October 2, 2018, Prescott-
As a teenager, and as a twenty-something, I touched a few women, without their prior consent, though not in a compromising area. Something inside of me recoiled at my own behaviour, and each case lasted less than a minute. I can only hope the people, none of whom I knew by name, or ever saw again, have had good lives and have been treated well, over all.
The Kavanaugh case has brought me to a place of circumspection. I know that no one is perfect, yet one of the two people with whom I have spoken, about one of the incidents, was almost apoplectic in lecturing me about what my twenty-something self should never have done. He is an older man, who prides himself on his manners, yet regularly curses in the presence of women his age. The other person, a woman slightly older than me, simply noted that this sort of behaviour is something I appear to have long outgrown.
None of us walks on on water, yet we each have the capacity, and therefore the duty, to grow emotionally. I have never sexually assaulted, or coerced, anyone. Indeed, I have only made love to two women in my life, the second of whom became my wife. I am hardly ashamed of that track record, as brief as it is.
The last thing I did, before writing this, was to remove myself from the readership of a man who laid all blame, for the issue that has dominated the national debate, on the woman who belatedly reported it. Consensual sex is not rape, and rape is never good. To conflate the two, even in an “intellectual” environment, is reprehensible.
Now, what do the incidents I mentioned above, make me? If you wish to say I am a hypocrite, you may. For any of us, especially men, our purity towards other people is one of degree.