Furthermore, if I had known about the Banon interview, I don't know what I would have made of it. There is something rather unsettling about the way she tells the story: smiling, insouciant, to a roomful of men around a candlelit dinner table, provoking their prurient smiles. She gives no sign of the trauma her mother now says she suffered. She says, "Je portais un col roulé noir, ça tripe les mecs, les cols roulés noirs." This self-presentation in itself sounds rather "enabling." So I probably would have discounted the "evidence," especially since she did not press charges, leaving the whole story in the realm of "she said--he
I suspect that many people in France were in this same position. We had a vague general picture of DSK as a politician who had had many women. But there are many others in this category, and in my picture of him, there was nothing to suggest violence. So, should crudeness have led me to denounce him. Is boorishness a disqualifying trait in a man who would be president and has a better claim on the job than most? Should I have been more diligent in investigating innuendo? I confess, I don't feel too guilty about my indulgence, but perhaps I'm letting myself off the hook too easily.
UPDATED: A longtime reader of the blog and a person whom I trust implicitly tells me that I am letting myself off the hook too easily, because the word "seduction" is too often used in French discussions of such behavior as a euphemism for inexcusable actions toward and treatment of women, as she can testify from personal experience. So, I stand corrected--and chastened.