Dear Annie: Why is it OK to photograph children and babies half-dressed or naked? I don’t mean pornography. I’m writing about family photos, TV shows and magazine advertisements.
Babies are people who have no say over their own bodies. I feel sorry for these children. I don’t think it’s cute or adorable. They would look just as cute in a little dress or suit. Why exploit them this way?
I believe there should be a law against photographing children who are not fully dressed.
— Concerned in Galesburg, Ill.
Dear Galesburg: Babies and toddlers like to be naked. They often remove their clothing whether you want them to or not. And they generally make a mess, so their clothes must be changed several times a day. Most people would disagree that they aren’t cute and adorable, with or without clothes. There are laws against child pornography, which is sick and disgusting. But babies without clothing are in a perfectly natural state of being.
Dear Annie: “We are here! We are here!” This is a gentle suggestion to consider reminding your readers that they can contact their local YWCA for help with many of the issues you address in your column.
The YWCA has been in existence since 1858. Each branch or affiliate embraces the following mission: “YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.” As an example, our local YWCA provides shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Please let your readers know they can contact their local YWCA when they need help. We are here, and we are here to stay!
— Jennifer Graf and Heather Farwell, co-chairs, YWCA Clinton, Iowa
Dear Jennifer Graf and Heather Farwell: We are happy to recommend that our readers contact the YWCA, as well as the other service and counseling agencies we often mention. Your organization does a wonderful job for the community, and we appreciate the reminder.
Dear Annie: I agree wholeheartedly with your response to “Searching for Answers.” He said his wife had the energy to run five miles a day, but wasn’t interested in sex. Among other things, you asked how much he was helping with the house and kids and said his wife might want to do something just for herself.
I was married to a nice guy for 10 years, and we had two small children. We both worked full-time jobs, but once we got home from work, I began my second job, which consisted of fixing dinner, doing laundry, cleaning the house, ensuring the kids had their homework done and driving them to after-school activities.
My ex’s evening consisted of eating dinner and then leaving to drink beer with his friends and work on their race cars. Requests for help taking care of the house and the kids went unheeded. When he returned home at night, I was exhausted, and he was expecting sex. I became angry and resentful and couldn’t stand the thought of him touching me.
Husbands, if you would do your part to help with the kids and household chores, your wife’s attitude toward you may change. Take her out to dinner once a week. Don’t ask her where she would like to go. Make all of the arrangements, and let her relax for a change. Tell her how great she looks. Encourage her when she wants a little time for herself. She’ll appreciate you for it.
Above all, do these things without the expectation of sex. Working mothers are exhausted. Once we can see that you aren’t doing these things for sex, we’ll be able to appreciate you for your genuine care and concern for the family.
— Single Grandma and Lovin’ It
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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