A Special #MeToo Ethics Quiz…

This part is all true, unfortunately:

Many years ago, indeed, decades ago, I had a very traumatic and unpleasant experience. A very gay friend, an actor, called me to ask me to do a favor for him. He had been invited to a formal event by another actress we both knew. He didn’t know her as well as I did, but she was kind of pathetic and needy, and my friend, who in every respect other than his sexuality would be a dream date (among other talents, he danced like Fred Astaire) said he would be able to endure the evening only  if they doubled with me and my current girlfriend. I agreed, pending my date’s approval, which I received.

The evening was a humiliation that I will never forget.

My date, it turned out, had an strange and unrequited crush on my gay friend. I spent most of the night watching her spin around the dance floor with him—she was a professional dancer—while I sat with my friend’s supposed date, who sat making moon eyes at me. I danced with her a bit, though she was an even worse dancer than I was. I wanted to die. Not every guy gets his date charmed away by someone as flamboyantly uninterested in woman as Liberace.

The worst was yet to come. My date decided to stay the night with my gay friend—I forgave him, as he was genuinely guileless, but not her—and I took his date, now attached to me like a barnacle, which she resembled but with red hair, back to her apartment. I walked her to her door, and then, without warning, she reached up (I was about a foot taller than she), grabbed me by the neck, violently pulled my head down, kissed me, and stuck her remarkably long tongue so far down my throat that I nearly choked. I remember that my eyes were wide open, and so were hers,  staring back at me like the Devil does to Mia Farrow while he’s raping her in “Rosemary’s Baby.”  (Or so it seemed at the time. To be honest, her eyes were scarier than Satan’s. ) That image haunted me to for a weeks, and now I’m remembering it again ARRGHHH! THANKS, Ethics Alarms!

I never spoke to her after that night.

Fortunately, I did not become pregnant.

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day, Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck edition:

Imagine that my default date, Mother Tongue, as I ruefully referred to her later, is now an outspoken public figure and feminist regularly appearing on CNN panels and other venues. Imagine also that she is calling for the metaphorical heads of every man recently caught up in #MeToo memories.  She says that whenever harassment, groping or sexual misconduct it occurred, it does not matter. Until the culture has been reformed, until men learn that unconsented sexual contact is wrong and an affront to all women, such current and prior offenders must be purged from positions of power and influence.

A. Should I reveal her conduct toward me on that horrific evening, all those years ago?

B. What if another accuser come forward with a similar account, and she denies it?

56 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Quizzes, Romance and Relationships

56 responses to “A Special #MeToo Ethics Quiz…

  1. Elizabeth II

    Out her!

  2. Based on your own statements, if I were you I’d take it up with her in private. “About your statements regarding sexual misconduct, should that apply to men AND women? The reason I ask is because of that one night…” If her reaction was defensive or nasty, I’d let it go. One accuser bringing up one incident shouldn’t be enough for others to make a character judgement. If ANOTHER person came forward, (and again, this is after the private conversation), then it might be worth joining them, since it would indicate she has a habit of doing this, and needs to be exposed as part of the problem.

  3. Mike

    Hardly a situation similar to Harvey Weinstein who is a powerful person in both business and politics who besides being a extreme sexual predator is a toady of some of the most vile and corrupt politicians ever to stain America. These swine need to be taken down for the good of the Republic. You sir on the otherhand are an ordinary man who would come across to 95% of adult Americans as Mike Douglas whining about Demi Moore groping him in ‘Disclosure’.

    • 1. Mike Douglas would have been funny in that role, but you don’t mean the late talk show host, you mean MICHAEL Douglas.
      2. Douglas’s character was 100% correct in that movie (and book).
      3. If Mother Tongue has been anything like Demi Moore, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, and I would have taken her back to MY apartment.

      • And I’m not THAT ordinary….

      • Wait, so your objection wasn’t so much the action, but the appearance of the person initiating it?

