Latest Herman Cain Accuser Makes Me Question a Husband's Intent

herman cainI'm not in the habit of imagining what I would do if I were married to presidential candidates -- particularly, candidates that are besieged by icky sex scandal rumors. But there's something about Herman Cain and the accusations of harassment against him that just make my mind, unfortunately, go THERE.

A fifth woman has come forward to allege possibly inappropriate sexual behavior by Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. Compared to the previous accusers, Donna Donella's statement is arguably one of the least scandalous: She alleged that he asked her to help arrange a dinner date for him with a female audience member following a speech he delivered nine years ago.

His supporters are dismissing this accusation as either false or, if true, then completely irrelevant. After all, it's just a dinner date. Married people are allowed to have dinner, aren't they? 

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Well, maybe. Let's try to forget for just one moment the fact that four other women have stepped forward to accuse Cain of inappropriate sexual advances, and attempt to consider in a bubble the request that Cain -- a married man -- made to Donella:

Could you put me in touch with that lovely young lady who asked the question, so I can give her a more thorough answer over dinner?

Did the "lovely young lady" reference make you cringe a little? No? Okay, fine. Well, check out what happened next.

Donella was apparently so uncomfortable with the request and suspicious of Cain's intentions that she declined to set up the dinner date. To which he responded, "Then you and I can have dinner." Thankfully, a couple of colleagues came to her rescue and suggested everyone have dinner together in a large group.

It's obviously appropriate in many cases for a married man to have dinner with someone who is not his/her spouse. In fact, people traveling on business (Cain was in Egypt giving the speech) often look for other people to have dinner with so they don't have to be alone all the time. This becomes hairy, however, if the person who wants to have dinner has intentions that are more than friendly. And referring to someone as "lovely" and "young" might just cross into that territory. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that would piss me off.

Even more worrisome, of course, is that Donella clearly picked up on a sexual charge in Cain's dinner requests and was made uncomfortable -- so much so that her colleagues had to step in. If other women were getting a vibe from my fictional husband that he had sinister intentions, I'd like to think I'd calmly and rationally him ask for an explanation. But it's more likely I'd probably freak the hell out.

And if you can agree that a married man asking strange women he found attractive out to dinner made them feel uncomfortable, isn't that just another way of saying he's guilty of inappropriate sexual behavior?

Would you be okay if your spouse had dinner alone with someone they considered "lovely" and "young"?

 

Image via johntrainor/Flickr

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