Tag Archives: sex scandal

Sex, Maids and Videotape: L’Affaire DSK

Sex scandals rarely die and disappear. They’re usually far too salacious, improbable and/or disturbing for that. Which is perhaps why I find myself secretly delighted to see the sexual escapades of former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn back in the news.

Remember Strauss-Kahn? He was that very distinguished international statesman whose career came to a screeching halt last May when he was accused of raping a maid  – Nafissatou Diallo – at an upscale hotel in New York City. While the criminal case against DSK (as he’s known in his native France) was dismissed last summer due to questions about Ms. Diallo’s veracity, she subsequently brought a civil suit against Mr. Strauss-Kahn for sexual assault.

DSK tried to prevent this civil suit from going forward – pleading diplomatic immunity . But on Tuesday a Bronx Judge ruled against this “Hail Mary” pass on DSK’s part, and will allow the suit to proceed. Among other things, an entirely new set of legal proceedings will require the Frenchman to return to New York for a series of depositions on the initial alleged crime.

In short: Game on.

Read the rest of this post at The Washington Post’s She The People blog

 

Image: IMG_6810-Edit by Christian, un marito via Flickr under a Creative Commons license

Tips For Adulthood: Five Telltale Dreams of Adulthood

Every Wednesday I offer tips for adulthood.

Well, as long as everybody’s now talking about sleep as the next feminist issue, I thought I’d tap into what actually happens when most of us sleep: we dream.

Not all of us, I suppose. An old boyfriend of mine used to maintain that he dreamt mostly in images:  i.e., he’d be standing out in the middle of a field or perched atop a mountain. “Huh?” I thought. “You mean you don’t dream that someone’s chasing you around your kitchen table with a knife?”

Not only are my dreams hopelessly plot-driven and transparent, they are also recurrent. There are four or five dreams that I must have at least once a month, and every time, I wake up bathed in sweat. But once I began to reflect upon these dreams and analyze them more closely, I realized that they are all – in one way or another – telltale dreams of adulthood.

On the off-chance that you’ve had them – or similar recurrent dreams – I present them here so that we can all get a better handle on our collective demons:

1. Test Anxiety – I frequently dream that I’m back in High School – invariably in a Math class. I learn that there’s a test that very day, but I freak out because I haven’t been attending the class regularly or doing the homework. According to this list of top ten recurring dreams, dreams about “preparedness” are very common and signify – ding! – that you feel “lost or unprepared about something in your life.” Since I recently posted on why not being able to conceptualize  a “forever house” may be a sign that I still haven’t grown up, I think I’d have to say: Bingo.

2. Haven’t Learned The Lines – In a similar vein, I often dream that I’ve been cast for a part in a play but haven’t learned the lines. I did quite a bit of theatre as a child and there is a visceral, gut-level dread that comes with not knowing your lines. The odd thing about both this dream and #1 is that I’ve never been unprepared for a test in my life or failed to learn a set of lines I was given. Despite that, I clearly live my life fearing that I won’t one day be prepared for something. (This reminds me of a friend here in London who always shows up 5 minutes early to appointments because he’s afraid he’ll be late.) The moral of the story? Mastery doesn’t negate anxiety.

3. The Elevator Dream – No, this isn’t about being trapped in an elevator. It’s about getting in an elevator, pushing the button for a certain floor, and then having the elevator start moving in all sorts of directions, veering wildly from right to left, up and down…even diagonally. (And, yes, I have read Roald Dahl’s Charlie and The Great Glass Elevator.) I think that this is fundamentally a dream about goal-directedness, which strikes me as an apt thing for someone with a kaleidoscope career to worry about.

4. Naked in The Office – This is also apparently a very common dream and is thought to suggest a fear of public exposure. Since I blog about my personal life several times a week, I’m going to over-rule the experts and say that this is really a dream about legitimacy. When you work at home – as I do – you are wracked with worry that by not having the requisite water cooler, business card or Friday bagel brunch, you are somehow less legitimate as a professional. And *that* is the exposure which you fear will be revealed – that you’re really, deep down, a phony.

5. Childhood – I often dream that I’m back in my childhood, witnessing something that upsets me but which I am unable to stop because I am too small or too young or too afraid. I think this is fundamentally a dream about powerlessness, which is of course a central theme of adulthood.

Oh dear. I fear I’ve (once again) revealed a tad too much about my psyche. No matter. According to this study, dreams aren’t really about your psyche. They’re just exercise for your brain.

Phew. Boy, do I feel healthy now.

How about you? What are your recurrent dreams?

*****

For those who are interested, yesterday I posted on PoliticsDaily.com about the on-going sexual scandal-cum-political crisis engulfing Northern Ireland.

Image: Elevator Buttons by Jaded One via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend

This Friday I point you to some recommended reading around the blogosphere:

1. I liked Jacob Weisberg’s thoughtful piece in Slate on the demise of intellectually serious Conservatism and why that’s bad for the Right and the Left.

2. I absolutely loved this story in the Washington Post about a world-class violinist who tries to get people to stop and – literally – hear the music in a subway station. Be sure you look at the videos and read the piece.

3. Here’s a great essay that all writers should read about that eternal tension between writing and “the day job.” (Hat Tip: Practicing Writing.)

4. This is a great article by Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir about why he and his wife chose to home school their children and the judgments they faced from other parents. It’s a must-read for anyone who’s a parent.

5. Finally, in case you thought we were done with sex scandals, here’s my take on the latest one to emerge…from France.

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