Can an Alzheimer’s patient with dementia so severe she can’t remember her daughters’ names or how to eat a hamburger consent to have sex with her husband?
Earlier this week, the New York Times reported on the case of Henry Rayhons, who has been charged with third-degree felony sexual abuse for having sex with his wife, who suffered from Alzheimer's so severe that her clinicians claim she was incapable of consenting to sex. Science of Us picked up the conversation too, and oh boy, I can't tell if this is complicated or not? On one hand, if Mrs. Rayhons was giving repeated verbal and non-verbal cues that this is what she wanted, we should be trusting her. On the other, we have lots of parameters for who has the capacity to consent, and understand that even if, say, a minor is giving lots of positive verbal cues, it'd still be rape. On a third hand, we tend to infantilize the elderly and infirm. On a fourth, there's a lot we still don't understand about Alzheimer's. I am not the person to solve this but maybe you are.
This diffuse distraction fetish begs the question, just what is distracting us and what are we being distracted from? Few watch reviewers evaluate what distraction actually means in our daily use of technology. The implicit argument, however, is that technology is distracting us from focusing on non-virtual social situations, the people in front of us. Yet this ignores the subtleties of distraction.
Kyle Chayka takes a look at the new Apple Watch and whether or not its release will cause society to collapse, or just look like this Chainsawsuit comic. Personally, I have no desire for an Apple Watch, but I am also the type of person who will leave my phone in another room all day long and miss a thousand text messages. And is it just me, or is a watch just not a part of your everyday look? Not that it stopped Fitbits and stuff, but I gotta be free to wear bangles n' shit.
A man writes into The Guardian asking for advice about whether to tell his bride to be that a) he is bisexual and b) he has had sex with her dad before. Let's just trust that this incredible coincidence is real, and get into it. I feel like the author spends far too much time encouraging him to reveal his bisexuality (which, yes! Be honest with your future spouse about your sexual identity whenever possible!) and not nearly enough addressing the fact that HE HAD SEX WITH HER DAD. READ MORE
The other week I was in a fancy library researching things like archives and manuscripts for a book I’m working on, and I came across a few pages ripped out of a 1970 Mademoiselle magazine. It was mainly a photo shoot that featured a young Susan Sarandon, but on the back of the last page was the beginning of an article about, basically, DIY witchcraft. It was only the introduction and the first part of the first charm, “to catch a man,” that involves taking the dirt from his footstep. This was “more easily done by country and beach witches.” READ MORE
The government believes this woman, who is accused of having ten husbands at the same time, was doing it to get guys legal residency in the country, and that "potentially an Al Qaeda plant could come in, marry this woman and be in this country illegally." Which, really, is always a risk no matter how many husbands you have. I prefer to think that she just plumb forgot. Who among us hasn't forgotten about a husband or two?