It's Not Anne Sinclair's Fault Her Husband Is Gross

Illustration for article titled It's Not Anne Sinclair's Fault Her Husband Is Gross

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.

Advertisement

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.

Anne Sinclair, DSK's Wife, Recounts Debacle in French ELLE Interview [Daily Beast]

DISCUSSION

kathy0291201
Kathy: Mama Honey Badger

"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." "Nobody knows what happens in the intimacy of couples, and I deny anyone the right to judge mine."

I don't speak French, so I can't read this in the original. (I'm assuming French Elle is in French.) But, if all of the nuances of "judge" translate well, I absolutely can judge. There's a lot of behavior that cannot be legislated that polite society MUST judge and enforce.

For instance, legally, people can say almost anything they like, but the social and workplace consequences might be harsh. There are many states where it's legal to spank children, but anyone who tries it in public should be prepared for some serious stink-eye from bystanders, and possibly some intervention from strangers. When conservatives complain about their right to their religion being discriminated against, that's just the social and/or legal hammer coming down on them for bullying against homosexuals.