While the official motto of France is :"Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite", there is an unoffical, but integral fourth element: privacy.
While France is (again) "officially" a devout Catholic nation, it has an almost religious tolerance for "non-Catholic" activities. Particularly when they relate to "relations in time."
Basically the French mindset is: "We don't care who you screw, as long as you don't screw up on the job." The exact opposite of the American perception. Where every public figure must be as squeaky clean as Snow White. (But ... wait a minute ... wasn't she living with 7 men?)
The unspoken, but understood caveat of French tolerance being: style. You do what you do. But you do it with the utmost discretion. Without fanfare. Without witnesses.
Definitely not the case with M. Strauss-Kahn in New York. And this could be his greatest political liability questing for the French Presidential Palace. To say that the French forgive "extra-marital sex" is to totally misunderstand French culture. They regard it as just another aspect of life. And more to the point -- someone else's life. Which is none of their business.
Perhaps the greatest example of the French respect for personal privacy is the late President Francois Mitterand, who had two families. His "open secret" -- a 20-year mistress. (and a child with) When he died, both families attended the funeral. C'est la vie.
Another former President, Jacques Chirac was infamous for his late night limo forays. It's rumoured that on the night Lady Diana died in Paris, Bernadette Chirac had no idea where hubby was. C'est la vie.
Yes, folks, "It's the life." And whether you approve or not is so much squirrel dookie. These two gentlemen did what they did with style. With discretion. And, most importantly, they didn't screw up on the job.
Unlike "The Great Seducer," who screwed, and screwed up on the job. Sadly, the IMF Directors didn't have sufficient cojones to send him packing then. That would have saved Natissifatou Daillo, New York, and the World unnecessary agony. And all the blue meanies that go with it.
Anne Mansouret, the Mother of Tristane Banon, the young journalist who is charging DSK tried to rape her in 2007, while admitting consensual sex with Strauss-Kahn, characterized his style as "brutal." Saying : "He took me with the vulgarity of a soldier."And characterized DSK as " A predator." (This was another on-the-job "indiscretion.")
The politician that stands to benefit most from the current state of DSK, is Marine LePen, the leader of the National Front party. Owing to the fact that socialist voters "disenchanted" with "The Great Seducer" will cast their protest ballot with her right wing camp. Rather than anoint Nicholas Sarkozy Napolean for another term.
Ms. LePen has this to say about the DSK "style" : "The truth that maybe the rest of France doesn't know, but all of Paris knows, is that Strauss-Kahn has a problem with women, some say it's an addiction."
BOTTOM LINE : Sex, not a problem. Rape -- BIG problem.
Will he run? Will he go into sex addiction rehab? Will "his women" finally be his Achilles heel?"