        • John E. Staszak

          Oh my God! Jack engaged in lookism! Gimme a break.
          Whether or not he would have reacted differently if he was attracted to barnacle girl isn’t the point. Her actions were wrong. Here’s an example from real life: Some one stole my neighbor’s firewood in the middle of the night. Even though she told me the next day that she was relieved that the pile of wood (which was there by virtue of her former husband’s wood splitting obsession) was gone, the person who stole it is still a thief. His objection is not the point, her behavior is.

          • Oh I agree, but the way he said it, it seemed for a moment like he would have been okay with the spontaneous tongue if she was pretty.

            On reflection, I gather that if he was into her, he probably would’ve made that known, and she would’ve been acting on a signal, and not out of the blue. I get that right, Jack?

        • That’s not a fair or accurate description of what I said, is it? If I had been attracted to the woman, if I had given the slightest signal that I was open to such contact, then it would have been a different sequence and a different situation. If she was 80, would you say it was age bias? Yes, as an aduly heterosexual, I will be more receptive to spontaneous kiss from someone I find attractive than from someone I don’t. That, however, is determined before the conduct, For all the factors involved, this was unconsented to assaulty and battery.

  4. Sounds like a horrible date, to be sure.

    According to your post, her conduct was either inappropriate, unwanted, unsolicited and unrequited, or teetering on the knife edge of sexual harassment or sexual assault.

    I need more details, though:

    Consider:

    Were libations imbibed in which may have reduce inhibitions?

    Were there flirtations between and betwixt the kisser and the kissed, opening the proverbial door to said lingual onslaught?

    When did it occur – for instance, was it at the beginnings of the proverbial ‘sexual revolution’ where male-female roles were changing, and taking the “first step” was in a state of flux? (Ed. Note: I think most of our present day social ills can be traced back to the late 1960s – early 1970s.)

    Was the humble correspondent a strapping young lad capable of inducing said reaction from the substitute date?

    Assuming those questions do not ferret further data, and the facts are as they are stated in the paradigm, the question is whether said impropriety on her part requires a confrontation. In my never-to-be-humble position, I would suggest letting it go. Yet, if it must be addressed, the first course of action should/would be to address it directly to her and give her the opportunity to respond. You never know, she might remember it, too, and might have been so horrified that she has been looking for an opportunity to apologize.

    If you do approach her and she dismisses it as irrelevant and unimportant, and if it is truly relevant to her stated positions, then I think you would be free to disclose to the larger world if you believed that her conduct was so beyond the pale that it should be made public because it demonstrates what kind of character she has. If she were an activist of note and prestige, I would caution you to prepare for the media blitzkrieg that will be unleashed with the stated purpose of destroying you and your reputation.

    That leads me to my overriding concern: we seem to be approaching a new phase in human relations wherein every action from our respective pasts is subject to present day scrutiny, criticism, and judgment, rather than remaining buried in the ash heap of our own histories. Every misstep, bad date, off-the-mark joke/comment/statement will be used to hoist us on our own petards. The real danger is that everything is becoming actionable. The Furies will not stand for human errors: That meme my next door neighbor posted about Hooters waitresses will be used to pillory him as a woman-hater when he runs for office. Reposting or sharing that message about Mohammed or Jesus or John Smith or Abraham will be used to run you out of town as a religious zealot or bigot. The city council candidate for my district will have to answer questions about her past – did she, in fact, subject a rather ethical fellow to an unwanted tongue lashing after a date all those years ago?

    jvb

    • Oh, and I forgot to mention that the current rage is all about people in positions of power lording it over those without such power. A bad date is one thing between fellow train riders. Would it be any different if the kissed had given the kisser a ride home because her date left with someone else, stranding the kisser in the bar (probably with a hefty bar tab, to boot)?

      It is substantially different when the kisser is your boss and you are her assistant and the inequality in political, economic, social, or cultural clout makes all the difference. That is the basis for sexual harassment in the work environment. There is the threat of loss of income, promotions, positions, projects, etc.

