Man poses a #MeToo rid­dle

The Mercury News Weekend - - COMICS - Amy Dick­in­son Con­tact Amy Dick­in­son via email at [email protected] amy­dick­in­son.com.

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? — Won­der­ing Hus­band

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. How­ever, let’s press on. You ask for an ob­jec­tive opin­ion. Here’s mine:

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.

Turn in your good hus­band card. You are a cad.

DEAR AMY » Your ad­vice to “Mid­dle Schooler” about deal­ing with test­ing jit­ters made me smile, es­pe­cially this part: “... imag­ine a big, friendly golden re­triever sit­ting calmly be­side you while you take your test.”

What a great im­age! I’m not in mid­dle school, but I’m go­ing to use it. — A Fan DEAR FAN » Well, it works for me!

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