Dominique Strauss-Kahn Scandal: Why Are We Blaming The Victim?


newsweek cover dsk dominique strauss-kahn maid Nafissatou Diallo nafi
The relationships editor at Essence questions the media's coverage of DSK accuser Nafissatou Diallo.

The scrutiny doesn't stop there. In Diallo's Newsweek story telling her side of events, the reporters, both males, evaluate Diallo as "not glamorous," her skin "pitted with what look like faint acne scars," then they observe her "womanly" figure. That could be excused as journalistic color, but notably, those details are never given for Strauss-Kahn — thirty-plus years Diallo's senior, corpulent, and bearing a receding hairline. It's like the men are deducing the truth of her accusations based on her attractiveness level. There's also the curious observation that Diallo, at 32, has men in her life that "she has spent time with, whom she does not call fiancés or boyfriends, but 'just friends.'" Uh... does no man to "claim" her or "vouch" for her make her more rape-able?

It's baffling how in 2011 alleged rapists are given the benefit of the doubt, while female accusers remain covered in doubt. If we ever hope to eradicate rape, we have to start with getting rid of the blame the victim mentality. There's no time like the present to get on that.

Demetria L. Lucas is the Relationships Editor at ESSENCE and the author of "A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life."

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.