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What, exactly, is Thomas B. Cotton's point in his editorial "Promises and Covenants" (Oct. 3)? He moves back and forth between irrelevant and inaccurate statistical analysis and the fulfillment of some ill-defined vendetta against feminist organizations such as the National Organization of Women.
To complicate matters further, mixed into the melting-pot of this editorial, Cotton includes a new twist on male-bashing: male-bashing by a male. He writes: "Throughout time...women and social institutions have conspired to break man's unruliness. In the past few decades, however, they have largely abandoned that noble and necessary project." A woman myself, I am utterly confused.
What are these purported social institutions? Why do men need to be beaten into submission in order to make appropriate husbands? And why does the author believe that "if men have easy access to divorce, many will choose it thoughtlessly"? No valid arguments or data are presented to support these spurious contentions.
Using an "admittedly small and perhaps unrepresentative" sample, I asked some of my female friends whether they would agree with the women interviewed in this article and say that their deepest fear in life was getting a divorce or having their lover walk out on them. All, even those who had boyfriends, emphatically disagreed. They even argued that no-fault divorce had been a major accomplishment of the feminist movement.
Sure, the women to whom I talked wanted love and affection in their lives, but they realized that marriage was simply a societal construct, not a prerequisite to a fulfilling relationship. Cotton never successfully answers any of the questions he sparks in the reader's head: So when the love departs, as happens in many marriages, what's so wrong with divorce? --Mary-Beth Muchmore '00
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