The headline this morning.
Philosophers spend their entire academic and professional careers haunted by dilemmas. A train full of children. Throwing one on the tracks could save the rest. You know the kind. And we are told to struggle with this. It is a struggle to decide who lives and who dies; the many or the few.
Yet, it is hardly a pause in breathing, a moment before taking a sip of morning coffee, to decide to throw a woman before the train. Surely, the victim of sexual assault in the case of Strauss-Kahn has suffered–we are told blithely by our media–of course she has, but the real struggle, the important suffering is that of a nation without a leader. What are they to do now that their candidate is being investigated on these charges?
The French struggle to replace Strauss-Kahn.
Of course they do. You know who else struggles?
Women who have been raped.
Women who have been abused, assaulted, called liars, kept silent for fear of judgment and retaliation.
Women who are unable to change their clothes because being undressed is now terrifying.
Women who are told to force a smile afterward so as not to upset their friends.
Women who are told smiling means it really wasn’t rape.
Women who trusted.
Women who have been told to consider the gravity of their accusation, to consider the impact radius of such an accusation on such a powerful and, apparently, fragile man.
Consider, women, consider until the statute of limitations has passed, or until you have convinced yourself that you are probably a liar or an exaggerator or a whore for allowing yourself to be raped.
Consider the man.
Consider your country.