      It is also totally different where the action is not just an unwanted kiss, but unacceptable and inappropriate groping, where the positions of power have placed the person subjected to the unwanted actions in danger. Weinstein used his position as a movie mogul to harm women and their careers. Clinton used his political power and abused women. The creep down the street physically restrained a woman and forced himself on her against her will.

      jvb

        • La Sylphide

          I’m not sure what it is I am supposed to do with the son of the landlord who sexually assaulted me at the age of four, or the “summer kid” who assaulted me on a beach at the age of fifteen, the boss who fashioned himself a James Spader in the movie “Secretary” and told me if I made another mistake he’d put over his knee and “spank me” but who would in the next minute tell his million dollar friends that he’d be nothing without me, the CPA who cornered me in the break room when I was 5 mos pregnant and said “pregnant and in the kitchen, again, huh?.”

          What is it that I am supposed to do with these men? Out them? Approach them in private? And of the most egregious, what good does it do to approach them privately? That only settles things privately. It doesn’t protect the next person coming along – which I thought was the whole point.

    • Were libations imbibed in which may have reduce inhibitions?

      No.

      Were there flirtations between and betwixt the kisser and the kissed, opening the proverbial door to said lingual onslaught?

      GOD no.

      When did it occur – for instance, was it at the beginnings of the proverbial ‘sexual revolution’ where male-female roles were changing, and taking the “first step” was in a state of flux? (Ed. Note: I think most of our present day social ills can be traced back to the late 1960s – early 1970s.)

      Seventies.

      Was the humble correspondent a strapping young lad capable of inducing said reaction from the substitute date?

      Anyone with a Y chromosome and skin would have elicited said reaction.

  5. ”Imagine […] Mother Tongue […] is now an outspoken public figure and feminist regularly appearing on CNN panels and other venues.”

    Only two people know what transpired after the tonsil hockey:
    *horrendously awkward silence, interrupted by the rising sun.
    *horrified wind-sucking embarrassment,
    *a heartfelt, though forced: “gosh…your…um…eyes.”
    *a defensive “eeeeeeewwwwww!” push-away (you)
    *a knee to the groin (yours),
    *a hay-maker slap (pick ’em),
    *You screaming over your shoulder as you sprint to safety: “I’ll call you!!!”
    *You getting dropped as you scream over your shoulder sprinting (unsuccessfully) to safety, waking without your wallet, car keys…or car,
    *After a decades long multi-state crime spree, she got “woke.”

    Absent that, conspiracy theories will abound. Like the rest of your admirers, I’m inclined to side with you.

    Answers:
    A- To her, privately
    B- To her, privately; suggesting a price on your silence would be hard to determine.

    When she low-balls you, tell her to add a coupla 0’s to it.

  6. A: just drop it.
    B: let the accuser go as far as…he?…can go – and fantasize that he is going the extra mile just for you – but still, don’t pile-on with your own story.

  7. charlesgreen

    This was a script you submitted to Larry David for Curb Your Enthusiasm, right?

  8. Inquiring Mind

    A: Up to your conscience. Only you can decide if you want to.
    B: I think you would have an ethical obligation to come forward. Not for yourself, but for the other accusers who she is dragging through the mud.

  9. vmj1086

    I keep coming to posts on this topic and thinking I need to weigh in, and then I don’t, based on the upcoming content of this post. I think, however, that I need to as my experiences may be helpful.

    I have been accused of sexual misconduct twice. The first time I was in college, which led to some minor disciplinary action from the college, not the law. The second time was after college, which didn’t lead to anything at all in terms of discipline. You may be asking yourself if I am a scumbag who has no respect for women, and if not, how could I possibly be accused of sexual assault not once, but twice. The answer is that my sexual identity centers around sadomasochistic tendencies, and power exchanges. Sex without such things is unbelievably boring for me, and hardly worth having. Those of you who are excited by gentle, caring sex with someone you really care about should do me a favor, and take a second to think about how much this fact about yourselves if attributable to moral luck.

