation.
- "There does not seem to be a natural candidate for the Socialist party", I said.
- "Dominique Strauss-Kahn looks like a good possibility.
- Wasn't he involved in some financial scandal some time back?
- No, that was not a problem. He was cleared of that charge. But he has more of a problem with women.
- A problem with women? I don't care about that. It does not matter.
- Well, he is said to be quite "heavy" ("lourd").
- [raising my voice slightly] I don't want to hear about it. I don't care about his extramarital affairs, however numerous. All I care about is whether he could be a good president, and, for that, financial scandals are relevant but not his private life."
Faced with my peremptory tone, my friend (who had met DSK once or twice, and might, perhaps, have had more to say) fell silent and I felt smug in my gossip-quenching moral superiority.
Now I wonder how many sexual aggressions go unreported because of all the people who share my attitude.