‘Help­ful’ man poses ‘what if ’ with #MeToo rid­dle

Orlando Sentinel - - PUZZLES -

Dear Amy: I like to think that I am a car­ing and sen­si­tive man — one who re­spects women and ap­pre­ci­ates the spirit of the #MeToo move­ment.

There­fore, a re­cent ex­pe­ri­ence has me dis­turbed. I am look­ing for some ob­jec­tive feed­back.

One re­cent evening, I was with a woman that I know well. We had drinks be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter din­ner. It be­came ap­par­ent to me that she was quite in­tox­i­cated and prob­a­bly should head to bed to sleep it off. I helped her up the stairs to the bath­room. Af­ter a few min­utes, when I heard the bath­room door open, I came back up­stairs to check on her. This is when things got “tricky.”

She was naked, and she made strong sex­ual ad­vances to­ward me.

I knew that the “right” thing to do was to help her get dressed and into bed for sleep, and then go on about my own busi­ness. But I was weak, partly due to my strong at­trac­tion to her. We en­gaged in sex­ual ac­tiv­ity, and dur­ing the acts I be­lieved there was a pos­si­bil­ity that the next day she would not re­mem­ber (or at least she might not re­mem­ber how things got started). Yet I con­tin­ued, and for this I am feel­ing re­morse­ful.

Have I com­mit­ted “date rape”? Am I a “preda­tor”? If the sit­u­a­tion came to a court­room, or if I were a pub­lic fig­ure, would peo­ple judge me to be a “bad” man?

And fi­nally, Amy, does it mat­ter that this woman is my wife of 25 years?

Dear Hus­band: I hope this didn’t re­ally hap­pen; I’m as­sum­ing in­stead that your ques­tion might be a disin­gen­u­ous and rude lit­tle rid­dle, de­signed to trip up an un­sus­pect­ing reader.

Let’s es­tab­lish at the out­set that no, you are not a car­ing and sen­si­tive man. No, you do not re­spect the #MeToo move­ment. That much is quite ob­vi­ous.

Tak­ing the sce­nario you de­scribe at face value — yes, you sex­u­ally as­saulted your wife. She was drunk; you were sober. She wasn’t able to con­sent to sex — not that you asked her.

No, you did not com­mit “date rape.” You did, how­ever, com­mit “mar­i­tal rape.” You pur­sued an in­ca­pac­i­tated woman for the pur­pose of hav­ing sex with her. Yes, this makes you a preda­tor.

Im­por­tantly, and un­for­tu­nately — your wife is mar­ried to a man who thinks this is a clever and le­git­i­mate ques­tion wor­thy of some sort of de­bate. I gen­uinely feel sorry for her. You should be ashamed of your­self.

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