With much of France bristling at America's treatment of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the country's feminists are pushing back. Three women's pressure groups rallied in Paris Sunday publishing a 6,000-signature petition lambasting Strauss-Kahn's reflexive apologists in the aftermath of his rape allegations.
"We do not know what happened in New York Saturday May 14, but we know what has been happening in France in the past week. We are witnessing a sudden rise of sexist and reactionary reflexes, so quick to surface among part of the French elite," the groups said on Le Monde's website.
As The Independent notes, the groups have been reacting to a string of public statements by left-wing politicians appearing dismissive of the concerns of Strauss-Kahn's alleged victim. Jack Lang, a Socialist and former culture and education minister, said Strauss-Kahn deserved immediate bail because "no one was dead." Jean-Francois Kahn, a leftist-nationalist activist, said the accusations were a mere instance of "troussage de domestique" ("stripping or having casual, forced sex with a servant"). And Socialist Euro MP Gilles Savary chalked up Strauss-Kahn's problems to a "cultural" gap between the U.S. and France, referring to America's "rigorous Protestantism."