Letter to the Editor: Female oppression was overstated

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Editor:

According to Deen Chatterjee, in his Nov. 4 column, “When will women break away from stereotypes?” the female population is under extreme persecution. I must say this is news to me.

What makes the author think he knows what it’s like to be a woman? All apologies to those of you (women) who feel trapped in a stereotype, but personally, I feel that the status of women has greatly improved over time-despite the supposedly misogynic views of our society.

Concerning the 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. One can’t funnel an entire gender’s opinion on dating practices from the Sept. 26 article in The Chronicle (“College students advise the matrimonially challenged”).

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. Being recently engaged to be married myself, and doing a good deal of diamond shopping with my fianc, 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 assure the public that they do not sell, buy, or endorse conflict diamonds in any way.

According to Blue Nile, an online diamond retailer, “In April 2003, President Bush passed a bill adopting the Kimberly Process that requires all U.S. diamond retailers to buy diamonds from manufacturers who have documentation warranting that the merchandise was obtained through legitimate channels. Today, the U.S. Customs Service is actively enforcing the Kimberly Process requirements as diamonds enter American ports.”

But enough about that-do I feel that by wearing an engagement ring it means that my fianc 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 fianc, just as he belongs to me. That’s the point of marriage. The author 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).

One could write pages upon pages on this 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 window sill.

Melanie Tanner

Junior, Communication Disorders