    The first time I was accused of misconduct, it was with a girlfriend who had recently become an ex-girlfriend. During the course of the exchange, she said something to me akin to “You can do whatever you want to me.” I, reasonably or not, construed that as consent, and I also construed it as her wanting me to take a more aggressive, dominant posture with her. I will admit that based on her response after the incident, I was clearly wrong. Her response after we were done was just terrible, shaky and crying. I clearly did something she did not want me to do, but I had only done what I actually thought she wanted me to. (I go back and forth between whether I consider that the worst day of my life, or whether I consider the day I completely ruined my knee in a fall the worst day of my life). Also, I had developed a safe word with her, such that all things would stop if she said this safeword- To this day, I don’t know why she failed to use it. I learned two things that night. The first, my sexuality and alcohol should not be mixed. I know who I am, and whether anyone believes me or not, I truly did what I thought she wanted me to do. The thing that’s always haunted me is whether she had given me some clue that I was wrong, that I would have caught, had I not been drinking. Thereafter, I never had more than one beer in a night, if any women were around. When I began dating after college, women would invite me to bars for a drink, and I would insist we get ice cream instead (at least, in part, because I like ice cream better). The second thing I learned is that we should have absolutely, positively created a negligence rape statute, or something akin to the same. This is because we keep politicizing the conversation in a man vs. woman way, rather than actually listening to each other and trying to solve actual problems. Rape is an intent crime, so you cannot rape without having the intent to so undertake that action, but a woman can obviously feel raped, even if you didn’t intend such a thing. Thus, there should be some punishment if you truly thought you had consent, but the same was unreasonable in your case. That’s what I may have been guilty of, negligence, because I had absolutely had too much to drink, and perhaps the same caused me to miss something I would otherwise have caught. Personally, I would make the rape negligence statute a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a year’s imprisonment, and such would not require registration with the sex offender registry, as it lacks, by definition, the requisite intent.

    The second time I was accused was after college, by a woman who I slept with when I was fully sober. I had also established a safeword with her. As the interactions were so new, I also was consistently monitoring for any sign of possible problems, or even a whisper or a pause that would suggest she wanted me to stop. Nothing. Weeks later, she accused me of, effectively, rape. I had a very detailed email from her about all the things she was requesting I do, of which, I had given her so much less than she asked for. Since, I have racked my brain for anything I could have done differently to make sure she felt safe and okay, and I can come up with exactly nothing. She later told me she said to “Stop”, and I could honestly tell her that if she said that, I absolutely did not hear her, but I don’t think she did say that. (I recall a separate time when someone who I was dating completely froze up when I began nibbling her ear, that time I caught it, and we stopped, and I never tried to nibble her ear again). I was honestly and truly trying to make sure she was okay, and I was listening for any sign something was wrong. So, we can’t just say oh all sexual related accusations means the alleged perpetrator is evil, whenever someone claims something against someone else. Some people aren’t all there, and they make things different in their heads once they get distance from what actually happened.

    So, in sum, we have to keep two things in mind. A person can be doing exactly what he thinks the other wants them to do, and the same can be seen as sexual assault under the current climate. We have to take some time to, at least, consider what the alleged perpetrator intended. It’s certainly possible to think you have consent, and to be wrong. (Kobe Bryant, who I am not a fan of, stated as such pursuant to his problem in Denver. He said, “I thought I had consent at the time, but looking back at it, maybe there were things I didn’t have consent for.” ) That’s the discussion we need to be having, not just this continuous “me too” finger pointing. Second, just because someone has accused someone else of sexual assault/rape doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what happened. That’s why these things should be dealt with in courts of law, not courts of public opinion.

    Also, as an aside, and this is not relevant to my own experience, but it seems pretty clear the rules were different in the 70, 80s, and early 90s. The rules probably were to women’s disadvantage, but are we really going to punish people years later when they were living by the standards of their time? And while I understand treating people with dignity is treating people with dignity, and timeless, we also have to consider that if it was considered acceptable in those previous times, the perpetrators are even more likely to lack the requisite intent necessary to truly condemn them.

    In order to protect myself, I have utilized a different screenname than I usually use on this site, but I have emailed Jack as to who I actually am.

    • Chris

      This should be a Comment of the Day.

