I.M.F. leader Strauss-Kahn arrested for sexual assault


I.M.F. leader, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was pulled off of his JFK flight to France and arrested for assault of a hotel maid in the NY Soffitel. He is being charged with Attempted Rape, Criminal Sex Act and Unlawful Imprisonment.

Strauss-Kahn was briefly investigated a year into his tenure as I.M.F. leader for having an affair with a subordinate and then giving her preferential treatment, after which he was quoted as saying, "I firmly believe I have not abused my position". Alarmingly enough, while people called into question the judgment in keeping him in his position with the I.M.F., he was permitted to maintain his position.

He further stated,
"I agree with the board that the personal behavior of the managing director sets an important tone for the institution and I am committed, going forward, to uphold the high standards that are expected of this position," he said in the statement. 
Awesome that we're willing to put men who have no respect for women into positions of power, and allow them to maintain those positions while they continue to disrespect women. At least he's in jail for this one - for now.

Update: He's pleading not guilty and there's speculation as to whether his immunity as I.M.F. leader applies.
MF bylaws state that its officials "shall be immune from legal process with respect to acts performed by them in their official capacity except when the fund waives this immunity.
Happily, the New York Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne says Strauss-Kahn doesn't have immunity, nor has he tried to claim it. 

Happy Mother's Day!


NYT published an interesting piece today on the political history of motherhood, and the changing perceptions over the past two decades.

"There was indeed a time when full-time mothers were held in great esteem. But it was not the 1950s or early 1960s. It was 150 years ago. In the 19th century, women had even fewer rights than in the 1950s, but society at least put them on a pedestal, and popular culture was filled with paeans to their self-sacrifice and virtue. 

When you compare the diaries and letters of 19th-century women with those of women in the 1950s and early 1960s, you can see the greater confidence of the earlier mothers about their value to society. Many felt they occupied a “nobler sphere” than men’s “bank-note” world. 

These findings suggest that it is time to stop arguing over who has things worse or who does things better, stay-at-home mothers or employed mothers. Instead, we should pay attention to women’s preferences and options. 

Feminism has also fostered increased respect for men’s ability and desire to be involved parents. So we should also pay attention to expanding men’s ability to choose greater involvement in family life, just as we have expanded women’s ability to choose greater involvement in meaningful work."