Thank you...for your comments and thoughts on the posting of unsuitable Facebook photos. T sent me an e-mail last night to say they've been removed...it is a relief, but...why in heavens name do children feel they need to do such a thing in the first place...peer pressure is it? Keeping up with your friends is essential when you are twelve or thirteen...you simply have to have the latest runners and the latest jeans and I suppose that extends to posting photographs of yourself in what can only be described as compromising positions...certainly they'd be viewed as 'sexual' by the wandering paedophiles who haunt the internet...
A few weeks ago I had a visit from a chap I'd not come across before...went to his page to be greeted by photos of his wife in varying stages of undress. And I'm awfully afraid I picked holes in those photos...her knickers didn't fit properly for one thing and her bra was obviously too small...I hasten to add I didn't make any actual comments...they were all in my head.
I thought it awful sad that any man felt the need to post such photos of his wife for all and sundry to see...but he is an adult or so one would suppose...as is his wife, who was daft enough to let him take the pictures in the first place, cellulite and untrimmed pubic hair exposed to total strangers...
But does it make you feel slightly queasy...it has that effect on me. I couldn't give a toss what people do in the privacy of their own homes and between consenting adults...they can imagine making love to the ironing board for all I care...but I don't want them to think they can share that with me...I don't want to see a slightly grubby, slightly overweight woman wearing a badly fitting thong...
But I can laugh it off...I can tell you about it and we can say ' Eek...nasty!' and no harm is done to anyone...
Transfer those images to someone who is a child...imagine total and complete and utter strangers salivating over such a series of photographs and the whole scenario suddenly becomes dark and sinister...
I wrote yesterday of dirty old men wearing long Macs who'd lurk around playgrounds or step out of dark alleys with a limp penis in their sad hand...you knew where you were with them. You'd been warned by parents and teachers to run like hell...and that is just what we did. We weren't frightened nor we were traumatised...we didn't need counselling either and it didn't scar us for life.
But isn't it different now...now those sad men have turned into real monsters who trawl the internet for likely victims...they hide behind false identifies and seek out the weak and the friendless. They are clever and skilful and assume the persona of a teenager and those policemen who spend their time watching porn and watching children being abused have to go for counselling...they can't cope otherwise with what they are paid to see and to watch.
How do we get this across to the likes of the Great Grand child...how do we hammer home the terrible fact there really are monsters out there, not just imaginary ones in the wardrobe or under the bed that a night-light won't banish...
Why is it that little girls cannot be satisfied with being a little girl...passionate about My Little Pony and still happy enough to have dolls tea parties and play at dressing up with Mums old clothes...the child in question has girls nights in with her Mother...painted nails and so on and I want to weep with pure frustration for a childhood lost...
Sometimes I cannot bear it...childhood ought to be free of care and worry...it should be a time to revel in the sheer fascination of a life still to be lived...a time to absorb knowledge like a sponge...to listen to bedtime stories about wicked witches and grand kings, to switch off the bloody television and play card games and go out for long walks in the woods to pick up acorns and peer into hollow trees and fill your pockets with shiny conkers...
Instead we have the child who posts suggestive photos on-line and worries that her hair style isn't quite 'right' and thinks fun is spending an evening painting her toenails while watching some garbage on television about the likes of Miley Cyrus...
It makes me so awfully sad...and it also makes me hugely angry...and I'm left feeling impotent...