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Jewish World Review March 24, 2000 /17 Adar II, 5760

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As predicted, bestiality goes mainstream -- SOMETIMES I surprise even myself.

Listeners to my radio show will remember that last year I was ranting about a study published in a reputable American Psychological Association journal which concluded that child molestation was not always harmful to children and, in some cases, might even be beneficial. Well, a lot of professionals and politicians jumped on that one, and that so-called research has earned the ignominy it deserved.

However, in the course of my on-air musings about the state we are in as a country, where morality is the butt of jokes and credible professional journals publish studies that advance the cause of pedophiles, I laughingly said, "What's next? Bestiality as innocent fun?"

Brace yourselves. Showing up in two leading fashion magazines this winter is a multi-page advertising spread for a couturier that pairs the obligatorily skinny woman in provocative poses with an enormous dog in a studded leather collar. Lest the not-so-subliminal message in this advertising campaign be lost, there are pages of "playful" encounters between them.

The first shows the model, clad in a dress slit up to her posterior, bending over the dog and putting a leather mask over his head --- the mask and the spiked collar being well-recognized accoutrements of sadomasochism.

Turning the page, we find this girl and her dog in a rather compromising position -- she, on her haunches; the dog on its hind legs, draped over her back. She is clutching the dog's fore legs, which are wrapped around her shoulders -- one paw tucked inside her open jacket, under which she is nude. The model's eyes are closed, and she has a blissful look on face.

It's harder to read the dog's face, even though he has changed his leather hood for a spiked muzzle.

The last photo shows the woman seated, bent double over her knees and holding onto her ankles.

Since very little dress is showing, I guess this ad is selling her shoes, which are definitely suitable for kinky sex, complete with spike heels, ankle straps and rhinestones. The dog obviously likes them, too, as he is licking her feet. The model's expression is ecstatic, if not downright orgiastic.

So, here we are. The leading women's fashion magazines have accepted these ads that sell clothes by not-so-subtly depicting bestiality and sadomasochism. Do they really believe their readers would find this appealing? How many women do you know that long to have sex with their dogs?

As a nation, we have become so desensitized to the immoral and the reprehensible that ads like these can run in not one, but at least two (that I know of) national women's magazines. And run without any public commentary by other media. No published criticism of these ads or the magazines that ran them has reached my eyes and ears.

But I did get a letter from a woman in Minnesota, along with a copy of a letter she sent to one of the magazines, calling the editors to task.

She wrote: "I do not expect your company to be responsible for all that is wrong in the world, but it is not beyond your power to exclude immoral advertisements in order to take a stand against this horrible kind of behavior. Your magazine reaches millions of people, and to print this ad was to condone the behavior. You should be ashamed."

And isn't that just the point? What has happened to shame? It seems to have gone away along with other honorable concepts such as right and wrong, moral and immoral, acceptable and unacceptable. And our society has literally lost itself without these guiding principles.

But if society is going to be "found," it's going to be by people like Jennifer, who wrote to the magazine and canceled her subscription. I hope she rallied others to do so, as well. Remember that free speech cuts both ways. The First Amendment protects us all, so you can exercise your right of free speech by speaking up, by fighting for righteousness.

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© 2000, Dr. Laura Schlessinger. This feature may not be reproduced or distributed electronically, in print or otherwise without the written permission of Universal New Media and Universal Press Syndicate.