      The second thing I learned is that we should have absolutely, positively created a negligence rape statute, or something akin to the same. This is because we keep politicizing the conversation in a man vs. woman way, rather than actually listening to each other and trying to solve actual problems. Rape is an intent crime, so you cannot rape without having the intent to so undertake that action, but a woman can obviously feel raped, even if you didn’t intend such a thing. Thus, there should be some punishment if you truly thought you had consent, but the same was unreasonable in your case. That’s what I may have been guilty of, negligence, because I had absolutely had too much to drink, and perhaps the same caused me to miss something I would otherwise have caught. Personally, I would make the rape negligence statute a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a year’s imprisonment, and such would not require registration with the sex offender registry, as it lacks, by definition, the requisite intent.

      As someone who has heard similar stories–though always from the woman in these situations–I agree. I think most people don’t know how common this form of rape is, but I’d wager it is probably more common than the type of rape we usually talk about.

      • That does seem like a good idea; like making a distinction between murder and manslaughter. I expect feminists might regard it as a step backwards though.

        • They might, but they’d be foolish, or too biased to realize that some men might not understand the full import of their actions. Even if the men did know what they were doing, it’d be easier to get a conviction if you don’t have to prove it.

          Plus, the existence of such a crime would make it clear to men that it’s not enough to have good intentions and be a good person in your head. You have to actively pay attention to the effects you’re having on others–which is incidentally why alcohol is especially dangerous in these situations: it prevents you from paying that attention.

    • I second the Comment of the Day recommendation, assuming it’s fine with the commenter. I’m grateful that you have shared your experience with us; vulnerable experiences that demonstrate that nuance can exist where most people assume it can’t are the most important stories for keeping humanity humble and seeking understanding.

      In a similar vein, I had some traumatic formative incidents in my childhood in which I took cues from the children around me on what they found funny or playful, then tried to mimic it. I had to be informed by adults that what I was doing was unpleasant, inappropriate, disrespectful, distressing, or unsafe, either because the people I was mimicking were encroaching on it in the first place and I just took it to the logical conclusion, or because they were fine and I was extrapolating too far in the first place.

      I have since paid very close attention to what I say and do towards other people. With the now-infrequent exception of Barren [sic] Blauschwartz (a side of me which is tempted to aggressively shut down systems that cause problems and hurt people, even if that “system” is the person’s own personality), I’ve largely succeeded.

      However, this sort of communication disconnect regarding both desire and acceptance is a major reason I don’t seek out intimate relationships, even though by moral luck I happen to be interested in gentle, caring sex with someone I would really care about (complicated by other interests, but that’s not yet for the Internet to know). Heck, if I don’t watch myself, I might even end up traumatizing a friendly acquaintance just by honestly discussing my perspective on life–not because I’m unhappy, but because they will start seeing the world in a way they don’t fully understand and are not emotionally prepared to deal with. Parents, talk to your kids about existentialism.

  10. Still Spartan

    Was she your employer or co-worker, than not a “me too.” Just a really bad date. We’ve all been there.

    • She wasn’t my date. If she had been my date, it would have been a completely different issue. She was an acquaintance who took advantage of a situation, like Kevin Spacey at the party. She just didn’t lie down on me. Actually, that would have been easier to deal with. This was the “I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything” scenario that when Trump talked about it on tape, everyone was horrified. Why do you brush it off when a women does it to me? I did not consent, I did not invite, I did not want her fat slimy tongue in my mouth while she stared at me. It’s exactly what Franken was accused of, but worse.

      She had an advantage because she was a small girl, and she knew I wouldn’t slug her, and was too polite to humiliate her. Nice.

      • Still Spartan

        Double date — still an intimate situation. I once went in a double date with a close friend and his girlfriend. My boyfriend ended up marrying the other girl! I’ve been kissed, touched, etc. by numerous friends and acquaintenaces over the years. My level of annoyance (if any) depended on the people and situation at hand.

    • Kyjo

      Whoa, #MeToo was only for workplace harassment? I don’t think I saw that memo.

      • Still Spartan

        Well, yes. It’s a legal term. Look it up.

