DSK’s wife: ‘No different from a woman who wears the burqa’

Publishing the first interview with Anne Sinclair since the arrest of her husband in May, French magazine Elle has sparked outcry among some French women, who describe her as both a “victim” and an “accomplice” for standing by her shamed partner.     When Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested in May for allegedly trying to rape a hotel chamber maid, Sinclair said nothing. Later that month, when the young French writer Tristane Banon accused Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her nine years previously, Sinclair’s lips remained sealed. It was Sinclair’s money – six million dollars of it – that bailed Strauss-Kahn out of the notorious Rikers Island prison. And when he was finally discharged in August, it was Sinclair who greeted him outside the courthouse with a wide grin.     For her husband, Anne Sinclair is an exemplary wife.   But for many French women, she is a dangerous example.   Her interview with Elle (which is rumoured to have taken place with the wife of a close friend of Strauss-Kahn), has left readers fuming.     “How can you credit such an undignified woman,” reads one of many angry comments posted below the article, published on Wednesday. “She has never shown the slightest bit of compassion for any of her husband’s victims.”   Another went further, denouncing Sinclair as an “accomplice” to her husband’s alleged crimes (the sexual assault charges against Strauss-Kahn were dropped due to a lack of evidence; the prosecutor instead described the incident as “a horrid sexual encounter”). “Sinclair has acknowledged what her husband has done to other women. By doing so, she is, in a way, endorsing his actions. How can she do so when he is implicating the lives of others? Does ruining people’s lives not bother her?” An even harsher response followed: “She is neither victim nor saint – she is part of a monstrous couple.”   Sinclair denied giving her husband “unconditional support” in the interview. “I am a free woman,” she declared. But her readers again disagreed. “What’s different between the way Sinclair thinks and the way a woman wearing the burqa thinks?” asked one. “From one perspective you’re ‘free’, from another, you’re under submission.” Others complained that Sinclair and Strauss-Kahn gave France a bad name. “What a terrible example if somebody who turns a blind eye to prostitution had become our first lady.”   ‘An unhealthy relationship’   Aside from the tirade of angry comments, Sinclair’s interview also provoked a fair amount of sympathy and even declarations of admiration. “She doesn’t look like a free woman to me,” one comment read. “I wish her courage in standing by with a man who has such an unhealthy relationship with women.”   The divide over Sinclair is impressive. While her critics might be the more vocal of the two sides, it is reported that her supporters are more numerous. According to a September poll carried out by Elle and Ifop, some 54% of French women approve of Sinclair supporting her husband, even though only 17% of them think she believes him innocent.     Read also: Two Strauss-Kahn sex cases dropped and activists cry foul.  
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7 Comments
She's a rich, successful woman who, for whatever reason, suffers from a major case of low self-esteem. Her current husband is the type of man who knows exactly how to manipulate women with low self-esteem and he has made himself a grand life doing so. That she won't ''wake up'' and realize how he has used her all these years, well, I think she still imagines that he will one day lead her to even greater glory, as she obviously had hoped before the scandal. She put all her energy into making sure he became more and more successful and she hasn't given up. She's a little stupid. No one ever said that moeny made you smart. They deserve each other.
Since we started this discussion with a moyen orient stereotype; the burqa, it is only fair to ask why the West does nothing for the rights of women in the Mideast. The laws of many Mideast countries deny the rights of women, regarding especially inheritance and marriage. Yet the West does nothing. La honte!
Too bad only the mistreatment of women in the West seems to make the papers. The mistreatment of women is enshrined in law in many countries, North Africa for example, where women have drastically curtailed rights to divorce and inheritance. Yet the West remains quiescent in the face of this horrible repression of women, all too willing to let these countries continue to oppress their women. And you say nothing. La honte!
Why do you give so much weight to only the negative comments ? most of them are not only fair to Mrs Sinclair but also understand much more of the situation than you are willing to do. As far as we know, the charges, all of them have been dropped in NY, first of all because the accuser lied, lied and lied about what happened. More than three months long, Cyrus Vance and his team have tried to find a way to put DSK in jail for the rest of his life. They have dropped all the charges. The Banon case was an non event, which was built tl give credit to the ridiculous Carlton affair which is going to blow up like the rest. DSK is not a man I would, as woman, want in my life, but as long as he is noit convicted and condemned, he is innocent, And Mrs Sinclair is right : neither you, nor me nor anyone else has the right to judge her or her husband. To say that she is an accomplice or like a woman in burka is ridiculous and belongs to the Medieval Tome of stupid feminism. She is fee, she intelligent, she has talent ... and she is has the guts to tell you all : this is my life, and I do with my life what I want. Thus, she is free.
Sinclair is not credible. She has enabled a seriously mentally deficient man, her husband, to strike out at women, mostly prostitutes and call girls, and minimize their marriage. Sinclair is not a victim but a world class fool.
To author of comment number 1: "She understands her husband's need for other women's flesh." - that is typically the kind of absolute bullshit that justifies any male use of women as objects - from the so-called "necessity" of prostitution to the unforgivable violence that is rape. If Anne Sinclair wants to debase herself by standing by the pig that is her husband, she probably has deep personal reasons. But I certainly don't find her admirable - or perhaps only in her capacity for self-deception.
Anne Sinclair seems to be an exceptional woman. Intelligent, graceful, penetrating and forgiving. She understands her husband's need for other women's flesh. And assigns to it a practical value that keeps it in proportion.