Feminism on Trial
Everything Jack Sidote symbolized to Ginny, Ray Foat was the polar opposite. Suave, sophisticated, unpretentious, well-bred, urbane, classy, and well-liked, Ray, to her, represented a kinder, gentler side of life. Jack's stretch in prison, the longer it went on, was making him worse than he was before. He even beat her during her visits to the prison, once while her parents were there with her. To Ginny, Ray appeared to offer a pleasant alternative to the years of humiliation and abuse she had long endured.
Ray Foat was about six feet tall with wavy brown hair and a slim moustache. He was from England and spoke with a cultured British accent. Ginny described him as having an air of "elegance" about him. But strangely enough, in the beginning, she didn't like him. He wasn't the "macho" type she was used to. Not a "real man" who was "hard, tough, and commanding. . . . Real men weren't gentle, polite, and considerate. . . . Real men didn't charm women, they ruled them," she wrote.
However, she soon realized that her lifelong frame of reference regarding "real men" had been skewed and she was only just now beginning to see life in a different light. In that context, she began to appreciate and admire the assets Ray brought to the table. His courtly mannerisms contrasted sharply with the Neanderthal behavior patterns of Jack. Most of all she appreciated the fact that Ray respected women. No matter who they were or what they looked like, he made them feel important and good about themselves. In a sense, he was in tune with the changing times, although his respect for women obviously predated the women's movement.
Ray was, at the time, in the process of getting a divorce, and he began pursuing Ginny. He found all kinds of excuses to be with her, whether work-related or socially. She tried to keep him at an arms-length at first but he was persistent. Finally her resistance broke down and they became friends. Having both been through marital difficulties, they could cry on each other's shoulders. Within a short time they became neighbors. Ginny and a friend named Clara Sparks took an apartment together on the same block on which Ray lived.
One night when Ginny and Clara were working late on a banquet, Ray called and asked them to come over to his apartment as soon as they got off. When they did, he showed them the damage a vandal had done to his clothing. Nearly every piece was slashed with a razor blade and drenched with chlorine. Ginny and Clara had just moved into their apartment and Ray agreed to let Ginny stash some of her boxes at his place until she could get her apartment better organized. It didn't take a genius to figure out who caused the damage to Ray's clothing but why would his wife take some of Ginny's letters to and from Jack from her boxes? Ginny didn't have to wait long to find out.
On her next visit to Jack at Chino, she found out that Ray's wife had written to him saying Ginny and Ray were having an affair and that Jack had to put a stop to it. Naturally he was in a rage and he refused to believe her, despite her innocence. However, by this time, Ginny was beyond caring what he thought. She knew then and there she didn't love him anymore and that she was in love with Ray. And though Ray's wife was wrong in her accusations at the time, it wasn't by much. Within a month Ginny and Ray were indeed having an affair.