As a proud Brown alumna and a professor of diversity studies, I found the article by Nathan Deuel '03 about interviewing two female Saudi Arabian applicants to be myopic and disturbingly ethnocentric ("The View from Riyadh," May/June).
The article focused almost entirely upon his preconceptions about women in Saudi Arabia, reveries that impeded his ability to get to know (or to tell us about) these two women beyond what he believed would be their experience. His piece described almost nothing pertaining to their individuality or uniqueness: their identities were obfuscated by his own cultural assumptions—exactly, I'd think, what the University would seek to overcome by accepting such students in the first place.
Mara Gottlieb '93
Political movements come and they go. I remember when religious views, however diverse, remained fixed along with their attendant cultures. So I was charmed to read in the BAM about Saudi Arabian women moving about the campus freely, often in the customary dress.
When I entered Brown in 1966, the chief feminist issue was the curfew at Pembroke. The Saudis of 2010 probably have more freedom (at least at Brown) than my lady friends had forty years ago.
Richard Funk '70