In her insightful Outlook commentary [“It’s a sex crime, not a sex scandal,” May 22], Juliet A. Williams criticized our hyper-feminist tendency to assume that all instances of male sexual misbehavior — be it martial infidelity, in the case of Arnold Schwarzenegger, or an alleged sexual assault, in the case of the former IMF director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, are morally the same. Criminality counts, and adultery, however painful for the “victim,” is simply not the same as attempted rape, she argued.

But her argument should be taken one step further. In adultery, the consenting third party is also morally implicated in the act and its effects. Male “sexism” undoubtedly exists, but when a heterosexual husband philanders, it invariably means that one woman has freely betrayed another. Adultery’s not about sexism but about human deception and frailty, which neither gender has a monopoly on.

Stewart J. Lawrence, Bethesda