People (including us) have been talking a lot about Dominique Strauss-Kahn's wife Anne Sinclair in recent months. But she's said almost nothing. Now she's given an interview to French Elle that gets me on her side — kind of.
First, the bad. Much like DSK and his defenders, Sinclair is mad about what she sees as an invasion of his — and their — privacy. It certainly sucks to be the wife of the world's most famous alleged sex offender, but her accusation that media scrutiny into her life "has something about it that is Orwellian, totalitarian" is seriously misplaced. A free press is pretty much the opposite of Orwellian, and it's frequently a feature of totalitarian states that the powerful are protected from the public's prying eyes. To be as prominent as DSK was is, at least in a free society, to give up a certain amount of privacy — especially if you're going to behave like an idiot, which is the most charitable interpretation of what DSK did at the Sofitel.
However, Sinclair's totally right that judging her decision to stay with DSK is beside the point. She says,
That some women felt disappointed in me, I am afraid to say, that it is their problem! I don't need to understand them. They are expressing positions and feelings. I listen to them, but the idea that people can judge the attitude of someone in (his or her) private life is completely foreign to me.
And, in perhaps the interview's most quotable line: "Nobody knows what happens in the intimacy of couples, and I deny anyone the right to judge mine." Of course, Sinclair maintains that her husband is innocent of sexual assault. If he's ever proven guilty, then her comments are harder to justify — protecting a convicted rapist is a different decision than staying with an adulterer. But as of now, while I refuse to laud her decision — sticking by your sleazy husband does not make you Woman of the Year — she's right that we don't know shit about their marriage. If she wants to stay with someone who is, at the very least, a world-class douche, that's her right. And ultimately, if we're going to judge someone, it should probably be him.