Ya know... I've never written a letter to the editor before - but some things I simply can't abide...

To Whom It May Concern,

...when on April 9th msn.com made the incredibly poor decision to post the article "Is Anorexia Genetic?" right next to an article about the best way for women to lose weight quickly just in time for the summer bathing months I was a little shocked. I decided that either your web designers have a healthy grasp of irony and don't mind making msn look a little bad, or your layout staff lacks a certain amount of understanding of the world. Passing off a social issue as a scientific problem that can't be helped while simultaneously rubbing in the exact same patriarchy-driven image consciousness that someone in your position as an editor of a woman's magazine should fully understand is reprehensible.

But not not nearly as reprehensible as your most recent article titled "Friends: Keeping them after you tie the knot". I find it difficult to comprehend that you can publish an article in this day and age that suggests that it is virtually impossible to maintain outside friendships without jealousy becoming a primary consideration. Your article makes several points in the right direction - conversation is the key to so many things in a healthy relationship and certainly feelings of jealousy arise in any relationship regardless of how close it may be...

...but these important points are entirely undermined by the tone of the article and its ultimate conclusion - that friendships are disposible compared to the bond of marriage. We've come so far (and yet have soooo much more work to do, obviously) in the direction of erroding gender-bias and creating a genuine sense of equality in this world. Do we really need to revert to a 50s mentality where we tell women that the primary duty in their lives should be to maintain a strong and bonded family life? Losing friendships for the sake of husband is less than a zero sum gain. Recommending such a course of action is a step in the exact same direction as telling a woman to give up her career simply to keep a husband or to keep a happy family life.

B. A. Small
Brooklyn, NY

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