Monday, August 1, 2011

Maid, Mother, Victim

A recent article in Newsweek, "The Maid's Tale," by Christopher Dickey, tells the story of IMF President Dominique Strauss-Kahn's alleged rape victim Nafissatou Diallo, a hotel maid at Sofitel in New York. In assembling the case defending Strauss-Kahn, Diallo's entire background is being questioned, from her relationships with seemingly nefarious persons to her role as a single mother. But is it fair to bring Diallo's single motherhood into the case against her statements? Working as a hotel maid, Diallo makes $25 per hour, and her days are not short. One has to ask, is the Strauss-Kahn defense asking the right questions? Why would they seem to believe that being a single mother would implicate falsehood in Diallo's statements? The role, as we know, is not a negative one, but rather one that takes strength beyond what most parents can understand. Shouldn't being a single mother instead show Diallo's positive qualities, of being able to provide a decent life for her family? Perhaps the Strauss-Kahn defense should be asking if her family is happy, provided for, and has a healthy home life, as being a single mother should not be thought of as a detriment to one's character. What do you think?

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