        • Kyjo

          The tweet that started the whole “me too” thing didn’t say a word about it being limited to encounters in the workplace, and my acquaintances certainly didn’t take it to be so limited. Here’s that tweet:

          Pay attention to the replies, e.g.,

          “I was 9.” Doesn’t sounds like it was in a workplace, does it? So I’d venture to say you’re wrong.

  11. Wayne

    So what about Anthony Weiner? I suppose a pic of him is irrelevant since he is going to prison for his sexting an underage girl for a couple of years.

  12. Andrew Wakeling

    A. Certainly not. B. Still no unless it is a really serious issue, like a murder investigation.

    1. Leaving aside ethics, it is massively impolite to reopen a social interaction of 10+ years ago. You had your chance to comment, scream, call the cops or whatever at the time. Your window for reaction might possibly extend to the morning after but not decades after.

    2. You react negatively to ‘it’s not the worst thing’ rationalisations for ethics and I understand that. But if you were to make public such a minor complaint, your community or society would have every justification for impatience. “What is this jerk going on about. Nobody died or required hospitalisation. Nobody’s house burned down. Nobody lost their livelihood etc etc.”

    3. It would be simply cruel and should seriously diminish you in the eyes of your friends, colleagues and family. Are you likely to seek to reopen other conversations from decades ago when it might seem to your advantage? If so, prepare to dine alone.

  13. “A. Should I reveal her conduct toward me on that horrific evening, all those years ago?”

    No. You made a choice years ago not to publicly confront the girl about the incident, stick to your original choice regardless of her current position.

    “B. What if another accuser comes forward with a similar account, and she denies it?”

    Refer to answer A. It doesn’t matter how many come forward, you made your choice, stick with it.

    A completely private conversation with her is appropriate. Give her the opportunity to personally apologize. She needs to understand that what she did was improper, you have not in the past nor will in the future be out for any kind of public revenge; however, she also needs to fully understand that if you are asked by others about the incident you will not lie to protect her.

  14. It’s clear that there’s only one solution: ban all forms of direct intimate human contact.

    • ”It’s clear that there’s only one solution: ban all forms of direct intimate human contact.”

      Part of a larger mega-trend of eliminating human interaction?

      To paraphrase Lord Byron: “When falls human interaction, the world.”

      • The way social justice warriors are pushing forward their new “hang them in the streets” sexual assault vigilante justice attitudes something as innocuous as bumping into someone dues to close contact on an elevator is soon going to be deemed a sexual assault, you will be forced to retire from the business you built over the last 30 years and they will have to change the business name for fear of social backlash.

        For all you huggers out there, you better watch out, it won’t be long before a completely innocent hug will be considered sexual assault. Don’t you dare put your arm around someone to console them that just a way for you filthy dirt-bags to try and “Cop-A-Feel”. God help those that smile at perfect strangers or anyone that bumps into someone on a bus, subway, or standing in line at a crowed Starbucks. Better not shake someone’s hand for more than two shakes and three seconds. It won’t be long before if you get caught just looking at a man/woman will get you fined for lewd public behavior. And for the sake of your livelihood, don’t you dare apologize for any of the above actions it will immediately imply that you knew you’re actions were inappropriate and you did it anyway, your apology is just you trying to cover-your-ass, you’re guilty!

        Sound absurd? How far do you think these social justice warriors are will take this? How far do you think a society that in fear of social justice warriors will allow them to take it? Keep your eyes to the ground folks and don’t touch anyone for any reason or you could be next on the social justice warrior’s public hanging list, heck maybe you’re already are on the list for that three and a half second hug you gave that old friend you haven’t seen in a while. If you all don’t think we are on a slippery slope then you’re really not paying attention.

        Here’s a new idea for creative product designers: design and market a personal bubble that no one can see into but the user can see out of and it prevents anyone from toughing any part of your body in any way and prevents you from touching others. Insurance companies might cut your personal liability rates if you use one, if you don’t have one then you are considered high risk.

