Strauss-Kahn’s defense team questions his victim’s credibility

01.07.2011 § 1 Comment

From the Wall Street Journal:

Prosecutors are expected to reveal in court that the maid told them she had been the victim of a gang rape in her home country of Guinea, and later admitted that she had made the story up, a person familiar with the matter said.

The revelations about the witness also involve her interaction with a man jailed on drug charges with whom she was taped in a telephone call, one person familiar with the situation said. Prosecutors and defense lawyers met Thursday to discuss the issues.

The issues regarding the maid’s credibility were reported Thursday by The New York Times on its website.

The May 14 arrest of Mr. Strauss-Kahn, an international political figure, at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport as he prepared to depart on a flight for Paris, has generated headlines and debate around the world, cost him his job at the helm of the IMF and has apparently dashed his hopes for a run at the French presidency.

It has also fueled speculation in Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s home country of conspiracies against him driven by politics and profit.

Prosecutors had previously said in court that the maid, a 32-year-old immigrant, had immediately cried out to witnesses upon leaving the room, indicating the veracity of her story. Investigators also found DNA evidence from Mr. Strauss-Kahn at the scene, law enforcement sources have said.

But the defense lawyers had indicated they would argue the encounter was consensual, and hired investigators to scrutinize the woman’s credibility.

Full(y nauseating) article here.

Sex Work Is Work; If a Sex worker is not safe, no woman is safe

07.03.2011 § Leave a comment

tantalizing phrases from sex work demo in South Africa

Sex work is work, but is it just work? This is a question that has been troubling the nothing. Is it in anyway different than other work? Not because it’s “not productive”, not because it’s illegal, not because its exploitative, or wrong. But if women were the first commodities; the first slaves; if “reproductive labor” is the first exploitative labor; if 9 months = 1baby is the first general equivalent, then is there anything different about reproductive labor?

Maybe not — now that all kinds of activity are subsumed, does the history of the emergence of work-as-labor imply anything about the current status of these labors? JURY IS OUT.

“if a sex worker is not safe, no woman is safe”

Sex workers are obviously not all women, HOWEVER, there is an implied, inherent connection between those-who-do-sex work, and woman-as-class. Nature of this connection, must be better understood.

DANG: “Texas wants undocumented workers but only for household chores”

05.03.2011 § Leave a comment

Since we’re on the topic of women’s labor, domestic work, and migration patterns, check this article on feministing.

“A proposed immigration bill in the Texas state House is sure to raise more than a few eyebrows. The bill would make hiring an “unauthorized alien” a crime punishable by up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine, unless that is, they are hired to do household chores.”

Of course, this doesn’t also offer any labor/immigration protections for domestic workers. It’s just creating another weird exploitative grey area in a state that has a whole frightening maquiladora industry anyway.

Interesting to think through this in regards to Domestic Workers United (see website) here in NYC – the bill they got passed last year protecting domestic workers doesn’t cover undocumented domestic workers (in fact this was a huge concession necessary to make the bill pass), and also doesn’t cover people who get paid in cash/”under the table,” which often overlaps with undocumented workers but not always.

Egypt’s Military and Wiscansin’s Gov: reminding us that the historical material conditions of capitalism don’t require a conspiracy…

21.02.2011 § Leave a comment

Egypt’s military effectively bans strikes,  (See reuter’s article HERE) Wisconsin’s tryna make em illegal (see cheesy video HERE, note sign at 0:18 which reads “BIEBER SAYS: HELL NO!”).

But isn’t that wacky? Was telling workers “don’t strike!”  usually a central tactic of capital to destroy working class power? we didn’t think so… when was it, when wasn’t it? and it doens’t seem to really matter whether or not they are “allowed” (see: Egypt’s largest Factory strikes despite warnings)…

What does it mean to use legal action against strikes and worker uprisings? what does it mean that the biggest threat is to render worker organizing illegal ? Because it is irrelevant whether something is legal if there are enough people doing it… ? Does this mean that the state is assuming workers are not strong enough? Is there a gap in reality? soooo not sure…

Ok, and whats up with the gender question here? Its a lot of reproductive workers, teachers espesh, in wisconsin. The textile factory in egypt that struck back in 2007 just went on strike again, in which there were mad amounts of women. More on this issue momentarily…

the rape-able class

17.02.2011 § Leave a comment

trigger warning, re: rape trial stuff. …

but the class action suit part rules.
Author of “The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in
Iraq,”
Benedict said today: “I’ve interviewed over 40 women who served
in Iraq, many of whom told me stories of sexual harassment and rape at
the hands of their so-called brothers-in-arms. These women’s stories
inspired lawyer Susan Burke to put together the class action against
the Pentagon being reported today… Most [women i talked to] were assaulted by their superior
officers, men who had control over when they slept, ate, walked, sat,
where they worked and what jobs they did. Often, when they tried to
report their assaults, the command ignored them or threatened them
with punishments to keep them quiet. Even the DoD admits that, for
these reasons, 80 to 90 percent of assaults are never reported at all.
This lady Benedict also wrote “The Scandal of Military Rape”
Some stories:* Marti Ribeiro of the Air Force was raped by an American soldier
while she was standing guard at night in Afghanistan. When she tried
to report it, she was threatened with court martial.

* Mickiela Montoya, army specialist, had to carry a knife with her at
all times in Iraq because she was threatened with rape so often by the
male soldiers.

* Abbie Picket, army specialist, was assaulted by an officer whom she
was supposed to obey and trust.

* Jennifer Spranger, army specialist, was harassed so continuously by
fellow soldiers, both during training and at war, that she came home
shaking and traumatized.

* Suzanne Swift was court martialed and sent to military prison for a
month after she refused to redeploy with a sergeant who had repeatedly
raped her.”

Kori Cioca, in her lawyer’s office on Sunday, described being raped while serving in the Coast Guard. She is one of 17 plaintiffs, 15 women and 2 men, filing a federal lawsuit against the Department of Defense.
It also says the two defense secretaries failed “to take reasonable steps to prevent plaintiffs from being repeatedly raped, sexually assaulted and sexually harassed by federal military personnel.”
Does “wider societal problem” mean “cant do nothin bout it sweetheart, but you know we’ll give it a shot”:
The plaintiffs’ stories in the complaint include accounts of a soldier stripping naked and dancing on a table during a break in a class on preventing sexual assault, physical and verbal harassment, and the rape of a woman by two men who videotaped the assault and circulated it to the woman’s colleagues. Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement that “sexual assault is a wider societal problem” and that Mr. Gates was working to ensure that the military was “doing all it can to prevent and respond to it.”

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