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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pepe Le Pew and the IMF!

So it seems that I'm Just Saying can't enjoy a little vacation time without the whole world going mad!! I mean what the Heezy, Wheezy??? It was bad enough watching the Governator and his Kennedy wife calling their 20+ years marriage quits, but now we find out that he had a not-so-immaculate conception with one of his household staff and fathered a child, all under the watchful, all-seeing eyes of the press??? And it seems that he wasn't the only high-profile man to get in trouble with the cleaning lady!! International economist Dominique Strauss-Kahn has landed himself an extended stay at the notorious Rikers Island after mistaking the 32-year old Guinean housekeeper at his $3000 a night Sofitel suite for an amenity and not a human being!

It's a bad week for philandering bastards with foreign accents.Beyond the fact that the two women at the heart of these stories were both employed as housekeepers, it's unfair to attempt even remotely linking the two women. The one lived in Brentwood, CA where she had a "relationship" with her millionaire employer and passed off her lust-child as her husband's, and the other, a single mom living in the Bronx, was brutally raped and imprisoned while she cleaned strangers' hotel rooms for minimum wage.

While the hunt for photos and names of the two women is at fever pitch, there is an even more heated search proceeding simultaneously - the search for dirt on these two women. In the case of Schwarzenegger, speculation abounds as to how many millions it cost to keep the housekeeper quiet. In fact, Democrats in the California legislature are already threatening to open inquiries into just how much taxpayer money paid for her silence. And in the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, conspiracy theories have sprung up in various intellectual and political circles in France, with DSK supporters alleging that the Sofitel housekeeper was a plant by DSK's political foe - French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Other theories hold closely to the time-worn narratives of "blame the rape victim", ranging from the romantic (it was consensual sex) to the economic (this was a plot to extort money from DSK). I'm sure prosecutors in NYC are praying mightily that this housekeeper is squeaky-clean with a perfect credit score and no outstanding parking tickets. Not that these qualities will prevent attacks on her character!

But maybe there's something more basic at work here. For English-as-a-Second-Language speakers such as DSK and Schwarzenegger, maybe words like, "no" or "consent" or "marital fidelity" simply get lost in translation. I mean, when I was a little girl, I was always puzzled by the cartoon character of Pepe Le Pew. There he was, a skunk, raining wet kisses up and down the arm of that poor little she-skunk. As she recoiled from his touch, he pursued her; as she shrank from his embrace, he was emboldened and gave chase. As I got older, I began to understand my unease with Pepe Le Pew - you see, I realized that Pepe Le Pew was a rapist! It's sad that Pepe never got the help that he needed in order to understand the difference between sex and violation. Sadder still that Pepe didn't know that he stunk! But that's a discussion for another day - I'm just saying!

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