Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dangerous job as a maid

J Lo as maid
I have worked as a maid at various times in my life, out of necessity. Once when I arrived in a city with no money, I got a job making $2 an hour cleaning hotel rooms. And long ago when I first came to Colorado, I worked as a maid at a dude ranch cleaning rooms for the summer.

What has brought all this back to me is identifying with the poor young woman who was allegedly raped by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the disgraced and deposed IMF Chief. The other night I woke up thinking about the awful scenario she experienced that was so graphically depicted in news accounts. If she had known what was going to happen to her, I suspect she would have said nothing and endured the horror of it for the rest of her life. Her previous existence, and that of her sixteen-year-old daughter, will never be the same. The press will never leave her alone.

I read that when she tried to return home after the story broke, dozens of reporters blocked her way into her own home. She and her daughter have been "relocated" to a secure place, but how can her life ever be the same? She has agreed to press charges and probably has little to no idea of the pressures she will most likely face once the trial begins. It just makes me sick. The only bright side to what might come from this is highlighting the numerous times this same situation has happened to other young women, who have little to no recourse if something similar happens to them.

Most of the press reports I've read focus on what will likely happen to his life after he was caught. But apparently this is not new behavior for him, since he is a powerful person who thought the rules didn't apply to him. Whatever he gets won't be adequate punishment, in my opinion, because of his disregard for the rights of others. He joins the ranks of men who have been disgraced because of their inability to keep it in their pants and exposed, so to speak, for their crimes.

While I was working as a maid, I was never accosted, but I didn't spend more than a few months in the position. Because I had other skills, I was able to get better paying and more secure positions. However, I well remember how invisible I was to the people as they were checking out of their rooms. Many times I felt like a piece of furniture and was told by management that it was my place to act like one. Maybe those old guys like DSK should get a blow-up doll fastened to their pillows instead of a chocolate. But who knows, maybe the turn-on for him was overpowering an unwilling and powerless woman...
:-[

24 comments:

  1. Oh yes. I loathe and detest the way we (through the media#) further trespass on the pain of victims. As if what they have just gone through isn't enough. And the 'gentleman' will undoubtedly be able to employ the best legal advice available to further cast doubt on that poor woman's testimony.
    # And the media wouldn't do it if we didn't want it. They are about profit and don't do things for other reasons. Grrr.

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  2. ugh...there is no punishment severe enough...

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  3. Hanging is too good for the scum:(

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  4. You've tackled a heavy topic. Unfortunately it's a topic which takes in other aspects of our society as you have indicated ...the press. In the simplest terms it is the responsibility of the one evil man. It has to be set up so that he alone answers for his actions. Too many times we let these creeps off, as you suggest, that he has money for lawyers.

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  5. I was snatched off the street walking home alone from a beach dance--three blocks from home--when I was 17 years old and gang raped. I ran to my boyfriend's after and he convinced me to the police station. The police acted like I had been asking for it (because I had on a tank top, shorts, and was barefoot, I guess), made fun of me, laughed, and even flat out told me "what really happened" was that my boyfriend had beat me up for cheating on him!?? They never, ever even believed me or looked for them. They even dumped off the evidence bag a couple years later at my folks because they "needed the space"--didn't even save it! Most frustrating, even more degrading part about the horrible experience was the police! I don't blame women for not reporting. Even though that was 43 years ago, things haven't changed that much when it comes to actually prosecuting. They tear the woman apart. My heart and prayers go out to her and her daughter.

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  6. It is all disgusting, isn't it? I do feel sorry for that maid. Like you said, her life will never be the same again.

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  7. My prayers are with that poor woman. MAny of us have been in that position that Rita talked about, especially back in the 60's and 70's...

    You would think that some kind of evolution would take place...yet rich old white men still think they are untouchable and above the law. It makes me sick....

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  8. Oh my gracious! I just read what Rita wrote. How totally awful! It just makes you so mad! I agree with you completely. My aunt was a maid and thank goodness nothing like that ever happened to her. I really feel for that poor maid. The thing is this isn't the first time that IMF idiot has attempted something like this. He needs to be put away! But why is his wife sticking up for him?

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  9. I have been taking a "news break"...have been on overload...I have heard his name mentioned for raping a maid... After reading about it here, now I am not so sure I want to know...

    I get so angry when women are victemized like this!!! I read Rita's comment and it tore my heart out. I am so pissed off right now, I can't even type...

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  10. Such things make me very angry also.

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  11. Sad for all concerned. What emotional turmoil for both victim and perp! I don't envy either one.

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  12. This is why I avoid the news. It's so frustrating to read about things like this and know there are changes that need to be made in the basic structure of things yet not know how to change them.

    Why does accountability not apply to those with money or power? As for Rita, hideous. I won't say anything else because it's all too ugly for print.

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  13. I read where Strauss-Kahn's wife has vigorously defended her husband and denied he was capable of any such act. I take that to mean he is a rich bastard and she doesn't want to lose the gravy train.

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  14. Thank you, Robert the Skeptic!
    I haven't read any articles on this case, so I only know what I've heard on the national news. Certainly my sympathy is with the maid and her daughter.
    And Rita - OMG!.

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  15. This guy deserves whatever he gets. It's as if he believed he could get away with anything simply because of who he is/was. And what's with his wife, standing by him?

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  16. I used to stay in hotel rooms all the time as a flight attendant. The crew would typically check out your room first to ensure that it was safe. But who knew that maids had to fear paying guests. Not hidden ones.

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  17. My heart goes out to this poor women-- and all the others who have been victimized by this man. Undoubtedly there are many others, besides those coming out of the woodwork now, who will never speak up. It's tragic, and the poor woman's life will never be the same, but thankfully some good is coming out of all this-- the French people, many of whom have long accepted this kind of behavior, are learning that rape is not seduction, and it's not acceptable.

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  18. I feel so much for this woman. I traval some for work and always tip teh maids, because I know what hard job that is. So many refugees have been traumatized and it sounds like she had a lot to bear even before this miserable guy did this to her. When I was young and in grad school, i cleaned houses and got propositioned a couple of times by teh husbands. It's really sad and I hope eventaully things calm down for her. he is so powerful it scares me for her.

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  19. Trying to expend nervous energy Thanking my favorite people for helping to keep me sane during this odd period in my life THANK YOU, I may not always have time to comment but I am LURKING!!!

    XO
    JONI

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  20. Happenings like this make one realize how heartless and self indulgent some people can be.

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  21. It's hard to believe that someone in such a position of power is so stupid as to think they are above treating others with kindness!

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  22. She become a victim twice, and that seems so unfair. He's going to end up on top somehow as these men so often do.However, maybe not this time. Maybe there can be a shift. This incident and the one in California (among so many others) sort of makes a good case for women being in charge, don't you think?

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  23. When I worked as a sales rep I traveled a lot and usually had regular hotels where I would stay. I always tipped the maids and gave them a smile when I left, most of them remembered me on return visits. I can't imagine treating another person like furniture.

    I feel sorry for this poor woman, she is the victim but is going to be put through hell by the press.

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  24. For the most part modern journalism is taught in schools that charge too much for admission and pay too much to professors whose biggest lesson is how to screw your fellowman.

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