Deen Chatterjee, what are you smoking?

By [email protected]

Apparently, according to Deen Chatterjee, the female population is under extreme persecution. I must say this is news to me… What makes this guy think he knows what it’s like to be a woman? All apologies to those of you (women) who feel trapped in stereotype, but personally, I feel that the status of women has greatly improved over time- despite the supposedly misogynic views of our society (which according to Chatterjee, is still ignorantly prancing around in the Dark Ages). On to the suffocating, old-fashioned courtship rituals–I for one never saw a problem with asking a guy out, nor do I believe it’s a huge issue for many women in this day and age. Sure, it’s nice if a guy does the asking, but I know quite a few of us have opened our mouths and asked them ourselves. You can’t funnel an entire gender’s opinion on dating practices from the Sept 26th article in the Chrony, Mr. Chatterjee. That’s just poor form. About conflict diamonds–I am in no way proposing that this is not a serious issue that deserves attention from anyone in the diamond market, or rather, any of us concerned for the human rights of those engaged in diamond-related wars. However, to “assume a direct connection between the ring on a bride’s finger in America and the child victims in Africa who have had their limbs cut off” is seriously misinforming the readers of your article, Mr. Chatterjee. Being recently engaged to be married myself, and doing a good deal of diamond shopping with my fiance, I knew of and was concerned about the serious damage one can do by purchasing a conflict diamond and supporting the criminals involved in perpetrating the violence. Yet all of the jewelers we visited as well as online diamond companies such as Blue Nile assure the public that they do not sell, buy, or endorse conflict diamonds in any way, and haven’t even before the following bill was passed: “In April 2003, President Bush passed a bill adopting the Kimberly Process that requires all US diamond retailers to buy diamonds from manufacturers who have documentation warranting that the merchandise was obtained through legitimate channels. Today, the US Customs Service is actively enforcing the Kimberly Process requirements as diamonds enter American ports.” (www.bluenile.com) That said, it would be quite difficult to find a reputable jeweler here in the US who carries anything remotely suspicious of being a conflict diamond. Diamond companies shun them because consumers are horrified to learn where they came from and the means with which they were obtained–most stones now come from Russia and outlying countries, and are cut in Israel. But enough about that–do I feel that by wearing an engagement ring it means that my fiance is “marking his possession and proclaiming to the world that the woman belongs to him?” Absolutely! I am more than happy to belong to my fiance, just as he belongs to me. That’s the point of marriage, Mr. Chatterjee. You failed to mention that the man belongs to the woman just as much as she belongs to him–it’s a mutual thing, from what I understand (perhaps that’s why men wear rings too…wedding rings). And men being the ones to propose? Dare I say…I loved every minute of it. I wonder how many women out there are actually offended when the man she loves asks her to marry him: “What! How could you, you chauvinist pig!” One could write pages upon pages on this moronic article, but I’m done wasting my time arguing faux female oppression. So in closing I would like to proclaim my status as a happily potted plant–saturate me with organized religion please, stick a diamond engagement ring on my frond and set me on the windowsill-for I am a Venus flytrap, and I eat columns like yours for breakfast.

Melanie TannerJunior, Communication Disorders