The breathtakingly arrogant, dismissive, phrase used by Jean-Francois Kahn, one of France's best-known intellectuals of the left (co-founder of the leftist weekly magazine "Marianne" and no relation to Dominique Strauss-Kahn, though a longstanding friend of his wife, Anne Sinclair), to describe what he "felt sure must have happened" in that hotel suite in Times Square.
It can be roughly translated as "lifting the skirt of a domestic", evoking the kind of "droit du seigneur" behavior of those golden days when the right of the (male) ruling class to engage in unconsensual sex with the help went unquestioned.
I am pleased to relate that this particular remark triggered a firestorm of criticism here in France, to the extent that this week's edition of "Marianne" contains a blathering, self-pitying column by Monsieur Kahn, wherein he claims to have been the victim of a witch-hunt, and - sadder, but one hopes a little bit wiser - announces his retirement from writing his weekly column for the magazine.
The misogynistic arrogance of the the caste that constitutes France's "intellectual elite" is, as I said, just breathtaking. There was also the public pronunciation by former culture minister, Jacques Lang, to the effect of "why jail a man, it's not as if anyone was killed", not to mention the nauseating special pleading of douchebag Henri-Bernard Levy, complaining that the American justice system was corrupt, because of its failure to recognize the special status of his VIP buddy, Strauss-Kahn.
It all makes me sick to my stomach.
Google-translate misses the point as usual, rendering the phrase "un troussage de domestique" as "of a sweeping domestic". But then it translates "droit de seigneur" as "law lord", so what can you expect?