In 1998 I was one of many women who read Anna Quindlen’s novel Black and Blue. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve re-read the story of a woman who is beaten and eventually leaves her husband. After all these years, I still can’t figure out why I became totally absorbed in this story. I was never physically harmed. So why the connection?
In every marriage, there are surprises as the years progress. The person I married turned out to have personality traits and interests I had no idea were present, in the early days. Most of the time changes in behavior and interests are all right, or at least neutral. After all, it’s positive when one’s partner is interested in new things.
Perhaps that’s the connection. We were both blindsided by unanticipated behavior. Quindlen’s protagonist didn’t expect to be beaten; I didn’t expect my husband to have a liking for little girls. The values we both held were betrayed.
While I find it abhorrent for men to be attracted to little girls, I also rail against advertisers who show photos of girls that tempt those who have a real problem. It isn’t good for society to lure out more potential pedophiles.
In today’s New York Times, there is yet another partially nude photo of a girl. It’s a full-page photo showing one the same girls as in earlier advertisements. She has shaggy brown hair and a nose ring. A small purse with a clunky brass chain is slung over her shoulder. Her partially exposed breast is next to the purse. No nipple, so it’s legal.
I wonder if my ex-husband has seen the photo. I know the dark haired girl with the nose ring isn’t his type ,but who knows? She certainly is somebody’s type or she wouldn’t have been selected by Burberry to pose in the picture.
Just a month ago, I wrote a letter to the New York Times objecting to the January 14th Burberry advertisement. No one replied. I’ll write another letter today, but don’t expect a response. There’s too much money involved and after all, no one has broken the law.