I think the answer to this question depends on where you are talking about in the world. Unfortunately, issues of skin colour and race are still just as prevalent in some sectors of society as they were when this story was written, but I would like to think that we have advanced somewhat since this story was written in terms of the widespread acceptability of such ideas.
I think that anything is possible in today's society. Many times we look at a story that shocks us, makes us think about our own relationships, or makes us question our surroundings.
I would hope that Armand's treatment of Desiree would not be condoned today, but to many people fear the judgement of others to admit what happens in their private spheres.
There are still men, in our society today, that believe in the ownership of their wives. Although one may find this outrageous, it does not mean that it does not happen.
The way that people act today frightens, offends, and shocks us. Should we deny that something similar to what happens to Desiree would not happen in our world today? No. Look around...anything in our world is possible.
It's hard for us to imagine these days, but over time society has evolved. Our understanding of the relationship between a man and a woman has changed a lot. We used to believe that men basically owned women. What a man did with his wife was his own business. Although many people did not approve, they rarely stepped in and intervened. Even the police usually stayed out of it.