  15. RWE

    Jack,
    My belief is that looking at the behaviour of others is useful only to the extent that it allows me to modify my behaviour. I make an attempt to avoid thinking that begins with the idea that I know what you should do or should have done. I think that’s what is meant by ‘Judge not, lest you be judged.’ Sometimes I can even do this:)

    Finally, a more charitable view of her current action may be as an atonement for her own previous poor behaviour. I’m not telling you what to do, but I’d like to think if it happened to me, I would let it go.
    BTW- thank you for your thoughtful blog.

  16. I guess I’ll finally reveal my answer: No, and no. I’d never publicly reveal a private episode like this, under any circumstances,

    A. It’s pure Golden Rule stuff. I would never want to have an old friend, acquaintance of colleague haul out an ancient breach of ethics or taste to embarrass me. I’d never do it to anyone else.

    B. Doing so is vengeance and unethical. I had my vengeance at te time: I cut the woman off, just as I had my vengeance on my rude and betraying “date.” I give a lot in both my professional and social relationships: you will miss me when I’m gone. That was their punishment. No me.

    C. The length of time is a total bar. There is no official statute of limitations for non-crimes—and this, though battery and ICK, was a non-crime—-but there should be a universal recognition that people grow up and learn, and coming back after decades to pretend that bad conduct then should be used to impugn them now is per se wrong and unfair,

    D.There were mitigating circumstances. She was lonely and disappointed that HER date had abandoned her, and in her distress, leaped to an unwarranted conclusion that our mutual and simultaneous misfortune created some kind of bond that might make her overtures welcome. They weren’t. She didn’t know me very well, or not well enough, or she wouldn’t have tried it. But I know many, many men, indeed some room mates, who would have jumped at that opportunity, spent the night with her, and perhaps given her some temporary solace…until her one night stand never called her the next day after fleeing in the early hours. I didn’t do one night stands, or flings of opportunity when I was in the presence of an emotional needy woman.

    E. The discussion here has been lively, as I thought it would be. No one, however, has addressed the parallels between my situation and that of Al Franken’s accuser from the USO, or Kevin Spacey’s first accuser, who broke the dam. In both of those cases, and some others—Anita Hill would be the most flagrant example—i still find the timing and manner of the public accusation unethical and unfair,

  17. charlesgreen

    I can’t claim this is directly relevant, but it’s indirectly so: and Jack, being knowledgeable of things show-business as well as ethical, I thought of you when I somehow remembered my dad’s playing an old Cole Porter tune, “Always True to You Darling in My Fashion,” from 1948’s Broadway version of Kiss Me Kate.

    Here are some selected lyrics:

    If a custom-tailored vet
    Asks me out for something wet
    When the vet begins to pet, I cry “hooray!”
    But I’m always true to you, darlin’, in my fashion
    Yes, I’m always true to you, darlin’, in my way

    I’ve been asked to have a meal
    By a big tycoon in steel
    If the meal includes a deal, accept I may…

    I could never curl my lip
    To a dazzlin’ diamond clip
    Though the clip meant “Let ‘er rip”, I’d not say “Nay!”….

    and perhaps the most famous lyric,

    Mister Harris, plutocrat
    Wants to give my cheek a pat
    If the Harris pat means a Paris hat, Oo-la-la!

    The times they do change…

    • I almost used another set of lyrics from the same show in the NOW post: “I Hate Men.”
      That last verse is especially chilling.

      Then there’s THIS classic:

      There may come a time when a hard-boiled employer
      Thinks you’re awful nice
      But get that ice or else no dice
      He’s your guy when stocks are high
      But beware when they start to descend
      It’s then that those louses go back to their spouses
      Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

      I’ve heard of affairs that are strictly platonic
      But diamonds are a girl’s best friend
      And I think affairs that you must keep liaisonic
      Are better bets if little pets get big baggettes
      Time rolls on and youth is gone
      And you can’t straighten up when you bend
      But stiff back or stiff knees
      You stand straight at Tiffany’s
      Diamonds, Are A Girl’s Best Friend!

  18. Pennagain

    Send her a copy of this post. With comments.

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