Philanderer, cad, and lecher, the list is almost endless
Yes, he is talking about Dominique Strauss-Kahn (pictured), the recently resigned head of the International Monetary Fund, who was detached from his first class seat in a plane to land in a rather nasty jail, on a charge of sexual predation.
The "flexibility of the English language," is undermining the case for the defense, Smith says. All the words that have been applied to the innocent-until-proven-guilty DSK are perjorative, involving a presumption of guilt.
Personally, I have always had trouble finding a word to describe a man in search of a sexual target. "Lothario" has generally been the best I can come up with, but Russell Smith produces a most impressive list.
Skirt-chaser. Ladies' man. Lady-killer. Playboy. Casanova. Romeo. Don Juan (what it is with those southern Europeans?). Wolf. Philanderer. Cad. Gigolo.
I would suggest, though, that with the exception of the last, none of them are as deeply insulting as the words applied to sexually active women. The one that leaps to mind is "whore." Another is "slut."
And why are "whore" and "slut" more deeply insulting than any of the words applied to men? Because of the presumption of payment.