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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Friday, 20 May 2011

Caught with his Strauss-ers down

It has been an interesting week in the news.  The recent sexual assault case in America involving a Guinean chambermaid and the now former Managing Director of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, came from completely left field. The important difference between this and the concurrent revelation about Arnie's love child  with a member of his household staff is that even though both these men abused their powerful positions, Mr. Schwarzenegger's affair was consensual in this instance, though he has admitted to non-consensual sexual activity in the past.

I have voiced before my view on what people do in their private lives and particularly in their bedrooms, especially with stars, sportsmen and those in public office.  If it doesn't affect their jobs, which for the most part I think is usually the case, that is a private matter between the parties involved frankly.  However,  Strauss-Kahn's situation is completely different. If he is indeed guilty, no one is above the law, and such conduct should not be swept under the carpet.  France's stance on the sexual antics of its public figures, that has been considered lax by many in the world, is now under such scrutiny. Is this changing as as the French press uncharacteristically focus on this story by revealing an unprecedented amount of detail about his sex life? If you would like the salacious details I leave that for you to find. Should the media hold public figures accountable for what they do both in the office and in their bedrooms? Does France's strict privacy laws have a part to play in how Strauss-Kahn felt he could behave when he was not on official duty?

I am rather disturbed as a global citizen and as an African woman about women's sexual rights and how they are regarded.  I do not think that anywhere in the world has gotten it right.  This week a debate in the UK had me quite perturbed when the Justice Secretary seemed to trivialise certain instances of rape and failed to understand that whether it is stranger or someone you know, whether it is a first encounter gone wrong or after several consensual encounters it is still rape.  I have commented on rape in Africa before and believe African men need to step it up and treat women better but it is important to acknowledge education  for BOTH genders is still desperately needed all over the world about such issues.

On a lighter note, yes I am very proud of the very cheesy title to this post :}


  1. lol, I was going to congratulate you on the brilliant 'red top' style title, but you took the words right out of my mouth!

    Discussion about 'types' of rape gives men excuses for reprehensible behaviour.

    I was listening to a radio program in which the idea that men fail to understand the fact that rape is rape because they can't empathise with the feeling of violation was touted. I'm not quite sure if I agree with that line of thought but it does warrant further contemplation.

    I've been rather disappointed with the coverage of the media coverage of the rape case so far. Why is it important that she may be HIV positive or that she has a daughter? We need to move away from this culture of finding reasons to tarnish the victims image in order to justify the heinous crime of rape!

  2. I know and it is perpetuating negative stereotypes about what it means to be African. Of course we are HIV+ and out to swindle white men with our charms for money! If he is innocent it will come out...