So-called weddings and dying young

Readers respond to recent stories on difficult weddings, a sibling's death and the tarnished image of glossy magazines.

Published November 9, 2001 8:00PM (EST)

Read "My So-called Wedding" by Rebecca Taylor.

Too bad there wasn't a more uplifting denouement to the father's exploitation of his daughter. Even if they still are on speaking terms years after his betrayals, there's still room for him not to attend the wedding or not to kowtow to dumb tradition vis-Ŏ-vis the bride-father of the bride dance.

Why on earth didn't this bride keep him from the wedding or just not dance with him? I know the answer better than most, know the tremendous pressure from society, the offender and even myself to forget and gloss over and to siphon some normalcy out of what is a heinous transgression.

At 11 years old I vowed to myself that, should I ever get married, my father wouldn't walk me down the aisle, as he had administered one too many beatings and humiliations. No one outside the family suspected a thing. My vow was a serious, adult vow, not made in the heat of the moment. Having to keep my head amid violence that could erupt unexpectedly made me a very clear, sober thinker very young.

I understand the writer's impulses, but this piece seems to offer little more than voyeurism into this dark situation. There are (unfortunately) many other angles to this story. I wish you could have chosen to publish one in which the bride resolutely refuses to invite the offender to the wedding, feeling no guilt, because she's very clear on who the guilty party really is.

-- Tamara Hladik

I love it when someone has the guts to come forward and tell the truth about their experience. For that reason, I really admired Rebecca Taylor's courage in writing this article. I hope it will encourage others to also choose authenticity over "perfection."

-- Betsy Anderson

Read "On Dying Young" by Margaret Morganroth Gullette.

Margaret Morganroth Gullette's essay hits terribly close to home. My brother, too, died at 22. He was killed in the Nazi Holocaust. There is rarely a day that I don't think about him: What would he be doing now? Would he be married? How would he teach his children? What would he teach them -- and me -- at this time? His sweet disposition, his generosity, his love are still with me, to this day. Since his death was such a violent one, I am doubly troubled by survivor guilt: I should have been with him, at the end.

Thank you, Margaret Gullette.

-- Fred Emil Katz

Read "Tarnished Glossies Need to Shine Again" by Janelle Brown.

I would like to thank Janelle Brown for her article on the irrelevance of the fashion magazines right now. I began to feel this way in the last year, when almost every issue that came my way had a substantial portion devoted to socialites. Guess what? I have no interest in Aerin Lauder or the Hilton sisters. What I am interested in is thoughtful fashion. Now, more than ever, with dropping circulation and the country in a different place altogether, the magazines need to really think about whether they want to sell issues or to sink like Mademoiselle. This doesn't mean that they have to stop writing about fashion, but merely to rethink their strategy and stop boring people with socialite coverage.

-- Briana Hill

As one of your readers who found looking into the October issue of W one of the most revolting viewing (reading?) experiences of my lifetime, I'd like to thank you for this article. It brought back the intense disgust I felt when looking at the magazine's vapid written material and irrelevant photographs. The content contrasted with our changed life nauseated me.

No more; the fashion magazines are destined for the recycle bin until the subscriptions run out. Appreciated your analysis.

-- Rae Loen

By Salon Staff

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