IMF chief arrests renews cries for gender equality

Although Strauss-Kahn’s arrest for rape charges have undoubtedly caused quite a reaction all over, one particularly noteworthy area of development is the crescendo of voices speaking against the discrimination of women–especially from minority groups or lower socio-economic class–in France. From the International Herald Tribune piece on the matter:

The case has also sharpened the debate here about a French way of life, one of tolerance for a male-centric attitude in gender relations, an acceptance of all but the most egregious sexual assaults on women and a reluctance by the authorities to intervene, particularly in cases involving the powerful.

“This is a key moment, a watershed moment,” said Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, an analyst of French politics and culture.Women from across the political spectrum “have extremely unpleasant stories to tell, that men think women are all up for grabs, literally and figuratively,” she said. France is “a difficult country to budge,” she added. “But it’s an important step. Women are emboldened.”

The Global Policy Forum also investigates the matter more throughly with a short historical analysis of institutional discrimination of the IMF against women since WWII till today.

While the media dissects the attempted rape of a young African woman and begins to dig out more information about Strauss-Kahn’s past indiscretions, we couldn’t help but see this situation through the feminist lens of the “personal is political.”

For many in the developing world, the IMF and its draconian policies of structural adjustment have systematically “raped” the earth and the poor and violated the human rights of women. It appears that the personal disregard and disrespect for women demonstrated by the man at the highest levels of leadership within the IMF is quite consistent with the gender bias inherent in the IMF’s institutional policies and practice.

What is your reaction to the arrest of Mr. Strauss-Khan? 

What impacts will it possibly have on the issue on gender equality? Why?

What has been the role of the media in this episode? Do you think it has affected how we perceive the case? 

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4 thoughts on “IMF chief arrests renews cries for gender equality

  1. When I first heard of the news, I did not know whether I should believe if the story is true or not, especially when it is such a serious accusation. Then again, if it is true, I felt unjust, like why are we subjected to this kind of treatment. Who do men think they are? (Bloody Idiots) Seung Ju says women are made to serve men. BULLSHIT.

    As seen in the article, this issue has caught the attention of many women fighting for woman’s rights. This incident have made quite an impact on the whole gender equality issue as it seems as though we are subjected to these kind of treatment when the world claims to have universal rights while continuing to treat us girls as an outlet for pleasure. (STUPID GUYS) Fight for gender quality? Yes we should. Females are still given lower ranks and positions in the work force even if they have the capabilities to surpass the males. Also, if a woman is given a high-ranked position, everyone (especially the guys) would think that she got there because of her connections and not because she really is a woman of quality. I think that men should step forward and compete with women face on and not spread unnecessary rumors and gossips about our incompetence which is totally not true. We have the same caliber as each other (or probably better XD) so don’t be a wimp and bully those who are weaker than you, like raping, because the setbacks that we face only make us stronger human beings unlike men. Males probably cannot take as much pain and suffering as women can. (I am just ranting…not answering the question anymore)

    As we all know, the role of the media has always been that influential and powerful since the olden days. Reporters are trained to dig out all the secrets that one has and invade other people’s retreat. I wonder what has happened to an individual’s privacy rights. The media likes to exaggerate things so that we can live in a livelier and meaningful society, I presume. They do tend to go overboard at times and if readers do not have a mind of their own, will probably be swept away by all the comments that the news article has made and veer their thinking towards the same course. (That’s why we are pancake people—monkey see, monkey do) If one’s mind is clear about his or her own perception and stand (like I do—women deserve RESPECT!), then the media will not be able to affect our thoughts and discernment on the different issues.

    Bottom line: GIRLS HAVE RIGHTS AND DESERVE TO BE RESPECTED!!!!!

    P.S There’s a limit to a girl’s patience and tolerance so guys…DONT TEST IT AND KNOW WHERE YOU STAND.

  2. When I first read the article in the newspaper, I wasn’t too shocked at his arrest. In fact, such cases are often heard of but go unnoticed by the media. One main reason, and probably the only one, that this case was brought into the spotlight was because the criminal was someone of high authority – an international organisation chief.

    However, I must indeed thank SK for bringing the issue of woman’s right to debate again. I mean, without the occurrence of such a high profile case, women would not have had the chance to stand up for themselves (not to imply that they couldn’t without the ‘help’ but this was a platform for them to voice out once again)

    Gender equality has always been a global issue especially in third world countries such as those in Africa where women are taken to be servants and would receive no education as it was deemed in their culture that education was of little importance to them. However, it must also be pointed out that many global organisations are helping women receive education through humanitarian efforts. Even so, the issue of gender equality remains wholly unresolved, with or without education.

    And, I am too tired to go on. Yawn.

  3. My reaction to the arrest of Mr. Strauss-Khan was one of disgust. A man like him with such power and level of authority ought to be careful with his actions and not commit such crimes. There are definitely many other ways that he can satisfy his sexual desires and raping someone is simply a disappointment and embarrassment.

    His action and the media’s coverage (I’m answering both questions here) have definitely shed light and brought a lot of attention to women who are marginalised. The prejudice mindset and stereotypes against women that still exists in today’s modern society is holding us back and slowing us down from progressing. Though a lot have been done to promote women rights and prove their abilities in the corporate world, some false beliefs still linger on in people’s hearts. This might be also due to the wrong portrayal of women in the media. Shows such as Gossip Girls portray girls as gossipy and loose, hence leading to men thinking that women are mere possessions. Yet they have failed to see the economic value of women etc. I feel that this fight against gender inequality is one that is definitely conquerable. After all, we humans have overcome so many struggles to progress, food shortages, deadly diseases, slavery…

  4. I was pretty shock to hear that the chief of IMF was arrested because of such a reason. He is a man of high status and definitely has a lot of power and influence, many people are constantly watching his every move. This is also probably why the media has placed such a heavy emphasis on this incident. The negative views coming from the reports from the media definitely has significant impacts on how people view this case and how they will judge the crimes that he commit. In my view, the media did play a part in worsening his image, making him seem more vile and his crimes more unforgivable to the general public and in this case especially the women since he did get arrested because he humiliated a woman. This case would most likely raise the issue on gender equality to a high peak again, with many stressing the importance of placing a woman of equal standard and importance as a man. That a female should also be treated with respect and not just trampled on the ground by a male because he is supposedly more superior in different ways and has more authority and power to do things as he please without thinking about others.

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